Toolkit Resources


Definitions of Global Learning

As institutions seek to be more intentional about their global learning, many institutions have guiding definitions of global learning.  Here is a list of definitions from a variety of AAC&U member institutions.

Dozens of individuals from a variety of disciplines and institutions created this definition of global learning as part of AAC&U’s Shared Futures: Global and Social Responsibility initiative.  They defined global learning as

 “. . . a critical analysis of and an engagement with complex, interdependent global systems and legacies (such as natural, physical, social, cultural, economic, and political) and their implications for people's lives and the earth's sustainability.”

Arcadia University

Carnegie Classification: Master's Colleges & Universities: Larger Programs

Global Learning Definition:
Global engagement at Arcadia University prepares students for lives of informed contribution in a rapidly changing global society. Through strategic institutional partnerships and innovative academic, experiential and co-curricular programming expressed in diverse and challenging global contexts, students learn to think critically, observe skillfully, reflect thoughtfully and participate meaningfully.

Dickinson College

Carnegie Classification: Baccalaureate Colleges: Arts & Sciences Focus

Global Philosophy Definition:
Dickinson students utilize the timeless rigors of liberal learning to confront the most critical challenges of our globalized age. Foreign language study, regional and area studies, and the interdisciplinary investigation of the causes and consequences of globalization: these three elements comprise the core of our approach to Global Study at the College.  Far from being fragmented or oppositional, these elements--like most things in our era--are interconnected and accreting.


John Carroll University

Carnegie Classification: Master's Colleges & Universities: Larger Programs

Global Learning Definition:
Vision Statement for an institutional model of global competence learning outcomes: All John Carrol graduates will demonstrate the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to empathize, value difference and communicate across it, recognize interdependencies, adapt to change, and promote social justice in a global context.

Definition of Global Competence: Global competence reflects a performance-based developmental process in which learners acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes in four dimensions that encompass a range of interactions, beginning with the individual and expanding outward to incorporate the global. These four dimensions are: self and others, interaction, interdependence, and globalization.
Global Learning Outcomes

Kennesaw State University

Carnegie Classification: Doctoral Universities: Moderate Research Activity

Global Learning for Engaged Citizenship is defined as an educational process that enhances one’s competencies for participating productively and responsibly in the diverse, international, intercultural, and interdependent world. Global learning opportunities exist in the academic curriculum and in co-curricular experiences, and can be pursued both at home and abroad.
Global Learning Outcomes

Michigan State University

Carnegie Classfication: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity

Global Learning at MSU:
An undergraduate experience should instill in students the capacity to effect positive change in their world. This generation of students should be known for the depth and breadth of their individual abilities and for the power of their collective intelligence: including the ability to apply comprehensive knowledge of a discipline, to understand the complex nature of systems, to use advanced technologies in innovative ways, and to apply professional qualities necessary to navigate among and lead members of multifunctional teams in order to address complex global challenges.  Undergraduate education should be understood as the foundation for students’ continuing growth and development.  It should promote the knowledge, attitudes, and abilities that prepare students to become global-ready citizens, effective members of diverse communities, and lifelong learners.
Global Learning Outcomes

Nebraska Wesleyan University

Carnegie Classification: Master's Colleges & Universities: Medium Programs

Global Learning Definition:
In an increasingly diverse world where global migration is increasing at a rapid pace, where inequality based on heritage is built into social systems, and where the societal problems facing all of humanity will require the minds, voices, and actions of individuals from every background, students must have a deeper understanding of the diverse nature of their world. This deeper understanding will allow for movement toward social justice.
Global Learning Outcomes

University of South Florida

Carnegie Classification: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity

USF defines global learning within the context of global citizenship. Specifically, we define a global citizen as someone who engages meaningfully and effectively with diverse people, places, events, opportunities, and challenges. Our student learning outcomes for the Global Citizens Project are divided into cognitive and affective/conative domains (see below) and grouped into three broader competencies (global awareness, global responsibility, and global participation) in our conceptual framework found at
Global Learning Outcomes

University of Wyoming

Carnegie Classification: Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity

Definition of Internationalization:
The Leadership Team adopted ACE’s definition of internationalization and added a brief statement in order to help situate that definition in UW’s specific context. This statement was adopted under the title of ‘What Internationalization Means for the University of Wyoming’. It reads as follows:

“The American Council on Education defines internationalization as ‘the process of integrating an international, intercultural, or global dimension into the teaching, research, and service functions of the institution.’ How the University of Wyoming utilizes this definition is shaped by its context, history, and mission.

“UW’s setting in the rural Rocky Mountain West creates certain challenges for internationalization. Its relative isolation makes it all the more important that the UW community be exposed to the complexities of an interdependent, global society and to comprehend and value diversity. UW’s commitment to internationalization is clearly stated in University Plan Three:

‘UW will cultivate an environment that attracts international scholars and students, we will enhance our students’ international awareness through the curriculum, and we will expand opportunities for UW students to study abroad.‘

“This commitment demonstrates our recognition of the importance of providing international perspectives to our students, positioning them for competitive success in the 21st century workforce, and providing value to our partners throughout Wyoming.”

“As Wyoming’s sole research university, we embrace the opportunity to extend internationalization not just on the Laramie campus, but throughout UW’s state--‐wide presence, and in partnership with our community college and K--‐12 colleagues.”