BOLIVAR, Mo. — Southwest Baptist University continues to expand degree offerings with an international focus with two new Global Education degrees, available in Elementary Education or Middle School Education. The degrees were developed as part of the new SBU Global initiative.
“SBU Global encompasses several aspects of cultural diversity, including bringing more international students to our Bolivar campus and sending more of our students on study abroad experiences,” said Dr. Kelly Malone, director of global education. “Another component is increasing culture diversity in our degree offerings. Education is a natural addition to other globally focused degrees in International Business, Intercultural Studies and a Cross-Cultural Ministry concentration within the Christian Ministry degree.”
SBU’s innovative Intercultural Studies program prepares students with academic training and practical experience needed for long-term service in a cross-cultural setting. A six-month semester abroad experience required in the program allows students to be immersed fully in another culture to gain experience in ministry, language acquisition and cultural acclimation.
“We are so blessed to have the Intercultural Studies degree at SBU to help complement our Education degree offerings and make these new degrees possible,” said Dr. Jennifer Fox, assistant professor of education, certification officer and coordinator of clinical experiences. “We have worked with the ICS faculty to develop a more culturally diverse major, aligning with the University’s mission.”
Completing majors in both Education and Intercultural Studies typically takes longer than four years. The Global Education degrees combine education and cross-cultural courses in a four-year degree plan culminating with an international student-teaching experience.
“We worked with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to ensure graduates with these degrees will be eligible for Missouri teaching certification,” Fox said. “The international student-teaching will be in an accredited school with certified cooperating teachers approved by DESE. While the degree initially is available only for elementary and middle school certification, we plan to open the degrees to secondary and K-12 majors in the future.”