Western Carolina University’s College of Education and Allied Professions, renowned for its commitment to nurturing innovative educators, recently launched the Global Leaders Scholars Program. This program, which began on October 26, 2023, represents a dedication not only to global education but also to ensuring that future teachers are equipped to prepare students for a globally competitive marketplace.
Collaborating with Participate Learning, a frontrunner in global educational strategies, the inaugural group of nine scholars embarked on their journey to become educators well-versed in global competencies. This initiative is pivotal in preparing educators who can, in turn, ready their K–12 students for a dynamic and interconnected global workforce.
Fostering global competencies in future educators
Dr. Kim Winter, dean at Western Carolina University, illuminated the essence of this partnership. “Our collaboration with Participate Learning is rooted in our strategic plan to cultivate globally minded professionals,” she said. “This program directly contributes to equipping future teachers with the necessary skills to support student career readiness in a global context.”
The program has received an enthusiastic response, notably from a substantial number of freshmen, signaling a robust future for global education. Dr. Winter remarked, “The eagerness of our students to engage in this program is a testament to their understanding of the importance of global education in today’s career landscape.”
The Global Leaders Scholars Program primarily focuses on equipping teachers with the skills to incorporate global awareness into their classrooms, ultimately enhancing student’s readiness for the global marketplace. “Our scholars are delving into how to create inclusive, globally conscious classrooms, which is crucial in preparing students to meet the challenges of a global economy,” Dr. Winter highlighted.
Preparing educators to nurture career readiness
Jake Henry, chief academic officer at Participate Learning, shared this vision. “At Participate Learning, we believe in connecting learning to real-world global challenges. This partnership is a seamless fit with Western Carolina University’s aim to mold educators who can foster global competitiveness in their students.”
The curriculum is designed to go beyond traditional learning, focusing on practical applications that empower educators to produce career-ready students. The program includes access to the Global Leaders Scholars Community of Practice, a dynamic and collaborative online professional learning space where scholars can earn digital badges and collaborate with one another, enhancing their ability to teach in a global context.
This partnership between Western Carolina University and Participate Learning marks a practical step forward in training educators in how to nurture students who can positively influence society. This initiative centers on equipping students with essential global skills and knowledge, crucial for excelling in a globally competitive job market. Additionally, this collaboration underscores the critical importance of global education in preparing students for their future careers. It serves as an effective model for integrating such elements into teacher training programs worldwide.