New Summer Sessions Courses and Revamped Minor to Support UC Davis Students as Global Change Makers

Groups of students working on projects together in conference room setting

By Bonnie Shea, executive director of communications and marketing, Global Affairs

Aligning with the campus goal and Provost’s Priority of Global Education for All UC Davis students, Global Affairs has launched two new courses starting this June through Undergraduate Education’s Summer Sessions and is starting the launch of a revamped Global Studies minor in fall 2021.

“The Global Education for All initiative is exciting in that it’s aiming to provide 100% of students with meaningful global learning experiences. In turn, students gain global perspectives, a passion for discovery and creativity, and real-world skills, while society gains professionals and leaders prepared to solve some of today’s most complex challenges,” said Joanna Regulska, vice provost and dean of Global Affairs.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is an example of a multifaceted challenge that cuts across countries, communities, and disciplines, and requires cultural humility, adaptability, leadership and other global skills to overcome. Our students are our next generation of change makers to help solve these challenges,” Regulska added.

Committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to meeting student needs and interests, UC Davis provides all types of global learning opportunities—whether on campus, online, in local communities, the U.S. or around the world.

“Studying, interning or engaging in projects in another country can be excellent ways to gain global perspectives and experience the world, but traveling is certainly not the only way to pursue global learning,” said Nancy Erbstein, associate vice provost of Global Education for All in Global Affairs.

"UC Davis students have organized remote collaborations among student farmers in Davis, Morocco, Chile and Brazil; worked on technology projects virtually with local NGOs in Rwanda, Malawi and Kenya; engaged with diaspora populations at student run clinics and local organizations throughout the Sacramento region; and so much more. All of these experiences reflect our Global Learning Outcomes, which were developed by our Global Education for All Steering Committee to help students advance their academic and professional goals and thrive in our highly interconnected world,” added Erbstein.

Translating Global Academics Into Global Professions

For the first time, the Global Learning Hub within Global Affairs is offering two Summer Sessions classes, one-unit seminar-style courses for students from all majors. Both courses – which can be taken separately or in sequence together – aim to support students in enhancing their fields of study with the global perspectives, understandings, and skills needed as global professionals and collaborators. 

Enrollment is open now for the ‘Becoming a Global Professional: How to Prepare for Careers in an Interdependent World’ course being offered during Summer Session I. This course is focused on supporting students in building the professional skills needed for diverse workplaces – such as cultural humility, resilience, adaptive thinking and intercultural communications – especially as working increasingly crosses disciplinary, cultural and geographic borders. Students will construct resumes that reflect global and intercultural experiences, build professional profiles, develop networking skills, learn from professionals from a variety of fields, and learn how to access global career resources.

Planned for Summer Session II, the ‘Becoming a Global Collaborator: Innovative and Inclusive Ways to Address Global Challenges’ course supports students in engaging with complex global and local challenges in inclusive and equitable ways, using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a global framework. Students will link their studies with global challenges and solutions, while considering the connections between societal challenges and exploring ways to make a difference in their careers, communities, and lives. Students will also expand their global skills such as critical thinking, interpersonal and intercultural communication, team-building and more.

“We intentionally planned both courses to be focused on real-world challenges and applications to be relevant to students in all majors and in both the lower and upper divisions,” said Aliki Dragona, faculty director of academic programs in Global Affairs’ Global Learning Hub

“Plus, students who need one additional credit to qualify for summer financial aid will find this course to be a wonderful complement to their major courses,” said Dragona.

Global Affairs Vice Provost and Dean Joanna Regulska (right) leading a discussion on the UN Sustainable Development Goal for Gender Equality during a Global Engagement Opportunity Living and Learning Community seminar for a mix of domestic and international students.
Global Affairs Vice Provost and Dean Joanna Regulska (right) leading a discussion on the Sustainable Development Goal for Gender Equality during a Global Engagement Opportunity Living and Learning Community seminar in winter 2020. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

A Global Studies Minor for Any Major

The Global and International Studies minor is starting to relaunch as the Global Studies minor. An interdisciplinary academic minor open to UC Davis undergraduate students from all colleges and majors, the program is focused on supporting students in gaining global experiences locally and globally through coursework and experiential learning.

Based on survey responses from students, input from advisors and representatives of all colleges and schools, and reviews of course descriptions, the revamped minor is designed to be accessible and flexible. It prepares students in pursuing their aspirations as they gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a global learner in their fields of interest, develop valuable global perspectives, skills and networks, and strengthen their capacity to engage with today’s global job market and interconnected society.

“Inspired by the campus Global Education for All initiative, the redesign of the minor is exciting because it broadens the minor’s attractiveness and accessibility to students in several intentional ways,” said Michael Lazzara, associate vice provost of academic programs in Global Affairs.

“First, this Global Studies minor is extremely interdisciplinary, flexible, and inclusive of diverse students from all majors and fields. Second, the minor includes highly in-demand opportunities for credited experiential learning and has our UC Davis Global Learning Outcomes woven throughout. Third, in recognizing how interconnected our world is and to ensure equitable access, the minor will expand its academic, experiential, and leadership focus beyond study abroad by incorporating local, domestic, international, and virtual global learning activity. Finally, the minor supports students to prepare for their postgraduate pursuits,” Lazzara explained.

The combination of coursework and experiential learning within the Global Studies minor promotes the development of capacities within the three focus areas of the Global Learning Outcomes: global awareness, global diversity, and global action. Students will examine actions and relationships that influence global systems from multiple perspectives and analyze how complex systems impact them and others. They will explore dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion around the world, including language, culture, and identity. Ultimately, students will learn to create strategies to apply knowledge, skills, and abilities to collaboratively and equitably address global challenges and tap global opportunities.

Students currently pursuing the Global and International Studies minor will have the choice to continue with their original requirements or to switch to the requirements of the new Global Studies minor. More information will be available on the Global Learning Hub website in summer 2021.

Becoming Global Thinkers and Global Professionals

“The Global Studies minor focuses on preparing students as global thinkers and professionals. The minor values studying, interning, and conducting research abroad, but doesn’t require it,” said Dragona. “Students will design global learning clusters that might be based on global themes or topics or focused on certain regions of the world."

“It’s about the global but also the local,” added Lazzara. “Now more than ever, we are seeing the connections between local and global challenges and are aware of our responsibility to prepare students to make positive and impactful change in the world.”


About Global Affairs at UC Davis

Global Affairs brings the world to UC Davis, welcoming more than 10,000 international students, scholars and leaders, and hosting programs that inspire global curiosity, understanding and engagement. Compelled by the valuable outcomes of thinking globally, we make transformative opportunities a reality by supporting the thousands of students and faculty learning and researching globally—and by facilitating collaborations that tackle the world’s most pressing challenges through more than 150 global partnerships.

Putting our vision of a UC Davis community that engages, thrives, and leads in this interconnected world into action, Global Affairs is in pursuit of an ambitious goal: Global Education for All.

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