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In recognition of its current level of internationalization, Valparaiso University is one of eight institutions in the United States invited into the American Council on Education's (ACE) 2010-2011 Internationalization Laboratory Cohort. The goal of the Laboratory is to prepare students to be citizens of a multicultural community by infusing international/intercultural dimensions into all aspects of teaching, learning, research, service, and outreach.
This prestigious program provides an opportunity for universities to identify strengths and weaknesses with current programs and policies, gauge interest in international engagement, accelerate progress on internationalization and ultimately enhance the cross cultural learning environment.
Valpo's Internationalization Laboratory is led by co-chairs Eric Johnson, Brandt Professor of Engineering, and Renu Juneja, Associate Provost and professor of English.
Johnson noted that global learning at Valpo includes the curriculum of its academic programs, providing students with a wide range of study abroad experiences and welcoming a large number of international students.
"Participating in the Laboratory will help us ensure that every student can obtain a strong cross-cultural experience and that we develop tools to assess whether students have achieved a high level of cross-cultural understanding," he said.
As a member of the cohort, Valpo is developing strategies for campus internationalization by forming campus leadership teams to work on strategic planning and student outcomes, attending three community meetings in Washington, D.C., undergoing site visits and peer reviews, and participating in monthly phone calls with the Laboratory director. The program prepares the University to advance its internationalization efforts through a year-long timeline focusing on articulating a vision, research, assessment, and strategy.