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Creating the Global Student: Increasing Student Perception of Global Competency and Skills for International Careers in a University International Certificate Program

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Abstract

This study investigates the impact of students’ participation in the certificate program offered by the Asian Studies Center (ASC) at the University of Pittsburgh on their perception of global competency and skills development for international careers. Undergraduate and graduate students who were enrolled in the ASC’s certificate program as of March 16, 2012 (n=125) participated in an on-line student survey. Data are used to provide a descriptive analysis, significance tests, and a multiple regression analysis that examine six research questions. The descriptive analysis explores students’ characteristics, satisfaction with the certificate program, international experience, foreign language capability, and the extent to which the certificate program increases their global competency and skills for international careers. Tests were conducted to examine whether the differences in pre-post increases in students’ perception of their global competency and skills development for international careers were statistically significant for all respondents as well as between disaggregated groups. The multiple regression analysis tests the correlation between three independent variables (courses taken in the certificate program, center activity participation, and students’ international experience) and each of the two dependent variables (students’ perception of increased global competency and students’ perception of improved skills for international careers). Findings show that significantly different changes in students’ perception of their global competency and skills development for international careers exist before their participation in the certificate program and after their participation in the certificate program. Students who stayed 1-6 months in an Asian country have the most significant increases in their perception of their global competency after their participation in the certificate program. Senior students have the most significant increases in their perception of their global competency and skills for international careers after their participation in the certificate program. Students’ international experience and courses taken in the certificate program are important variables related to their perception of increased global competency and improved skill for international careers. The effect of students’ international experience is greater than courses taken in the certificate program on their perception of their increased global competency and improved skills for international careers.

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