The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Colleges nationwide embrace "global citizenship

By Matthew Stone

As Macalester implements its Institute for Global Citizenship, it is not alone in the world of academia.

Haverford College in Haverford, Pa., has had its Center for Peace and Global Citizenship in place since 1999.

To add to the mix, a host of similar initiatives have emerged more recently.

Tufts University in Medford, Mass., made news this past spring when alumnus Jonathan Tisch pledged $40 million toward the school’s College of Citizenship and Public Service, “a university-wide initiative to make the values and skills of active citizenship a hallmark of a Tufts…education,” the web site reads. The initiative now bears Tisch’s name.

Among others, Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, opened a Center for the Common Good in April and Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa., began its Center for Global Citizenship in 2004. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Franklin Pierce College and Lehigh University have also begun initiatives and certification programs focusing on global citizenship.

“These centers are really acknowledging the fact that we have the capacity and that we need to start serving more than those people who live outside our front door,” said Saran Donahoo, a professor of Education Administration and Higher Education at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Karin Trail-Johnson, Associate Dean for Macalester’s Institute, said that the implementation of other, similar programs is good news.

“We hope that we’re not the only one,” she said.

Institute planners considered other colleges’ global citizenship programs in preparing their own proposal. Trail-Johnson also attended a national conference on global citizenship last spring with 24 other colleges.

Each of the 25 colleges in attendance had developed 25 different definitions of global citizenship, Trail-Johnson said.

Despite the stated academic objectives of the programs, Donahoo said, the trend comes down to one common denominator-attracting donations.

“Donors really want to know what you’re doing and they want to know what they’re putting their money into,” she said, citing studies that show donors are more likely to contribute large amounts for specific programs. “People want to know what it is so they can say ‘I helped build this and it makes a big difference.'”

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