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Alliant Integrates International with Multicultural in its Educational Focus

In its effort to better prepare professionals for the global reality, Alliant International University is integrating both an international and multicultural focus to its curriculum and professional practical training.

For the past year, Alliant has been participating in a prestigious, national project by the American Council on Education (ACE) entitled, “At Home in the World,” which is aimed at integrating internationalization and multicultural education initiatives in higher education.   Along with seven other institutions named to the project, Alliant is developing ways to integrate both curricular and co-curricular international and diversity efforts to better prepare students to be competent professionals in an increasingly global world.

Since the fall of 2011, a cross-disciplinary Alliant team has planned and launched an intercultural curricula transformation pilot project in several psychology and business programs in the U.S. and Mexico. Through this project, Alliant has developed intercultural competencies to be included in key courses, developed novel assessment tools and created innovative methods for students to competently engage across cultures.

Alliant has already begun to share promising preliminary results from the pilot at international and diversity conferences. The team will continuously work to improve the new curricula as more outcome results come forth. Ultimately, new intercultural curricula will be extended to other programs across the university. The "At Home in the World" pilot has been instrumental in Alliant pursuing its larger goal of becoming an international leader in global professional practice education that prepares students to solve real problems across the world.

Most recently, a number of thought leaders in Alliant’s core faculty joined efforts to contribute to the newly released book, “Internationalizing Multiculturalism: Expanding Professional Competencies in a Globalized World.” Similar to the ACE project, this book attempts to broaden the concept of multiculturalism (race, gender, sexual orientation and religion) to encompass internationalism (country of origin). In other words, it internationalizes multiculturalism.

The book, published by the American Psychological Association (APA), is edited by Distinguished Professor Rodney L. Lowman. It features chapters by many important authors in the field, including many current and former Alliant faculty authors, including: Drs. Wendy Chung, Nurcan Ensari, Louise Kelly, Sue Kuba, Beth Limberg, Denise Lopez, Estela Matriano, Monique Taylor and Danny Wedding.

The book argues that professionals in all fields can perform more effectively by enhancing both their multicultural and international competencies. Alliant contributors, who drew from both research and personal experience, apply these concepts to real-world professional practice in business, mental health and education — three areas that are especially well positioned to impact the health and well-being of clients, employees and customers.  Although the book was intentionally written for all professionals, it is especially relevant to psychologists, business leaders and educators – many of the professions Alliant trains for.

Get more information on “Internationalizing Multiculturalism: Expanding Professional Competencies in a Globalized World.