Diversity and Global Connections

The Diversity and Global Connections committee was formed several years ago. Edgecombe Community College has put the people and the pieces in place to address both global education and globalization. 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 Globalization?

Globalization, as defined by Webster, is the attempt or process of making programs, cultures, education, and economics worldwide in scope or application. Globalization is a comprehensive term for the emergence of a global society in which economic, political, environmental, and cultural events in one part of the world quickly come to have significance for people in other parts of the world.

Globalization, according to Pulitzer Prize Winner Thomas L. Friedman, is the inexorable integration of markets, nation-states, and technologies to a degree never witnessed before in a way that is enabling individuals, corporations, and nation-states to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than ever before, and in a way that is enabling the world to reach into individuals, corporations and nation-states farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than ever before.

The Diversity and Global Connections Committee sponsors the Global Education Weekly Link, the Global Education Spring Symposium, and the International Club, and coordinates diversity and global education opportunities for students and faculty. Also, part of the Diversity and Global Connections Committee is the Global Education Committee.

The Global Education Weekly Link is 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 hosts 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.

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.

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.