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Global Learning Sites
Welcome to the Global Learning Sites Web Site at Trinity College! These pages are intended to inform faculty about the GLS (Global Learning Sites) program at Trinity College, and to help individual faculty or faculty groups establish a learning site. Before exploring this web site, be sure to read the definition of a Global Learning Site below.

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[ Definition and Criteria of a GLS ]

What is a Global Learning Site and how does it differ from a typical study-abroad program? This question was first tackled by the Global Learning Sites Advisory Committee, established in the fall of 1997, and now known as the Global Studies Advisory Committee. The committee was charged with defining the criteria and procedures for global sites, and with making recommendations to the Dean of Faculty about program proposals that were worthy of further formal consideration. Using guidelines provided by the "Committee of Eight" report, the Committee defined a Global Learning Site (GLS) as a study program generated by Trinity faculty in a city of global significance. Trinity faculty members, or groups of Trinity faculty who have the expertise to initiate and the dedication to develop a GLS submit proposals, along with a financial worksheet, to the committee. Faculty typically elect to participate out of a compelling curricular interest in the particular location. Upon completion of the review, a recommendation is submitted to the Dean of Faculty. Final approval and implementation involve the assessment of appropriate College committees and groups, most notably the Curriculum Committee, the Financial Affairs Committee, and, in some cases, the Academic Affairs Committee and the Educational Policy Committee. (See also the Application section of this web site.)

The Committee has defined a list of important characteristics that should be shared by all GLS. These are listed below.

dot.gif (837 bytes)A GLS is, first of all, a Trinity-sponsored program, which has a number of important implications with respect to curriculum, rigor, staffing, and financing.

dot.gif (837 bytes)A GLS involves, in at least some respects, curricular elements distinctive to a Trinity education. These might take the form of substantial core course work, basic seminar, or other common academic experience(s) related to the rationale for establishing the GLS where it is.

dot.gif (837 bytes)A GLS must have a community learning/internship component. So far, a variety of models have been offered for the core course and for its relationship to the internship. A persuasive rationale for the particular model should be developed by the faculty
sponsor(s) of each GLS. The community learning component should flow from and be connected to the particular expertise and interests of the sponsoring faculty. (By contrast, if the expectation for an overseas program is that a student might take a miscellaneous and wholly self-determined set of courses at affiliated local institutions, this program, however valid in other respects, would not be approved as a GLS.)

dot.gif (837 bytes)A GLS must provide an educationally valid rationale for a student to spend a term or a year studying at that particular site. Follow-up educational experiences in the form of papers, presentations, seminars, or other exercises shall be encouraged upon the students' return to Trinity. Faculty need to consider what, if any, common experiences in Hartford it will be desirable to provide for all or most students contemplating study at a GLS before they depart and when they return. The internship/independent study programs, as well as any other in-residence (i.e. non-transfer credit) courses offered by the GLS shall be approved in advance by appropriate faculty committees and staffed by Trinity appointees.

dot.gif (837 bytes)A GLS should provide opportunities for Hartford-based faculty to participate in its programs in various ways. Hartford faculty need to be involved in identifying the site and taking the necessary steps to establish and sustain the site. This does not, however, imply that the Hartford faculty will be reduced in order to staff the overseas sites. A Trinity faculty member may not teach at a GLS as part of his or her regular teaching load.

dot.gif (837 bytes)A GLS must, within a specific period, be self-supporting. That is, student tuition and fees must cover all costs associated with the site, such as salaries, teaching facilities, communications, fees to associated local institutions, etc., though not costs of student loans or scholarships.

dot.gif (837 bytes)A GLS, to the extent feasible, should in the long-term explore opportunities for two-way exchanges of students and faculty from local institutions.

dot.gif (837 bytes)A GLS should eventually have an individual to provide local support for the students. As our sites grow, we might plan to bring the GLS coordinators to an organizing meeting at Trinity each year. Common living arrangements might be designed to encourage student cohesion and interaction, while offering necessary security in some settings. Living arrangements should, to the extent feasible, also offer students opportunities to interact with the local community.

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Over the past year, the Global Studies Committee has reviewed applications for GLS in a wide range of locations from Hong Kong to Trinidad. A summary of the current status of all of the current GLS is available in the Summaries section of this web site. The list also includes two Trinity programs, Rome and San Francisco, that are not considered sites, but rather global campuses.)

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