International Studies is a natural fit for WCU. Its subject matter is central to our institutional mission, our strategic plan, and to UNC Tomorrow’s Global Readiness goal.
Andy Miller, a major in International Studies and Philosophy (religion concentration), has a cause: get a school built in Pakistan and form a group on our campus for WCU students from Saudi Arabia and the United States.
The international studies major was designed in 2010 to support a primary recommendation of the UNC Tomorrow commission, which developed a 20-year strategic plan that addresses North Carolina’s needs and how its public universities can help meet those needs. The recommendations included preparing the state’s residents to compete in the global economy of the 21st century.
“The international studies program clearly reflects our commitment to enhancing global readiness as a major UNC Tomorrow initiative,” said Niall Michelsen, associate professor of Political Science, who is overseeing the new program. “UNC Tomorrow calls upon us to increase student proficiency in foreign languages and to expand students’ global and cultural awareness so that they understand diverse cultures and appreciate the commonality of human problems.”
The program also fits with WCU’s focus on synthesis – the ability to integrate knowledge from different academic areas, and to see connections between what students do in the classroom and their extracurricular activities, said Michelsen.