Campus Secures $20,000 EOPC Grant for Diversity

A grant submitted by Penn State Greater Allegheny to increase Intercultural and International Competencies for the 2008-09 academic year was funded for $20,000 by the Equal Opportunity Planning Committee (EOPC).   Authored by Dr. James Jaap, Assistant Director of Academic Affairs, with Dr. Margaret Signorella, Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies, the grant will promote the campus's efforts to foster diversity and integrate issues of intercultural and international competencies into the curriculum.

Greater Allegheny's faculty and administration have been dedicated to the mission of community service and the development of the student's global perspective.   Grant monies will be used to strengthen those programs which have helped Greater Allegheny develop a curriculum that fosters intercultural and international competencies; namely, the campus's Community Engagement initiative and Teaching International program.

Grant monies are targeted for the following areas:

Funding a campus cultural survey to ascertain the intercultural and international knowledge and needs of our students.  A plan to evaluate activities to determine their relevance will conclude with a campus-wide survey at the end of the academic year.  The campus plans to conduct a continuous evaluative process in its attempt to make informed decisions on activities, speakers, programs, and curriculum.

Continued funding of the Community Engagement Coordinator position which supports the integration of community service projects into the curriculum, fostering the involvement of our students in a diverse community.   It is hoped that this involvement will expand into international projects.   The expected outcome of the continuation of this position would be to increase the number of our classes offering community engagement projects and thus show an increase in the number of students participating.

Support for the campus's Teaching International Initiative promoting a greater understanding of globalization and the impact this has on the lives of people throughout the world as well as in southwestern Pennsylvania.  Funding will be utilized to support speakers; the PSUGA theatre program and its focus on original, intercultural programs; and field trips for classes offering an international component.

Funding for EOPC grants is competitive with grant proposals being solicited from throughout the University.