Underscoring the importance of an international education,officials of Up with People and the University of Colorado atDenver today announced that students in Up with People’sWorldSmart(TM) Leadership Program will have the opportunity toreceive academic credit.
Students who enroll in the WorldSmart Leadership Program willreceive 15 semester hours of credit from CU-Denver. The WorldSmartprogram encompasses leadership and communications instruction aswell as cultural immersion in seven countries over 19 weeks. Theinitial class is planned for 100 students from 20 differentcountries.
WorldSmart is a study abroad program of Up with People, whichhas been developing and connecting young people from around theworld for nearly four decades. Up with People, which temporarilysuspended general operations in December 2000 in order to develop afinancially viable program for future students, historicallyemphasized international travel, on-stage musical performance andcommunity service. It started back up last June, choosing to focuson WorldSmart, its international, multicultural leadershipprogram.
”Up with People has shifted its focus from entertainment toeducation as a vehicle to connect young people from around theworld,” said Jeff Hoag, chairman and chief executive officer of Upwith People. ”Being able to receive a full semester of academiccredit for this unique learning experience makes this anincomparable program for young people who want to broaden theirglobal perspective, expand their leadership skills and developworldwide friendships that will last a lifetime.”
The agreement calls for CU-Denver to provide academic oversight andquality control of instruction for the WorldSmart program, as wellas course credits and related student services, such ascoordinating grades, course evaluations and transcripts.Instructors will be hired by Up with People and approved by theuniversity.
”Our world is fast becoming a global community. Internationaleducation is critical to ensure that our graduates are citizens ofthe world who are able to successfully live and work in this globalsociety,” Hoag said.
Speaking for the university, Mark Heckler, vice chancellor foracademic and student affairs at CU-Denver, said the study abroadprogram is a unique blend of theoretical instruction, explorationand hands-on learning in seven countries of the world, indicativeof CU-Denver’s strengths in international education and appliedproblem solving.
”This is an unparalleled learning opportunity because the world isour classroom,” he said. ”Students will learn from theinstructors, learn by doing and learn from each other, and focus onbuilding intercultural leadership and communications skills.”
The WorldSmart Leadership curriculum consists of five courses:Theories of Leadership, Interpersonal Communication, InterculturalCommunication, Communication and Conflict, and PresentationalSpeaking. The intensive curriculum also gives students theopportunity for hands-on community service, and a unique internshipexperience. As a result, students develop a global perspective,intercultural understanding and a civic-minded background,according to Hoag.
Instructional strategy and course content has been designed byCU-Denver faculty member Melissa Manassee, who holds a doctorate inintercultural communication and has been a member of theCommunication Department faculty of CU-Denver since 1996, andJacqueline Dobrovolny, who holds a doctorate in instructionaltechnology. Instruction time includes on-line pre-course work, atwo-week orientation in Denver,Colo., 17weeks of travel in NorthAmerica,
Applications are now being accepted and available throughwww.worldsmart.org for the program running from August 2004 toDecember. Programs are also offered each spring semester beginningJanuary 2005 and running until June.
Cost for the program is $14,500 US, which includes tuition, airtravel, housing, meals and ground transportation, as well as afull-time education team that travels with the group throughout theprogram. Scholarships are being offered to student’s age 18 to 29based on need and merit.
In the UnitedStates, only 130,000of the nation’s 13 million full-time and part-time undergraduatestudents participate in university-sponsored study abroad programs.Citing this as a deficiency, an independent task force has urgedCongress to increase the number of U.S. collegestudents who learn foreign languages and study abroad.
Today, the WorldSmart Leadership Program operates out of threelocations: the international headquarters in Denver,Colorado,USA