Tuck to add global requirement

by Noah Goldstein | 9/29/14 6:37pm

Designing a business plan for a brewery in Switzerland or traveling with faculty to South Africa, among other international expeditions, will soon become the norm for all Tuck School of Business students. As part of a new program announced earlier this month, all Tuck students starting with the Class of 2017 must fulfill a global insight requirement through an international first-year culminating experience, a global consulting project, a faculty-led international course or by designing an alternative.

The program will build on an already high rate of foreign travel among students, experiential and global learning collaborative director Becky Rice said, noting that last year more than two thirds of Tuck’s Class of 2014 went on some form of global expedition.

“It is our desire to formalize what we have been doing for years and for everyone to learn about another culture, other than their own, and to have that capacity for empathy and understanding,” Rice said.

Lisa Miller, director of global insight expeditions and on-campus programs, said the requirement will ensure that every student has a global experience. Tuck will develop new programs and modify existing ones to account for the missing third of students.

Changes to Tuck’s tuition allocation will permit all students to participate, regardless of financial need, associate dean for the MBA program Phillip Stocken said.

One way students can fulfill the requirement is through international first-year projects, where students choose an entrepreneurship or a client-sponsored project at a local, regional, national or global level. These projects allow student to apply what they learn in the classroom to the real world, Rice said.

Past examples include nonprofit work in Madagascar or contributions to the $300 house concept in Haiti.

Another option is on-site global consulting, a second-year elective where students spend 10 to 12 weeks planning and executing a real-world consulting engagement for a client. The program, which includes a three-week fieldwork component, typically sees about 50 or 60 participants a year.

The program aims to help graduates solve problems across cultures and lead in different business environments, onsite global consulting director Kerry Laufer wrote in an email.

The global insight expedition, a faculty-led international travel course, is another option. These trips take place over spring break, usually comprising around 23 students. Past destinations have included India, Israel and South Africa. Students must attend cultural seminars and write a reflective essay afterward.

Stocken, who has led four groups to South Africa in the past four years, said many of these essays show a greater sense of altruism among students.

Students can also design their own program, building on an international internship or foreign exchange program.

Tuck’s emphasis on global learning follows similar discussion at the undergraduate level.

Former College President Jim Yong Kim initiated the strategic planning process in 2009 to advance the College’s mission, emphasizing in part a need to improve Dartmouth’s global presence. A committee that evaluated Dartmouth’s reputation at the international level recommended that the College require undergraduate students to have at least one “significant global experience” to graduate, among other suggestions.

Erin Lee contributed reporting to this article.

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