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Honors in Practice, v13 p141-160 2017

Competency-based approaches to education are becoming increasingly common in higher education. One of the key principles of competency-based education is flexibility, which "allows students to progress as they demonstrate mastery of academic content, regardless of time, place, or pace of learning" (U.S. Department of Education). In some examples of competency-based approaches in collegiate honors education, students may fulfill honors requirements through experiences outside of the traditional classroom. While the degree to which honors programs might award actual credits for experiences taking place outside of the classroom varies across programs, the value in learning gained through experiences and based on student needs is clearly expressed in key recommendations for honors programs by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) and as stated in the first characteristic of its guidelines, "Basic Characteristics of a Fully Developed Honors Program." This paper presents the findings of a study focusing on one of three competencies at the Minnesota State University, Mankato (MNSU) Honors Program--the global citizenship competency--and its potential application to other programs with competency-based education or the inclusion of intercultural competency as a key component in their curriculum. The focus of the study was to gauge students' perspectives on the language requirement as part of the global citizenship competency, not as a stand-alone requirement, in order to help students see the critical connections of the language component to the broader competency. Data came from an anonymous survey sent to all sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the program. The survey was designed to solicit students' views on the value of the global citizenship competency requirement, their understanding of the purpose and requirements associated with the competency, and the program experiences designed to help students develop their competency. Students clearly understand the purpose of the global citizenship competency (94%) and what is expected of them in relation to the competency requirement (92%). In addition, students overwhelmingly agree with the values associated with the global citizenship competency, namely that it is important to be able to work with people from various cultures and backgrounds in their future profession (100%). The results of the survey demonstrate the need for MNSU's program to better communicate regarding the various experiences that exist to help students develop their global citizenship competency.

Descriptors: Honors Curriculum, Student Attitudes, Required Courses, Global Approach, Second Language Learning, Competency Based Education, Leadership Training, Student Research, Undergraduate Students, Citizenship Education, Student Surveys, Cultural Awareness, Consciousness Raising, Communication Skills

National Collegiate Honors Council. 1100 Neihardt Residence Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 540 North 16th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Tel: 402-472-9150; Fax: 402-472-9152; e-mail: nchc[at]unl.edu; Web site: http://nchchonors.org





Author: Malecha, Katelynn; Dahlman, Anne

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=953&id=EJ1138626







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