Advancing Global Workforce Initiatives
By Linda Mann
Collaboration between Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana University Bloomington has grown for the past two decades and facilitated stronger global education initiatives for both institutions. When administrators and faculty came together in 2018, they discussed the need for new credentials that would offer community college students the opportunity to strengthen their workforce preparation through global competence and employability skills. Over the next year, Ivy Tech courses were evaluated and selected for the Global Workforce Skills Certificate. Introduction and Capstone courses were also created by Ivy Tech Community College faculty to complete the curriculum for the 21 credit hours certificate.
The new certificate was approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education in 2020, and housed in the School of Business. It requires students to complete fifteen credit hours from the Schools of Business, Education, Agriculture, Health Care, Communication, Social Science or Humanities, in addition to the Introduction and Capstone courses. The Introduction course (GLOB 101), provides modules for Global Indiana, Global Supply Chain, Global Competencies, Decision Making in a Global Environment, Intercultural Communication, Global Economy and Diversity in Communication.
Last year sixty Ivy Tech students enrolled in the GWSC Introduction and Capstone courses. Through Title VI funding, student focus groups were conducted with those who completed either course. The feedback will allow Ivy Tech Community College educators the opportunity to strengthen curriculum and marketing. Thomas P. Miller Associates (TPMA) provided a summary of the interviews, noting that students’ remarks were significantly positive in descriptions of the Introduction course content and style of instruction: worthy and interesting, opening eyes to see the business connections with different cultures, religions and politics, an amazing course and well presented, [providing] much-needed cultural competence education.
During January 2022, the IUB Global Employability Project worked with TPMA and the Indiana Chambers of Commerce to disseminate an e-survey to Indiana employers. Survey questions were developed by IUB, IUPUI and Ivy Tech Community College educators. TPMA received the survey results and prepared a summary report for contributing partners. Sixty-four percent of the (61) Indiana employers who responded indicated their organization has international ties that include import/export of goods or services, foreign ownership, or foreign direct investment.
For management level positions, nearly two thirds of employer respondents indicated global competency and world language proficiencies are beneficial for hiring or promotion. Understanding of intercultural communications and the global workplace (63%) and world language proficiency (49%) were the most prioritized survey attributes in hiring employees.
Another focus for the IUB Global Employability Project has been professional development with CTE Educators. During July 2022, the Global Employability Project coordinated a hybrid K-12 CTE teacher workshop, Internationalizing Work-Based Learning Connections for Indiana CTE Programs. Eleven CTE teachers created a small, engaged group that traveled from diverse regions of the state to Hoosier Hills Career Center for the first workshop session on July 12th. Director of IU Center for the Study of Global Change, Eli Konwest, shared global education resources for classroom use. Asia Society facilitator, Heather Singmaster, provided a context for global competence, global leadership performance outcomes, and career ready practices that integrate with Indiana K-12 Academic and Employability skills. The morning session was complemented by a lunchtime business panel that addressed workforce opportunities and needs. Christi McBride, Hoosier Hills Career Center Director, facilitated the panel and teachers also provided questions. Employers explained what they seek in applicants when hiring or promoting. The ability to work in diverse environments, communicate respectfully with others and participation in internships were mentioned consistently. Employers noted the growth of international business within Indiana and the nation. CTE teachers voiced appreciation for hearing directly from the business leaders and being able to share the information with students.
Asynchronous study from Asia Society global education courses included templates to draft classroom curriculum. At the second workshop session, held virtually on July 22, IU CIBER Program Manager, Ryan Craven provided work-based learning resources within a global education framework. Ivy Tech Community College Coordinator of Global Education, Emily Watson, presented on new global education programs. Heather Singmaster and IUB CGC staff engaged with teachers regarding their development of a new curriculum. CTE teachers earned Certificates for 15 Professional Growth Points, a participation stipend and travel allowance.
CTE Centers from across the state collaborated with us in marketing and planning the workshops. These included the McKenzie Institute of Technology, Hoosier Hills Career Center, Greater Lafayette Career Academy and Walker Career Center. Indiana University’s CGC and CIBER contributed funding, staff presentations and implementation of the workshops. Each IU National Resource Center also contributed funding and support this year for the CTE professional development, promotion of the Global Workforce Skills Certificate and other global education projects.