Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) today applauded Glenville State College for being one of only three schools nationwide selected by The American Council on Education (ACE) and the State University of New York Collaborative Online International Learning (SUNY COIL) Center for the inaugural internationalization online learning award.
The winning institutions, which also included Xavier University (OH) and Fayetteville State (NC), were recently honored at SUNY’s 6th annual Collaborative Online International Learning Conference in New York City.
“This promising news aligns well with the Commission’s goal to promote and support the internationalization efforts of our institutions,” said Paul Hill, the Commission’s Chancellor. “We believe internationalization through technology will serve as an excellent strategy to support cross-cultural academic experiences.”
The Advancing Internationalization through Collaborative Online International Learning awards are part of an Asahi Net International-sponsored program that recognizes and promotes the use of technology to enhance global learning among students at U.S. colleges and universities.
“We are pleased to partner with the SUNY COIL Center and Asahi Net International on these awards, which will help Xavier University, Glenville State College and Fayetteville State University harness technology to offer their students excellent opportunities for international learning,” said Patti McGill Peterson, ACE’s presidential advisor for global initiatives. “Not every student has the opportunity to study abroad, but the types of innovative approaches the SUNY COIL Center bring to the table, alongside other on-campus internationalization efforts, will ultimately aid higher education institutions in bringing the wider world into the classroom.”
The award will provide training and support from the SUNY COIL Center, in collaboration with ACE, to help Glenville State develop two collaborative online international pilot courses with the University of Oviedo in Asturias, Spain.
“The project will provide an extraordinary opportunity for faculty and students at Glenville State College to work closely with faculty and students at the University of Oviedo in Spain through the use of online communication tools,” said John Peek, Provost of Glenville State College. “The multidisciplinary content of the courses, linking the shared history of West Virginia and the Asturias region of Spain, will provide students and faculty with opportunities to work collaboratively in multi-cultural groups.”
The courses provided are multidisciplinary and draw directly on the shared history of West Virginia and Asturias. During the early 20th century, several families immigrated to West Virginia from this region on Spain’s northern coast. The Glenville State College-University of Oviedo connection represents an institutional connection between the two regions that is the first of its kind.
A descendant of the Asturian community in West Virginia commented, “This project will bring the more than 100 year connection between our regions full circle. I’m happy to see that Glenville State College and the University of Oviedo recognize the powerful intersections of Appalachia and Asturias. It’s a great day to be an Asturian and a West Virginian.”
Courses on both sides of the ocean will draw on history between the two communities and bring students and faculty together in collaborative, multi-cultural groups.