How does the Global Scholars program prepare students for the professional world?

Emory & Henry College students must be prepared for the world of work in the 21st century. Research by the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) Career Readiness Key Competencies, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, American Council on Education (ACE), and the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that university graduates who have cultural fluency, multicultural experience, and knowledge of a second language have a competitive advantage in the 21st-century employment marketplace.

Students who are educated as global citizens are more likely to engage in behaviors that reflect intergroup empathy, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability, and are less likely to exhibit prejudice and intolerance.

Demand for Global Citizens in the Workplace

The American Association of Colleges & Universities sponsored two surveys in 2018—one of 501 business executives at private sector and nonprofit organizations and another of 500 hiring managers whose current job responsibilities include recruiting, interviewing, and/or hiring new employees. Results indicate that these employers are more likely to hire employees with:

  Executives Hiring Managers
Teamwork skills with diverse groups 77% 87%
Applied knowledge in real-world settings 76% 87%
Projects in the community with people from diverse backgrounds 72% 83%
Study Abroad 54% 47%

Global Learning Outcomes increased in importance for employers from 2014 to 2018

The ability to analyze and solve problems with people of different backgrounds and cultures increased from 56% to 65%.

Global Learning Skills that Employers Value in 2018

Skill Percentage
Ability to effectively communicate orally 90%
Ethical judgment and decision making 84%
Ability to work effectively in teams 87%
Can apply knowledge to real-world settings 87%
Ability to analyze and solve complex problems

NACE (National Association of Colleges & Employers) Career Readiness Key Competencies

The Global Scholars Leadership Program incorporates the acquisition and practice of these skills:

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving: Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. The individual is able to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.
  • Oral/Written Communications: Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. The individual has public speaking skills; is able to express ideas to others; and can write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively.
  • Teamwork/Collaboration: Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. The individual is able to work within a team structure, and can negotiate and manage conflict.
  • Digital Technology: Leverage existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. The individual demonstrates effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies.
  • Leadership: Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. The individual is able to assess and manage his/her emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work.
  • Professionalism/Work Ethic: Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits, e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management, and understand the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image. The individual demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior, acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind, and is able to learn from his/her mistakes.
  • Career Management: Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth. The individual is able to navigate and explore job options, understands and can take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities, and understands how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.

Global/Intercultural Fluency: Value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. The individual demonstrates openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand individuals’ differences.

The Value of a Second Language

A survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) indicated that:

  • 9 out of 10 U.S. employers rely upon U.S.-based employees with second language skills (other than English)
  • The need for employees with foreign language skills has increased over the past five year and 56% of employers project it will grow
  • Job postings for bilingual workers more than doubled between 2010 and 2015
  • 34% of employers report that their employees are unable to meet the current demand for foreign language skills resulting in business and opportunity loss.

In addition:

  • Students who are educated as global citizens are more likely to engage in behaviors that reflect intergroup empathy, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability, and are less likely to exhibit prejudice and intolerance.
  • The American Council on Education (ACE) Blue Ribbon Panel on Global Engagement emphasized the responsibility within higher education for the development of graduates as globally informed citizens, stating, “It is the obligation of colleges and universities to prepare people for a globalized world, including developing the ability to compete economically, to operate effectively in other cultures and settings, to use knowledge to improve their own lives and their communities, and to better comprehend the realities of the contemporary world so that they can better meet their responsibilities as citizens” (ACE, 2011, 14).
  • A majority of U.S. students indicated that knowledge of international relations, global issues, and non-US cultures was extremely important to their education (Council on Foreign Relations and National Geographic 2016).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of business and financial operations is projected to grow 7% from 2018-2028 – faster than the average occupation in the U.S. This is due largely to the pressures of globalization, which continue to create jobs across many multinational organizations.