Researchers in higher education say that the college years are crucial for an individual to grow as a leader. It is during this time that consistent cognitive, attitudinal, value and psychosocial changes take place among colleges students.
While examining the net effects of college, Pascarella and Terenzini (2005) also concluded that it is the time when students increase “their civic and community involvement and become more open to diversity” (p. 581). All findings indicate that college is the best time to develop globally minded and educated citizens.
Student affairs professionals, therefore, have a unique opportunity to offer students co-curricular learning opportunities that complement global education in the classroom. Traditionally, this has been accomplished by relying on international “exchanges” (more recently known as “study abroad”) as the mechanism to create global awareness.
With the rapidly changing world however, the challenge for student affairs professionals is to look beyond study abroad programs and create meaningful cross cultural programming on campus or in the local community.
If you are a college student and want to learn how you can develop as a leader on campus, please read my post at Translating Success by following the link below.