Avila Now

January 16, 2015

School of Education to Launch Two New International Programs in Fall 2015

International Kids pose for photo

Avila University’s School of Education will offer two new international education degrees in the fall of 2015 designed for students – both international and domestic – who want to go on to careers with institutions, agencies and schools around the world.

  • International Education & Advocacy is a bachelor of arts degree designed to prepare aspiring professionals for careers teaching and advocating holistically for children and youth in and beyond educational settings. The program will prepare learners to support the physical, emotional, social and cognitive needs of children and youth across cultural contexts. It includes options for international field experiences.
  • International Education & Leadership is a master of arts program focusing on education both as an instrument for international development and as a means of promoting cross-cultural understanding and collaboration. The program will help learners understand how to make decisions and implement practices that have the global good in mind. Students will gain a sense of global citizenship and an appreciation of the interdependence of the world’s diverse people. Learners also gain practical knowledge and skills in project implementation, grant writing, research and evaluation. Students must have a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 to be admitted to this M.A. program.

“We are thrilled about expanding our international offerings,” said Karen Garber-Miller, Ph.D., dean in the School of Education. “We have more than 80 international students here studying in the Intensive Language and Culture Program (ILCP). We look forward to offering programs that will provide valuable skills and experiences for these students as well as our domestic students. We want to help prepare learners to work in education, advocacy and leadership in their own countries as well as with global audiences within the United States. As well, we welcome the opportunity to promote and enhance service in the global context. As an added benefit, our traditional teacher education students will have expanded opportunities for cross-cultural interaction.”

Outcomes of the International Education and Advocacy undergraduate degree include professional communication, critical thinking, decision making and professionalism. Coursework includes developmental and educational psychology, multicultural educational foundations and language and literacy in the global context, as well as cross cultural and international field experiences.

Courses for the International Education and Leadership master’s program include cultural sensitivity and global citizenry, education in conflict and post-conflict settings and grant writing and management for education and community development. The program also includes an international/global field experience in addition to a project seminar. The master’s program features eight-week courses delivered in the evening hours.

Garber-Miller said these programs are ideally suited for students wanting to work nationally or internationally for youth and family-centric causes and with Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), the Peace Corps, international schools, or other humanitarian organizations. Learners will leave prepared to work with immigrants, refugees, migrant workers and other global populations.

“More education programs of this nature are found on the coasts,” Garber-Miller said. “We are looking forward to making Avila University a hub in the middle of the country offering global programs.”

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