Monday, April 26, 2010

DGV Revisited

For the past two months, MVCC has hosted Khanh Nguyen, a visiting professor from our partner in Vietnam, Kien Giang Community College in the Mekong Delta. She has charmed us all and given everyone with the good fortune to spend any time with her the first-hand experience of living in a global society. This happens when the globe seems smaller and more complex than ever. The financial markets around the world are increasingly interconnected; our country is engaged in two wars, nearly a decade long now; much of the world has 24/7 information access; the Middle East remains as complex as ever; and natural disasters seem to be the new way we learn geography anymore. Locally, refugees and immigrants from around the world relocating to our area continue to diversify and bring a richness to our community.

As John Zogby states in his book, The Way We’ll Be, young adults are more apt to hold a passport, travel internationally, and plan to live in a foreign capitol city at some point in their lives than any other age group. In this new and ever-changing reality, exposure to people, cultures, and ideas that are different than our own and what we come across in our daily routines are essential to the 21st century college experience. MVCC has taken bold steps to ensure that our graduates are prepared to thrive in this emerging global society by, after more than two years of discussion, initiating a Diversity and Global View (DGV) requirement.

At graduation on May 21, the first cohort of MV graduates will have successfully completed the DGV requirement, a purposeful combination of coursework, online tutorials, and attendance at DGV-designated events in the greatly-expanded Cultural Series. Many faculty and staff have worked on various components of DGV and they should take pride in their results, and the College as a whole can certainly be proud of this unique and bold curricular endeavor. Recently, DGV was recognized with an Excellence in Education award from the Genesis Group; I wouldn't be surprised if regional and/or national awards follow.

As the DGV curriculum is further developed and strengthened, the challenge to our organization now is to infuse our commitment to Diversity and Global View to other parts of our operation. For example, our disability services for students continue to serve an increasing and ever-diversifying student population. In addition, the twenty tenure-track faculty positions currently advertised is a significant and timely opportunity for MVCC to further diversify our faculty ranks and further enact our commitment to DGV: the ad for the positions notes that experience in or willingness to work on international projects is a plus--so that MVCC will continue into the future to prepare our students for the ever-changing global marketplace. If you have any thoughts on this, please contact me at presblog@mvcc.edu.