During the development of this plan, lively discussions underscored the importance of clarifying the key terms at the heart of our project. Philosophically, we wanted a central term that described a process of intellectual development and learning that includes a heightened respect for the dignity of all people regardless of social identity, as well as a concern for the earth and its place in the universe.
We decided to employ the terms internationalization and globalism interchangeably. However, we were attentive to the inherent limitations and ambiguities of each. In particular, we noted the risk of using the term “globalization,” as it has, in some circles, pejorative connotations such as an economic imperative to export and install capitalist practices and the values associated with it (materialism, competition, markets) at the expense of traditional culture, identity and values.
“Internationalization”: An Operational Definition
According to the American Council of Education, internationalization “integrates an international, intercultural, or global dimension into the purpose, functions, or delivery of postsecondary education.” However, as we deliberated, we noted that “Internationalization” carries the limitation of privileging nation states at a time when these artificial national boundaries are being diminished and transcended.
World Perspective: The Ethos of the Morehouse Tradition
As noted earlier, our convictions about undergraduate internationalization reflect core values of alumni and past presidents and faculty. Indeed, Dr. King employed the term “World Perspective” to denote a perspective which is inclusive of the earth, its inhabitants, its nation states, and its place in the universe.
Global Competence As The Qualifier Of Student Learning Outcomes
In spite of the fact that “a world perspective” is close to where we would place our philosophical and conceptual basis, we use the terminology “global competence” to refer to the “ability of faculty, staff and students not only to contribute to knowledge about global affairs, but also to comprehend, analyze, and evaluate the meaning (of this understanding) in the context of an increasingly interconnected world (NASCLGC Task Force on International Education).
Therefore, the term internationalization is used frequently throughout this document to describe the process of institutional change necessary for sustaining curricular and co-curricular revision in student learning. “Global competence,” then, refers to the goal of student learning at Morehouse that will be accomplished through the implementation of the Quality Enhancement Plan.