General Education for a Global Century Publications

Diversity & Democracy, Spring 2014
Diversity & Democracy, Spring 2014

In the twenty-first century, the connections between local occurrences and global systems—financial, technological, natural, ideological—are more apparent than ever. This issue of Diversity & Democracy explores the global learning students need to grapple with this complexity while preparing for responsible action in the world.Read more

Global Learning: Defining, Designing, Demonstrating

Global Learning: Defining, Designing, Demonstrating is a joint publication of NAFSA: Association of International Educators and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

The goal of this publication is to provide a definition and rationale for “global learning,” which is a term widely used across higher education, although faculty, staff, and practitioners do not always agree about what it means.  By exploring how the term and the ideas behind it are evolving, global learning is placed in the context of several important overlapping higher education change efforts.  

A shared vocabulary of global learning outcomes can help campus practitioners build valuable alliances that extend beyond those offices, departments, and individuals typically assumed to hold primary responsibility for the global mission of an institution. These expanded alliances...

Diversity and Democracy, Winter 2013
Diversity & Democracy, Winter 2013

Diversity & Democracy, Winter 2013: This issue features examples of creative leadership and action that advance higher education's civic purposes through transformative partnerships, both at home and abroad.Read more

Diversity & Democracy, Spring 2011
Diversity & Democracy, Spring 2011

Today's students face critical challenges that will require both global knowledge and scientific literacy. This issue of Diversity & Democracy examines the vital learning that can occur at the intersections of these strands of thought, where global learning provides a frame for scientific thinking and science forms the basis of global understanding.Read more

Global Learning VALUE Rubric (pdf)

Effective and transformative global learning offers students meaningful opportunities to analyze and explore complex global challenges, collaborate respectfully with diverse others, apply learning to take responsible action in contemporary global contexts, and evaluate the goals, methods, and consequences of that action. Global learning should enhance students' sense of identity, community, ethics, and perspective-taking. Global learning is based on the principle that the world is a collection of interdependent yet inequitable systems and that higher education has a vital role in expanding knowledge of human and natural systems, privilege and stratification, and sustainability and development to foster individuals' ability to advance equity and justice at home and abroad.

Full Global Learning VALUE Rubric Description

Peer Review, Fall 2009
Peer Review, Fall 2009

Peer Review, Fall, 2009: Features articles on best practices in campus study abroad programs, research on the impact of study abroad, and analysis of the role and limitations of study abroad as a strategy for global learning.Read more

The Handbook of Practice and Research in Study Abroad: Higher Education and the Quest for Global Citizenship

Co-published by AAC&U and Routledge, this book is a comprehensive survey of the study abroad and global learning fields. Each chapter conveys an enthusiasm for study abroad alongside a critical assessment of the most up-to-date research, theory and practice. The volume brings together the insights of expert academics, senior administrators, practitioners of study abroad, and policy makers from across the United States, Canada, and other parts of the world. Among its many chapters, the book includes a chapter on globalizing the curriculum co-authored by Kevin Hovland and Caryn McTighe Musil of AAC&U, along with Ellen Skilton-Sylvester, Associate Professor, Arcadia University, and Amy Jamison, Michigan State University doctoral candidate. This book is an indispensable reference volume for scholars, higher education faculty, study abroad professionals, policy makers, and the academic libraries that serve these audiences.

Executive Summary of College Learning for the New Global Century

This 2008 edition of the Executive Summary includes a short summary of College Learning for the New Global Century, as well as highlights from surveys of employers conducted in 2006 and 2007. The survey findings detail the skills and knowledge areas on which employers want colleges and universities to place more emphasis, how and why they value a liberal education, and their views on assessment approaches. This publication is ideal for use with external audiences and with regents and boards of trustees retreats and meetings.


This package contains resources designed to help practitioners communicate the value of a liberal education in the new global century.

Diversity & Democracy, Fall 2007

Global learning gives students the tools to engage ethically in an inter-dependent world, both at home in the U.S. and in international contexts. With the support of the Luce Foundation and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, AAC&U’s Shared Futures: General Education for Global Learning project guides institutions through the process of globalizing education for all students.Read more


This signature national report from the National Leadership Council guiding the LEAP initiative clarifies the aims and outcomes of a twenty-first-century college education . It is also a report about the promises we need to make--and keep--to all students who aspire to a college education, especially to those for whom college is a route, perhaps the only possible route, to a better future. This report, based on extensive input both from educators and employers, responds to the new global challenges today's students faculty. It describes the learning contemporary students need from college, and what it will take to help them achieve it.

Shared Futures: Global Learning and Liberal Education

This publication by Kevin Hovland examines the evolving definitions of global learning in the context of previous reform efforts in the areas of diversity, democracy, and civic engagement. It also illuminates how global learning converges with the most powerful current models of liberal education.

Assessing Global Learning: Matching Good Intentions with Good Practice

Assessing Global Learning is designed to help colleges and universities construct and assess the impact of multiple, well-defined, developmental pathways through which students can acquire global learning. Specific program examples demonstrate how and where curricular and co-curricular learning can be embedded at various levels from individual courses to institutional mission. The publication argues for establishing clear global learning goals that inform departments, divisions, and campus life and suggests assessment frameworks. Includes a sample quantitative assessment survey and several assessment templates.

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Global Collaborations: The Role of Higher Education in Diverse Democracies (India, South Africa, the United States)

Written as a companion to Diversity, Democracy, and Higher Education: A View from Three Nations, this volume continues to explore the challenges posed by diversity to democratic societies within the context of higher education. Includes perspectives from the three countries who participated in the Ford Foundation's Tri-National Seminar on Diversity and Higher Education. Frames some parameters for a new kind of global education that would be comparative in nature, reciprocal in practice, and committed to social justice.

 Globalizing Knowledge: Connecting International and Intercultural Studies

In recent decades, we have had separate movements to reform curricula both by "internationalizing" them and by recognizing the diversity that characterizes the United States. But on most campuses, the study of the rest of the world and the study of "America" have developed in almost complete independence of each other. This paper argues that these movements are concerned with many of the same issues, and it makes a strong case for their intersection in our goals for student learning and programs.