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July 11, 2013 Volume 34, No. 33

Mizzou undergraduate certificate program in digital global studies going strong


Program’s advisory committee includes 19 faculty

In an effort to help students gain the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the global job market, MU is offering MU Global Connect (MGC), an interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate in digital global studies. The first introductory seminar was offered last spring.

The certificate is designed to prepare students in any discipline for a new global reality, said Monika Fischer, the program’s facilitator. Fischer is leading the MGC advisory committee, which includes 19 faculty members from a variety of disciplines.

Requirements for the 15-credit hour certificate include an introductory seminar, two elective courses, experiential learning and a concluding seminar. The two core seminars serve as the framework for the certificate and provide a common basis for students from various disciplines. Electives are selected from a list of approved course options, representing two different disciplines that call attention to global and digital components. 

An emphasis is being placed on the experiential learning element, said Fischer, an associate director of the Honors College who has taught in the German and Russian Studies Department since 2005. That component will include a hands-on learning experience that will vary, depending on the student’s field of study and interests. The experiences can be studying abroad, service learning or internships at MU or with a local, national or international organization. 

“Our goal is to expand learning on an experiential level,” Fischer said. “We want this certificate to be project-oriented, which means students get applied experiences that will give them a personal view of globalization and how digital technologies are playing a role in the interconnected world in which we now live.”

Unique collaborative projects, surveying of digital media use in developing countries and analysis of global trends in communication are part of the certificate. 

“I believe strongly in providing students an opportunity for a global learning experience so they can be committed citizens in the global community,” Fischer said. “It is more than just learning about global issues. It is about experiencing them.”

The certificate is administered by the MU Center for the Digital Globe (CDiG) and funded through a two-year Mizzou Advantage grant. For more information, call the center’s office at 882-4991.

— Josh Murray