Diversity and Global Connections

The Diversity and Global Connections committee was formed in 2007, merging the college’s Diversity Committee and Global Education Committee to address global education, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Faculty, staff, and administrators have attended conferences, symposiums, and residential programs to better understand these concepts and how they need to become a part of the college’s mission. Carole Mehle-Bittner serves as the chair for the Diversity and Global Connections standing committee. She can be reached at mehlec@edgecombe.edu or (252) 618-6695.

ECC joined forces with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in an effort to learn more about these concepts and to utilize the tremendous resources available to the college through this collaboration. In the spring of 2005, ECC became a partner in World View, a special global education and globalization center based at UNC-CH. Consortium partners include Duke University and North Carolina State University. The resources and programs available through World View are offered to colleges and universities, community colleges, public and private schools, and any agency or individual who might be interested in learning more about global education and globalization issues. Since partnering with World View, ECC has sent more than fifty staff members to participate in its programs.

What Is Global Education?

Global education is a concerted effort on the part of educators, policymakers, cultural specialists, and the international business community to educate citizens throughout the world about the languages, cultures, customs, education, politics, economies, environments, etc., that impact all of our lives in ways not yet fully understood. Simply put, global education is learning about other people and cultures. It is an effort to recognize and appreciate our differences while embracing our similarities.

What Is Diversity?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines diversity as “the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc.” Edgecombe Community College’s population is definitely a diverse one; according to data from the North Carolina Community College system, slightly more than half our student population is non-white females.

What is Equity?

Put simply, equity means ensuring all our students are equipped to meet their needs while studying at ECC. It means meeting students where they are.

In the past, the Diversity and Global Connections Committee has sponsored the Global Education Weekly Link, the Global Education Spring Symposium, the Global Ed blog and the International Club, and coordinated diversity and global education opportunities for students and faculty.

The Global Education Weekly Link was distributed to college faculty and staff as a way to start discussions and suggest ideas to directly incorporate global and cultural awareness into the classrooms and curricula.

Each spring, the committee has hosted the Global Education Spring Symposium, featuring a focus topic and specialized concurrent sessions related to that topic. Past topics have included technology, poverty, world peace, world travel, and global citizenship.

The International Club is a campus organization that serves to foster global and cultural awareness for anyone in the ECC community. Interested parties should contact Carole Mehle-Bittner at mehlec@edgecombe.edu.

The Global Education Committee oversees the curricular efforts of the Diversity and Global Connections Committee. Composed of both faculty and staff, the committee seeks to encourage globalization and diversity throughout the academic endeavors of our students and works closely with the Jack and Gloria Gurganus Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence to offer culturally and ethnically diverse approaches to curricular efforts.

Each fall, the Diversity and Global Connections Committee recruits a cross-disciplinary team to attend UNC World View’s Community College Symposium. Teams have attended sessions on the global economy, human rights, technology, and other global interests.

In the fall of 2023, the Diversity and Global Connection Committee coordinated a study visit by the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research at NC State University on the topic of equity. The visit included panels composed of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees. The committee is planning future programming to respond to the results from the visit.