Central College will kick off a yearlong celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the study abroad program. Founded in 1853, Central College is a nationally recognized provider operating programs around the world since 1965. Anniversary events will begin this week and take place throughout 2014 and 2015 to celebrate “A Year of Global Citizenship.”
Long a leader in study abroad, Central College operates programs in Austria, England, France, Ghana, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain and Wales. Central also offers opportunities within the United States in Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C.
As part of the celebration year, Central College has pledged to join the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. Central is building on its already strong commitment to study abroad and will work to increase the number of undergraduate students who study abroad to 65 percent of each graduating class.
Currently, approximately 50 percent of Central students study abroad, most for a full semester, compared to a national average of 14 percent. The goal of 65 percent, while more ambitious than many schools participating in the initiative, demonstrates Central’s strong commitment to international experiences for students.
“For 50 years, Central College has been a national leader in providing opportunities for undergraduate students to study abroad,” said Dr. Mary Strey, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. “We look forward to expanding our global footprint during the next half century while continuing to provide students with a high quality, high impact education.”
Two of Central College’s five strategic academic goals, endorsed by its Board of Trustees in 2012, focus on global experiential learning: to become an international community of global learners and to develop a portfolio of programs to reflect Central’s commitment to global and community engagement. Central College continues to emphasize global perspectives in its curriculum, actively promotes international experiences for students and creates a climate of global awareness on campus. The recent pledge with IIE is merely the latest step in the college’s decades-long leadership in this area.