New Certificate Program to Give Mason Students an International Edge

Posted: May 9, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Dave Andrews

When it comes to job interviews, the objective is to stand out from the pool of applicants. Mason students looking for that certain “edge” to impress potential employers can now add a “global proficiency” credential to their resume.

In the fall, Mason will initiate the Global Proficiency Certificate (GPC) program. Offered through the Office of University Life, the GPC is a program open to all Mason students looking for cultural learning opportunities. These opportunities are intended to provide advantages for students looking toward international professions.

“It is our goal to help students to develop an impressive portfolio of skills and experiences gained through the GPC program,” says Dena Hawes, GPC coordinator and advisor. “The program will give them experiences to refer back to that can leave a much more savvy impression on internationally focused employers.”

Students who complete the free program will merit a certificate signifying they are prepared to provide leadership in a global workforce. Those characteristics are formed while the student works with their GPC advisor to locate and participate in international and cross-cultural opportunities and internships.

Requirements to complete the GPC include:

  • Attendance at any one of the Global Proficiency Certificate orientation sessions

  • Study of a foreign language up to an intermediate level or proof of intermediate proficiency in any language except English

  • One 3-credit course in intercultural communication

  • Participation in a variety of international, campus and cross-cultural community activities, including study abroad, internships, workshops, clubs, lectures and performances

Courses taken to fulfill GPC requirements may also count toward a major or minor, however, the GPC is not an academic program.

At the conclusion of the program, each student will develop a portfolio that includes a reflective essay and a presentation that integrates his or her work and experiences. The portfolio will also contain important information on the accomplishments of the student and talking points for interviewing.

“The program is geared toward getting students out in the world and thinking about what contributions they can make,” Hawes says. “Plus, when it comes time to interview for jobs, they’ll have confidence in knowing that they have gained many of the skills the employer is looking for.”

Registration forms can be found online at the GPC web site. Completed forms should be e-mailed to Hawes.

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