M. Lagrimas

Mount Saint Mary's University (UNITED STATES)
Since industrialization and the age of technology, the world we live in has increasingly become interdependent, interconnected, and culturally diverse. The industrialization process has been a catalyst for the convergence of a collective global society. Because of our collective global society, the need to transform and push the boundaries of teaching cultural competency to better prepare our students increases in importance as time goes on. Within recent years, the Sociology Department at our University has been shifting towards a much larger global human rights scope across its department majors and courses and just this past year, the College has included “global awareness and learning,” as an aspect for its strategic plan by including it in one of its Pillars of Distinction. This paper studied outcomes of past short-term travel study programs offered through the Sociology Department through qualitative research methods. Data was collected from focus groups of past student participants, reviewing past student participants reflections/evaluations, and minutes from an end of the year assessment meeting of core Sociology Department full-time faculty. Student participant findings include broad themes of personal growth, educational growth, and professional growth. Preliminary findings were presented to the full-time faculty of the Sociology Department for a revision of their assessment plan to include a global human rights scope. Additionally, data collected will be used for the revision of effective pedagogy towards our students’ preparedness and heightened global citizenship, global awareness, and global learning within the department, specifically for the department’s short-term travel study courses.