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Hazael Andrew | August 25, 2020

The Scholar of Global Distinction program, a partnership between community colleges and UNC World View, continues to thrive despite the challenges created by COVID-19. In the 2019-2020 academic year, the program enrolled over 600 students and graduated 78 across 23 community colleges. Community colleges in various states are now expressing interest in the program, and we expect this interest to continue as more employers underscore the importance of graduating globally competent students who are ready to address the challenges of the 21st-century workforce.

Florida State College of Jacksonville (FSCJ) is one of the latest community colleges to launch the Scholar of Global Distinction program on their campus this fall and is the first college outside North Carolina to participate in the partnership. Founded in 1965, FSCJ opened its doors during the height of the nation’s community college movement to serve Northeast Florida as the first public, post-secondary educational institution. Today, the college is composed of five campuses and seven centers throughout Duval and Nassau Counties in Florida. According to Patti McConnell, Associate Director for the newly established Center for International Education at the school, “the Scholars Distinction program is a way to encourage and formalize participation in classes, programs and experiences that promote international awareness, appreciation for cultural diversity, language/communication awareness and cultural engagement.” Since the launch of the Scholar of Global Distinction program, faculty interest in globalizing courses has grown.

With the COVID-19 pandemic posing a significant threat to some aspects of global learning at community colleges, UNC World View looks forward to continued collaborations with FSCJ and the other new Scholar of Global Distinction campuses – Wayne Community College, Piedmont Community College, Lenoir Community College and Vance-Granville Community College. Together, we hope to serve students at one of the most challenging times in our history.