AHE 510: IDEA Internship – Curriculum Integration

Beginning in Winter 2011, I had the opportunity to work with the International Degree and Education Abroad (IDEA) department. A division of International Programs, IDEA promotes globally-minded learning. Part of that is what is known as “curriculum integration.” Made popular by the forward-looking University of Minnesota, curriculum integration allows students to make very informed decisions on which programs will allow them to both: (a) travel and get new global perspective; and (b) continue towards completing a degree with properly equivalent classes.

My job, as the IDEA intern working on curriculum integration, had several components:

  • Learning to use Adobe InDesign
  • Updating existing curriculum integration documents (University Honors College, Spanish)
  • Researching approved study abroad programs for potential fit with departments and programs at OSU (History, Ethnic Studies, Philosophy)
  • Gaining further understanding of the services International Programs and IDEA provide
  • Communicating with faculty and department advisors for direction and guidance

After working on these various projects over the past two terms, I am much more confident in several areas. First, I have a better grasp on how programs are distributed within IDEA; I feel like I would know who to turn to if I had specific questions regarding a particular program. Secondly, I learned how to work a new computer program with little assistance beyond an initial walk-through. I definitely work best with a “hands-on” learning approach, and while there were a few hiccups while trying to format a document from time to time, I was able to work through the issues to create a good document. Lastly, in terms of institutional communication, I have learned that it is sometimes challenging to get timely responses from faculty members and staff due to outstanding circumstances, such as peak advising or other project priorities. It can be a bit frustrating to discover that your priority project is not high-priority for someone else; however, even in those cases, most people were keen on the idea of developing curriculum integration. Although it will probably be under someone else’s watch, I am happy to know that I have at least gotten a few departments thinking about how to re-tool their study abroad offerings and credits.

Competencies addressed:  (1)  Knowledge of Higher Education and Student Affairs; (3) Leadership; (8) Individual, Group, and Organizational Communication; (9) The Developing Professional

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