The Graduate School of Education and Human Development will launch a new certificate program this spring focused on preparing local teachers to effectively educate international students.
The program will help K-12 teachers add international topics to public school curricula to show how current events and foreign cultures impact increasingly diverse classroom.
Karen Kortecamp, who will co-direct the program, said the idea for the certificate originally came in 2009 as a way to introduce students to international issues while incorporating new media technology in teaching.
“Given the presence in our local schools of students from multiple countries and the increasing globalization of our society, I felt there was a need for a program that addressed perspectives of and current movements in internationalizing education,” Kortecamp said.
The program includes two core courses centered on internationalizing U.S. schools and K-12 curriculum development. Elective course topics range from language and culture to regional content.
Laura Engel, also a co-director of the certificate program, said it would allow prospective students to take four classes in a three-semester period without having to fully commit to a rigorous schedule.
While college students tend to have more global perspectives, Engel said the certificate targets education for a younger population as a way to introduce global topics earlier on.
“The events happening in the world show off that globalization is part of our everyday life,” she said, adding that it’s important to help teachers and administrators “critically reflect international affairs within their curricula.”
Engel, an assistant professor of international education and international affairs, said the goal is to have five new students in its first semester and then expand to enroll 12 students annually.
The certificate program will cater to young professionals with busy schedules who might not be ready to enroll in a degree program as well as administrators who are looking to expand their knowledge of global education systems.
Katie Weigel, a second-year master’s student and an executive assistant in the graduate school’s international education program, will act as the first point of contact for applicants to the program. She said the internationally oriented certificate may be especially useful for local educators.
“An example would be a current K-12 teacher in the D.C. area who doesn’t have a master’s, is rather busy and is teaching in a multicultural classroom,” she said. “The courses are offered in the evenings, which also makes it easier for working professionals to complete the certificate.”
Existing faculty will teach the courses, along with a new adjunct faculty hire from the Washington International School in Northwest D.C.
This article was updated on Nov. 3, 2011 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly spelled the last names of Laura Engel, the co-director of the graduate certificate, and Katie Weigel, an executive assistant in the international education program. Their names were written as Engels and Wiegel.