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Pittsburg State University
Project Title:International Knowledge and Experience CertificateInstitution Name:Pittsburg State University Innovation Category:International Education Project Director:Megan Corrigan, Assistant Director, International Programs and ServicesContact Information:(620) 235-4221, mcorriga@pittstate.eduWebsite: http://www.pittstate.edu/department/ike/international-knowledge-and-experience/index.dot
Project Description:The International Knowledge and Experience (IKE) Certificate recognizes students in any major who take steps to internationalize their college experience by granting them a certification, which is also noted on the student transcript.  The IKE certificate consists of three components of international experience – Study Abroad, Academic Courses, and Co-Curricular programming. IKE combines programs and courses that already exist at PSU and packages them into a comprehensive accounting. The intent is to give students a tangible way to demonstrate their interest in international perspectives. Students must complete two of three components to earn the certificate.
  1. To provide an avenue for students with an avid interest in international experiences to demonstrate that on their transcripts regardless of their major.
  2. To entice students who have a moderate interest in international experiences to carry it further in order to receive the credential. The program works within existing course offerings and does not affect student ability to graduate within four years.
  3. To cross departmental boundaries and highlight international content in disciplines that do not necessarily have a strong international focus.
  4. To include academic courses, study abroad programs and co-curricular activities from across campus for a comprehensive approach to gaining international experience.
  1. Our main goal is to emphasize that PSU students need international skills and experiences to be competitive for careers in the 21st Century and that IKE can help them demonstrate these skills and experiences. Over 850 students have enrolled in the program, and 58 students have completed the program since its inception in 2008.
  2. Courses that count towards IKE come from all four colleges – the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education and the College of Technology.
Challenges/Problems Encountered:With the Provost’s support for this initiative, few implementation problems were encountered. A faculty representative to the Internationalization Council presented the program to the Faculty Senate and gained their support. One difficulty was that we went through several iterations of program names before finding one that could be agreed upon. One challenge was publicizing the new program and giving students enough detail that they could determine whether it was something of interest to them. A description was added to the 2009-2011 University Catalog. A very effective strategy was visiting every section of the Freshman Experience class to explain the program in detail to students.
Evaluation Approach:We evaluated the program’s success by tracking the numbers of students enrolled. We administer the program online through the ANGEL Learning Management Suite, entering; students who sign up each semester in a different team. This allows us to know at any time how many students are active in the program, how long they have been active, and how close they are to completion.
Potential for Replication:Because the program works within existing offerings and programs, the potential for replication is high. We modeled our program on similar programs at the University of Kansas and Boston College. One circumstance that we took into account was that international students were interested in participating. We adjusted the criteria to allow them credit for their previous international experience. Another was that graduate students are interested in the program. This also required adjustments.
Additional Resources:Global Awareness Program at the University of Kansas
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Steve Scott , Presidentsascott@pittstate.edu
(620) 235-4100
Date Published: Thursday, May 5, 2011