Moving America Forward

Imagine a New Generation of Highly Skilled, Multilingual Americans

February 20, 2014
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Imagine a New Generation of Highly Skilled, Multilingual Americans
Gaetan Bally/Redux
These universities are giving college students the skills to take on the global economy.

For America to remain a global leader, we need our students to have a world-class education. That’s why students in Northern Arizona University’s Global Science and Engineering Program and Valparaiso University’s International Engineering Program double major in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field and a foreign language and spend an entire year abroad, Inside Higher Ed reports.

Encouragingly, even though these programs require an extra year of college and semesters abroad, they either cost the same or just slightly more in tuition compared to other fields of study. The universities are doing this with international exchange programs, paid internships and scholarships.

MORE: These Kindergarteners Already Speak More Languages Than You

The fastest-growing jobs in America are in STEM but these institutions — modeled after the University of Rhode Island’s renowned five-year International Engineering program — are preparing their students to succeed outside our own borders, as well. As the Inside Higher Ed article points out, students in the STEM fields of do not typically take advantage of study abroad programs because of their demanding course requirements or perhaps their lack of interest in studying a foreign language. But in our increasingly globalized economy, we need a workforce that’s not just technically skilled, but one that has knowledge about the world — from different languages and cultures, to different environmental and social systems.

 

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