CSB/SJU wins internationalization award

Honor recognizes outstanding achievements in internationalization

March 7, 2012

By Mike Killeen

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University have received the 2012 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The award was announced March 6 by NAFSA.

Named for the late senator from Illinois, the award recognizes outstanding and innovative achievements in campus internationalization. Simon was a strong supporter of international education and foreign language learning.

Besides CSB/SJU, four other schools also received the award - Juniata College (Huntingdon, Pa.), Northern Arizona University, San Francisco State University and the University of Michigan.

"We are being recognized for 'comprehensive internationalization,' " said Joe Rogers, director of the Center for Global Education at CSB and SJU. "This is another way of saying the degree to which we have built international ideas, perspectives and learning opportunities into all aspects of our campus community and into all phases of our students' four-year experience. This is reflected in the support we receive from institutional leadership, the committed and internationally minded faculty, our international education staff and our globally engaged student body."

Internationalization at CSB and SJU has achieved great success. CSB and SJU has been the top-ranked baccalaureate institution for the number of students enrolled in semester-long study abroad programs for the past two years. During the 2009-10 school year, there were more international students attending CSB and SJU than any other private college in Minnesota.

With the launch of the Center for Global Education in 2010 and the establishment of the Global Center Advisory Council - a group composed of faculty from all four academic divisions and administrators from Academic Affairs, international student admissions and programming, Education Abroad and Fine Arts Programming - CSB and SJU have created a structure to support and sustain this comprehensive approach to internationalization.

CSB and SJU internationalization initiatives are focused in three areas: developing a globally competent faculty, a curriculum which is embedded with intercultural and global content and students who graduate prepared for life in an interconnected and globally competitive world.

One-third of the CSB and SJU faculty have led a school-sponsored international trip. During the last five years, more than 75 faculty members have participated in 14 school-sponsored faculty development trips to 11 countries.

Recent curricular developments have included the launch of a new Asian Studies major in 2009, and the reshaping of the Business Management department following a two-year review, making global leadership the focus of the new major and changing the name of the department to Global Business Leadership.

CSB and SJU will be featured in NAFSA's report, Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities, to be published this fall. CSB and SJU will also be honored at an event during International Education Week in November in Washington, D.C.