The West Virginia Consortium for Internationalizing Higher Education successfully advocated the legislature in 2008 to enact an international education resolution making West Virginia the 14th state in the country to have such a resolution. These resolutions are being used to leverage support for recruiting international students and securing funding for study abroad consortia.

CIHE would like to thank the senator co-sponsors below for sponsoring this legislation: Edwin J. Bowman, Hancock; Adam Mckenzie, Ohio;  Larry J. Edgell, Wetzel;  Jefferey V. Kessler, Marshall;  Donna J. Boley, Pleasants;  J. Frank Deem, Wood; Karen L. Facemyer, Jackson; Mike Hall, Putnam; Robert H. Plymale, Wayne; Evan Jenkins, Cabell; H. Truman Chafin, Mingo; John Pat Fanning, McDowell; Ron Stollings, Boone; Earl Ray Tomblin, Logan; Erik Wells, Kanawha; Vic Sprouse, Kanawha; Billy Wayne Bailey, Wyoming; Mike Green, Raleigh; Jesse O. Guills, Greenbrier; Donald T. Caruth, Mercer; Shirley D. Love, Fayette; Randy White, Webster; Joseph M. Minard, Harrison; William R. Sharpe, Lewis; Jon Blair Hunter, Monongalia; Dave Sypolt, Preston; Walt Heimick, Pocohontas; Clark Barnes, Randolph; John Yoder, Jefferson; John R. Unger II, Berkeley; Brooks F. McCabe, Kanawha.

Below is the resolution:

Commending and supporting the Consortium for Internationalizing Higher Education in West Virginia and institutions of public and post-secondary education.

Whereas, International education is a crucial component of higher education in West Virginia which contributes to the economy of the State and to a diverse education environment and enhances both academic and co-curricular programs;

and Whereas, The economy of West Virginia is inextricably tied to the rest of the world and economic development depends upon a deliberate strategic development plan that includes recognition of the role of international education in all its facets. Tourism and foreign trade are key sectors for strengthening West Virginia’s economic future and it is critical that this state promote mutual understanding between West Virginians and citizens of other countries through international education programs at its colleges and universities;

and Whereas, The Legislature recognizes the need to increase access to study-abroad programs that served more than seven hundred West Virginia post-secondary students in 2006-07 as well as the economic significance of more than 2500 international students enrolled at West Virginia institutions of higher education who provide an economic gain estimated at over forty-six million dollars;

and Whereas, West Virginia has the lowest number per capita of foreign born citizens of any other state in the nation, education institutions in West Virginia must rise to the challenge of providing all students with the opportunity to acquire the inter- cultural skills to interact effectively within a global environment;

and Whereas, International education includes curricular offerings that teach foreign languages, address global issues, provide in- depth understanding of other cultures, utilizes citizens of other countries in formal and informal settings as teaching resources, and recognizes that the development of new knowledge, the best research and technological breakthroughs require international collaboration;

and Whereas, Promoting international education for West Virginia’s students and citizens and ensuring access to internationalized curricula and co-curricula are important components of a program to promote students’ global literacy, cross-cultural awareness and understanding, and to meet the global challenges facing the state and the nation, including our national security, foreign policy, economic competitiveness and capacity for tolerance;

and Whereas, the policies and programs initiated today to make the international experience integral to higher education determine if society will have a globally literate citizenry prepared to respond to the demands of the 21st century;

therefore be it Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the Legislature hereby commends and supports the Consortium for Internationalizing Higher Education in West Virginia and institutions of public and post-secondary education; and, be it Further Resolved,

That the Legislature recognizes and commends the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) which established the Consortium in 2006 and which provides institutional development and award grants to state universities to help internationalize their majors, core curricula and foreign language programs to prepare West Virginia students better for global competency;

and, be it Further Resolved, That the Legislature also acknowledges contributions to the internationalization of higher education in West Virginia by the Governor’s Commission on International Education for internationalizing education institutions at both the K-12 and higher education levels, and the State Board of Education which has become a national leader in the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, an initiative which has a strong global awareness component;

and, be it Further Resolved,

That the Legislature recognizes the impact of West Virginia EPSCoR which makes International Innovation grant awards to promote international collaboration among scientific researchers; the Cyrus Vance Awards which continue to draw attention to the outstanding work done by many educators in every part of the state to promote international education; and the Faculty and Course Development in International Studies (FACDIS), an association of more than 375 faculty members specializing in international studies and foreign languages who represent more than fifteen different disciplines;

and, be it Further Resolved,

That West Virginia’s colleges and universities are commended for their work and are encouraged to develop courses of study in as many fields as possible to increase students’ understanding of global issues and cultural differences and further to develop courses in foreign languages to prepare students to seek careers in a global marketplace and enhance their understanding of other nations’ values;

and, be it Further Resolved,

That colleges and universities are encouraged to provide opportunities for students in all majors to participate in programs to study abroad to enrich their academic training, inter-cultural perspectives and personal development;

and, be it Further Resolved, That colleges and universities provide opportunities for domestic and international students to interact effectively and routinely to share their views, perceptions and experiences and develop innovative public education forums and venues to explore global issues and showcase world cultures;

and, be it Further Resolved, that the clerk is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Chancellor of West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, the Chancellor of the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education, the President of the West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc., and to the president of each of West Virginia’s Independent and public colleges and universities.

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