Mission, Scope, Role, and Vision
Southwest is committed to promoting a better understanding of and respect for different people and cultures of the world. The college is also committed to educating students who can comprehend and appreciate the complexities and contradictions within their own culture and who understand global issues. Direct contacts and experiential learning in cultures other than one's own are among the best ways to reach these goals. Thus, international studies is seen as an important component of the Southwest educational experience and as a means of empowering students and faculty. The role of the international studies program is "to serve as both advocate and catalyst for international education by promoting international experiential development and by providing assistance to students, faculty, and administrators through information, encouragement, coordination, and financial support as may be appropriate and available."
To promote international experiences and global understanding through visits, exchanges, study, instruction, and service. This mission is accomplished through many efforts, including the following:
- Encouraging a campus environment open to international studies through a full range of activities including innovative public education programs that explore world issues and present world cultures.
- Developing, operating, and maintaining a cost-effective international studies program with a central source of information about opportunities for study and teaching abroad and other related educational activities for students and faculty
- Promoting diversity, cultural understanding and partnerships through cross-national faculty and student experiences and by internationalizing curriculum and providing study abroad opportunities within the college
- Collaborating with other educational institutions and agencies, including Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (TnCIS), to promote the widest possible range of international learning experiences for students, faculty, and administrators
- Extending the college's civic engagement and public service partnerships to international organizations--both local and international
- Hosting students and faculty from abroad and encouraging their success by offering programs that meet the criteria and includes opportunities for a successful international exchange experience
- Developing formal agreements between Southwest and other institutions of higher learning throughout the global community
- Recruiting and supporting under-represented cultural populations within the community
- Recruiting international students and assisting with their cultural adjustment and visa and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) concerns
- Promoting and supporting international student clubs and organizations
- Developing further English as a second language program
Role of the Committee on International Studies
The creation and support of educational opportunities for Southwest students to study abroad; cooperation with Admissions for the purpose of recruitment and the provision of services to international students; encouragement and facilitation of faculty exchanges and faculty work/travel abroad for the development of educational and cultural awareness and research opportunities; internationalization of the curriculum.
The college promotes the exchange of people and ideas and encourages understanding and appreciation for all peoples and cultures of global communities. Southwest Tennessee Community College's International Studies programs will thus be an exemplary model for two-year colleges and others in both Tennessee and across the nation.