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Becker College to Offer First U.S. Degree in Global Citizenship

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Becker College is now offering a new Bachelor of Arts in Global Citizenship.

This degree is the first of its kind in the United States.

“The Bachelor of Arts in Global Citizenship at Becker College responds to students’ sense of urgency to live the Becker mission and three of the College’s six core values of community, diversity, and social responsibility,” said Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D., president of Becker College.  “This degree is different from similar majors in global studies or international relations; it reflects a shift towards issues of social justice and human rights and provides a more engaged role for students as they adapt their scholarship to real-life applications and become true global citizen leaders.”

Global Citizenship

The bachelor’s degree in Global Citizenship is distinguished from programs in global studies and international relations because it emphasizes “servant leadership.” Becker’s goal is to develop within its students a deep sense of responsibility for stewardship of the world, so they graduate as true global citizens who can transform lives and communities. Servant leaders can make a difference in the world by giving back to our neighbors both near and far; becoming advocates or workers in these communities; and leaving the world a better place than they found it. Learning outcomes will include global perspectives; intercultural communication and cross-cultural adjustment; and social justice and sustainable development. Students can opt for one of six concentrations under the new major:  global health and development, global political economy, management, education, social justice, or environmental sustainability.

“Students are drawn to Becker because they identify with our vision and mission of global learning and citizenship,” said Kevin M.R. Mayne, vice president of enrollment management and global strategies. “This new major gives students a unique opportunity to participate in global social issues on a sophisticated level.  They’ll have the chance to experience this education outside of the classroom and in real-world situations—an invaluable skill set that helps create world ready, global citizens.”  

Global citizenship has been a cornerstone of the Becker College experience. In January 2014, Becker successfully completed work as a member of the tenth cohort of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Internationalization Laboratory, a 16-20 month learning community that assists participating institutions in developing a strategy for comprehensive Internationalization. Through the I-Lab, the College developed a global engagement strategy that supports Global Citizenship as a key attribute of the Becker student experience. In 2013, Becker opened the Center for Global Citizenship located on its Worcester Campus.

“We have a responsibility to teach our students about globalization and global citizenship,” said Dr. Debra Pallatto-Fontaine, faculty coordinator for the global citizenship program, and professor of teacher education and family studies at Becker College. “This degree will prepare students to show sensitivity to and respect for personal and cultural differences and a commitment to responsible global citizenship which includes personal engagement with underserved populations throughout the world.”

Multidisciplinary coursework

The bachelor’s degree in Global Citizenship integrates multidisciplinary coursework, language proficiency, opportunities for service learning through domestic and international travel, place-based community projects, and internships, and a year-long senior capstone seminar where students will synthesize the work of earlier courses and undertake action research. A central and distinguished feature of Becker’s global citizenship degree is that it prepares students to navigate complexity with an agile mindset, developing competencies in empathy, divergent thinking, an entrepreneurial outlook, and social and emotional intelligence. Graduates of the program are qualified for employment in a number of industries as well as for graduate study.

For more information on Becker’s bachelor’s degree in Global Citizenship, visit here, call 877.523.2537 or [email protected].


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