March 19th - 21st, 2009
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C.

Celebrating 50 years, 3/19-3/21, 2009. Lake and mountains

Thematic Tracks

The Title VI 50th Anniversary Conference will be highlighting the following thematic tracks:

  1. Title VI and National and Global Security
  2. Language Competence: Performance, Proficiency and Certification
  3. Area Studies and the Disciplines
  4. Crossing Boundaries
  5. Global Competitiveness
  6. Internationalizing Higher Education
  7. Benchmarking and Assessment
  8. Future Directions for Title VI and Fulbright-Hays Programs
1) Title VI and National and Global Security

Global conditions continue to fuel the underlying causes of geopolitical insecurity which fifty years later come in new and less readily identified forms. The "…security, stability, and economic vitality of the United States in a complex global era depend upon American experts in and citizens knowledgeable about world regions, foreign languages, and international affairs, as well as upon a strong research base in these areas" (Title VI, Sec 601). With the U.S. increasingly linked to the economic, political, and military security of a diverse set of nations and peoples, expertise in foreign languages and area studies are even more central to our national security and well-being. The National and Global Security track seeks submissions that will highlight how Title VI programs have evolved to respond to emerging economic, political, environmental, and other security challenges. In addition, submissions will address the question: How will Title VI programs evolve over the next 50 years as national and global security are more inextricably intertwined?

2) Language Competence: Performance, Proficiency and Certification

From its inception in 1958, Title VI programs have emphasized the critical importance and value of second language competence to our national interests. Title VI programs continue to play a leading role in the United States in initiating, supporting, and negotiating the expansion of foreign language instruction, particularly in the less commonly taught languages. Yet in the age of "globalizing English," many colleges and universities continue to struggle to sustain foreign language programs. The Language Competence track seeks submissions that demonstrate innovative approaches to language instruction and language policy for K-12 and post-secondary instruction, the expansion and strengthening of high quality foreign language programs nationally, and issues concerning language competence, performance, acquisition, and assessment.

3) Area Studies and the Disciplines

Area studies have been critical in internationalizing both academic disciplines and professional fields and in developing global perspectives on the world. Today, however, area studies increasingly is being re-conceptualized from within and without - from within because earlier new understandings of our interconnected world have required academic communities engage issues with inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches; and, from without because the disciplines most concerned with area studies are changing their scholarly trajectories and pedagogy. As a result, area studies have a different relationship with the social sciences and humanities than it once did. At the same time, it also is developing new connections to professional disciplines such as business, education, law, criminal justice, public administration, and public health. The Area Studies and the Disciplines track seeks submissions that will take stock of the changing intellectual and institutional foundations and practices of area studies and discuss the new scholarship and pedagogy emerging in the field. Submissions also may focus on innovations in area studies that have led it to forge links with the professional fields.

4) Crossing Boundaries

As the Ford Foundation noted in the late 1990s in its call for the revitalization of area studies, there is a need to develop "innovative approaches to the field's intellectual foundations and practices in light of a dramatically changed and increasingly interconnected world." Area studies scholars now range widely in their coverage, from looking at single countries and single regions to entire continents. They also recognize that many of the problems and processes they study are transnational and trans-regional in nature. The Crossing Boundaries track seeks submissions that will highlight the new architecture of area studies that integrates community and national-level knowledge with better understanding of global issues that transcend geographic and disciplinary boundaries. They will thus address the question: How are regions configured in area studies and how have these been transformed by changing geo-political realities and trans-border issues such as economies, trade, migration, environment, and health?

5) Global Competitiveness

Fifty years later, does distance still matter? Information technologies and global communications have changed our sense of geographic distance. A worldwide trend toward more open markets has changed our understanding of boundaries. But as U.S. firms strive for global competitiveness, cultural, political, social, and economic distance and differences still create complexity. The Global Competitiveness track seeks submissions that address the question: What is the role of Title VI programs in helping Americans to develop education, training, and research activities that promote the nation's "international understanding and economic enterprise" and "contribute to the ability of U.S. business to prosper in an international economy" (Title VI, Sec 611)?

6) Internationalizing Higher Education

The Title VI program is tasked with enhancing "the capacity of institutions of higher education in the U.S. for producing graduates with international and foreign language expertise and knowledge and research regarding such expertise and knowledge" (Title VI, Sec 601). Internationalization represents a multifaceted and important trend in higher education that includes a significant increase in the numbers of students engaged in international learning, study abroad, increased off-shore campuses, and development of technology-based international collaborations in research and teaching. Internationalizing higher education pertains to all disciplines and education levels and is important at the two- and four-year undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels as well as in professional schools, language programs, area studies, and multidisciplinary international studies. The Internationalizing Higher Education track seeks submissions that demonstrate innovative approaches to the development and implementation of internationalization efforts at institutions of higher education through Title VI programs.

7) Benchmarking and Assessment

The establishment of assessments to gauge the effectiveness and efficiency of internationalization programs has long concerned educators, policymakers, and accrediting agencies. Assessments take various forms such as ranging from micro to macro levels and using quantitative and qualitative data for input in a formative and summative evaluation. These evaluations are conducted both internally and by using external experts. A key is linking benchmarking and assessments to goals, accreditation, and the implementation of future programs and activities. The Benchmarking and Assessment track seeks submissions that demonstrate innovative ways to approach measuring internationalization efforts.

8) Future Directions for Title VI and Fulbright-Hays Programs

The Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs have expanded and evolved since their inception in order to meet national needs in key areas related to international education. The Future Directions track seeks submissions that demonstrate ways to increase the effectiveness and strengthen the impact of these programs, including via new technologies, or to envision new programmatic directions. Of particular interest are submissions that demonstrate new approaches to facilitating collaboration with government, media, business, K-12 and post-secondary education, and others to further U.S. global and national interests.