It is the obligation of colleges and universities to prepare people for a globalized world… so that they can better meet their responsibilities as citizens.American Council on Education
In response to the critical need for institutions of higher learning to create inclusive educational environments, Crossing Borders Education (CBE) developed an Educational Approach around creative tools that foster a Culture of Dialogue on campuses and support staff/faculty to build the skills and capacity to implement these tools for diverse student participants, while simultaneously upholding values of academic freedom. Our three feature films, 40+ short videos, online toolkits and facilitator manuals offer educational leaders, faculty and staff an effective array of engaging resources to train students’ social skills. All resources are designed flexibly and can be easily adapted to the specific needs of diverse institutions.
Areas of campus internationalization
CBE resources are carefully crafted to support campus internationalization through awareness exercises that can reach the whole student body. The activities initiate peer-to-peer interactions around engaging film excerpts in a multi-departmental approach and can be flexibly applied to focus areas such as:
- Diversity & Inclusion Resources to interlink international learning and diversity training;
- Study Abroad Resources to strengthen key global competencies before, during and after international experiences;
- International Student Resources to encourage the growth of cross-cultural skills and support orientations, residence life, and student events;
- Teacher Training Toolkit to prepare future teachers for the increasingly diverse classroom and society;
- Management & Leadership Toolkit to enhance social skills that prepare for the multicultural workplace.
CBE resources are excellent ways for instructors to discuss sensitive topics in formats that meet students where they are while assisting them in developing essential skills needed to engage in meaningful dialogue.
Colette Cummings, Ed.D., Associate Dean, Multicultural Center,
Webster University, St.Louis, MO
Supporting campus internationalization
Our resources aim to support administrators, faculty and staff in the following efforts:
- To cultivate constructive intercultural communication and cross-cultural skills on campus.
- To contribute to strategic plans for internationalization that support students to develop key social and leadership skills.
- To help overcome the separation between students of different nationalities, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds and create meaningful peer-to-peer interactions between groups.
- To support faculty and staff in the creation of experiential learning opportunities in the classroom where students can address intercultural and diversity issues in safe and constructive ways.
- To develop a strategy and road map for curricular and co-curricular activities that engage, challenge and support the whole student body to actively grow skills that nurture a Culture of Dialogue on campus.
Resources that engage students
The following resources show how we meet the objectives above with tools that engage students personally, emotionally and intellectually:
1. Short Videos
Short videos such as Why Explore Diversity? below, and creative resources such as our Quote Cards help students to get a glimpse of the potentials and perspective-enhancing impact of intercultural experiences on campus and abroad.
More than 40 videos such as On Breaking Down Barriers below and our three intercultural feature films, provide students with a blueprint of honest, frank and constructive dialogues.
2. Educational Resources
Short activities such as On Stereotypes support faculty and staff with practical and engaging tools for the classroom. Our pages like Educational Approach and Diversity Curriculum Resources support educational leadership in developing a road map towards strengthened intercultural interactions and skills on campus. Resources such as our Diversity Curriculum Toolkit and its facilitator manuals are designed to support leadership, faculty and staff to include intercultural sessions into curricula.
3. Intercultural Films
Our engaging, character driven, emotional documentaries Crossing Borders, The Dialogue and American Textures support institutions to host powerful screening discussion events that can reach the wider campus community, connect diverse student groups and interlink diverse subject areas.
The CBE toolkits are vital resources to ensure global competency, international awareness and the fundamental necessity of acceptance.Lauren Norville, Assistant Director, OIS, Teachers College, Columbia University
Applying intercultural learning
Including intercultural sessions into curricular has incredible potential to empower students on several levels, such as:
- Touching students’ desire to live their full potentials by using the learning channel of personal growth and self awareness.
- Meeting students where they are at in their different levels of social awareness and communication skills and supporting/challenging them to move beyond their comfort zones.
- Inspiring and challenging students towards civic engagement when learning about diversity and social justice issues.
Integrating within the curricula
Our tools are designed flexibly and can be integrated into the curriculum in many possible ways, such as:
- First Year Seminars
- Global Citizenship Programs
- Teacher Trainings
- Social Skills & Leadership Trainings
- High-Impact Educational Practices such as: Learning Communities, Collaborative Assignments, Service Learning, etc.
- Orientations and Trainings: Study Abroad, International Student Services, Work Placement Preparation, etc.
Suggested timing for resource usage
|When:||What package component:|
|Pre-Semester||Consultancy sessions to identify the specific needs of specific departments and the institution as a whole.|
Facilitator Trainings for faculty and staff focusing on resources induction and intercultural facilitation skills.
|Semester 1||Adapting three to five Intercultural Sessions of the CBE Toolkits to specific classwork.|
|Semester 2||Facilitating three Intercultural Events (Film Screening and Student Discussion) with the CBE Film Trilogy.|
|Semester 1-6||Using activities of the CBE Toolkits for informal events in Student Life to support students to move beyond their comfort zones and interact with each other across cultural differences.|
|Semester 2-5||Adapting sessions of CBE toolkits to Orientation Sessions for diversity trainings, social justice programs, study abroad, international student programs, internships and other.|
Using the Study Abroad Toolkit in Re-entry Sessions for students returning from study abroad and internship programs.
|Using the CBE Film Trilogy for Integration Sessions with students, reflecting on the intercultural experiences they had on campus throughout their studies. Students explore how they can use their learning experiences best to move forward into their professional lives. (Note: senior students could further deepen their learning by becoming small group facilitators for students of the 1st and 2nd Semesters)|