ISSN: 2222-8713
Volume 4, Number 1 (2014)
Generation I: International and invisible in a workforce education and development programme's curriculum content
Debra Ferdinand
Caribbean students continue to add to the increasing international enrolment at tertiary institutions in the United States of America. But to what extent is such internationalisation visible in the curriculum content for a Mid-Western university's graduate workforce education and development (WED) programme? This descriptive study is part of a larger curriculum inclusiveness study that included an examination of students' perceptions on international responsiveness of their WED graduate programme's curriculum course content. A combination of the follow-up explanations model and the within-stage mixed model was used, coupled with pragmatism, as the overarching paradigm for guiding the collection and analysis of the study's census survey data and follow-up focus groups. The findings indicate a very US-centric WED curriculum content with large deficits for inclusion of works by international authors as well as global views to include those from developing countries. As a result, WED international students were subjected to intellectual bondage and invisibility within the curriculum content, which compromised the quality of their education at tuition costs to them almost three times that of US students. Implications of this international responsiveness challenge of a WED programme's curriculum content include limited learning transfer for international students coming from developing countries such as those in the Caribbean. International and US students' suggestions for improving the curriculum's international responsiveness included diversifying/internationalising WED curriculum content and hiring international faculty. These suggestions were strongly supported by the theoretical and empirical literature on multicultural education and internationalisation in higher education.