Internationalization of the animal science undergraduate curriculum: A survey of its current status, barriers to its implementation and its value1

  • Forsberg N
  • Taur J
  • Xiao Y
 et al. 
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Abstract

The goal of this project was to identify the current level at which internationalization has been adopted as a theme in the North American animal science curriculum and to identify its value and the barriers to its implementation. We surveyed animal, dairy, and poultry science departments across Canada and the United States. One hundred twenty-four surveys were mailed and 60% were returned. Associations between aspects of internationalization and student outcomes (admission to veterinary and graduate schools and starting salaries) were examined. Although administrators strongly believed internationalization had value, implementation was limited. The most common practices included international content in core animal science classes, advising, international internships, and participation of faculty in international scholarly activities. Few departments have incorporated internationalization into their mission statements or developed a specific international-themed class, scholarships devoted to international activities, or roles for international students. Few departments reported participation of students in international programs. Barriers included finances and limited commitment from higher administration. Student outcomes were positively associated with faculty size, percentage of international faculty, the ratio of international students to the total student population, international content in core animal science classes, a specific international-themed class, availability of international internships, and exchange of class material internationally via the Internet. Departments that did not offer international opportunities had a negative association (r = -0.79) with starting salary, but these relationships may not be causal. Alternatively, progressive departments may attract and retain exceptional students. The analysis indicated an awareness of the value of international programs, positive impacts in student outcomes, and financial barriers to implementation. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT] Key Words: Agriculture, Curriculum, Globalization, Science Education, Surveys

Author-supplied keywords

  • Curricula
  • Education policy
  • Livestock industry
  • Polls & surveys

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Authors

  • N E Forsberg

  • J-S Taur

  • Y Xiao

  • H Chesbrough

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