Attaining Global Perspective: Preparing Undergraduate Students for an Interdependent World
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International Studies programs have been in existence for quite some time, however with the world becoming more interdependent, their necessity is more important now than ever. The international education surge is possibly due to the fact that the 21st century requires vastly different skills from those of the past. Students entering the workforce are now confronted with the need for highly specialized skill sets that were once not necessary, but are now essential to stay competitive for jobs in the global economy. The purpose of this preliminary research is to gain a better understanding of the current level of student awareness regarding global perspective and whether pursuing international studies will prepare students to be more open to diverse attitudes than other majors at Texas State University-San Marcos. This research will use Robert G. Hanvey's, An Attainable Global Perspective, as the basis for what an international studies curriculum should include to foster student perspective change and willingness to understand global interdependence and its implications. This will be done by operationalizing Hanvey's article into a usable survey questionnaire. The questionnaire was created by taking each of Hanvey's five dimensions and breaking them down into measurable categories.
The results of the questionnaire show that both groups of students are often equal in their awareness of global perspectives. The questions that showed significant differences between the groups did favor the International Studies students as more cognizant of the topic discussed. However, this did not occur often enough to prove that International Studies premajors at Texas State University have a better grasp of global perspective than the other group of students.