This fall marks the first semester of the global studies major, an interdisciplinary program that integrates courses in 12 departments and trains students to develop research, critical thinking, writing and language skills.
Global Studies Program Director and Political Science Professor Devin Hagerty wrote an op-ed published in Inside Higher Ed that introduces the program and argues that a liberal arts education is essential in developing a “global competence” among students:
Broadly defined, global competence is “the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance.” Its central elements include knowledge of world affairs — cultural, economic, and political; proficiency in communicating with people in and from other societies, both verbally and in writing; the ability to appreciate multiple perspectives and respect cultural diversity; and the intellectual and psychological flexibility to adapt to unfamiliar and rapidly changing circumstances.
Hagerty describes how majors in the program take courses in economics, geography and environmental systems and history among others and are required to study abroad and achieve fluency in a foreign language.
“Developing the skills that we hope to instill in UMBC’s global studies majors is an inherently interdisciplinary mission,” Hagerty wrote.
You can read the full op-ed in Inside Higher Ed here.