The Global Educators Cohort Program (GECP) prepares future teachers to develop a critical, justice-oriented stance that enables them to foster students’ understanding of and engagement with complex global issues.
Small classes, a cohort model, and a tailored set of courses and co-curricular experiences provide GECP students opportunities to grow as global educators and develop a professional learning community that extends beyond their time at MSU.
Within GECP, connect with fellow Spartans committed to teaching with a global, justice-oriented stance.
In small classes with your fellow cohort members, learn from renowned faculty with a diverse set of expertise in the field.
A DIFFERENT LENS
Throughout GECP and co-curricular experiences, you will be challenged to critically analyze complex global structures and issues and their role in education.
What is GECP?
GECP students will develop a critical stance that enables them to foster students’ understanding of and engagement with complex global issues. They will develop this through:
- Analyzing how historical/cultural production of knowledge and power has shaped education systems and students’ experiences globally
- Reflecting on their own positionality within complex global systems and structures that perpetuate inequality
- Challenging structures, assumptions, and attitudes in their context
- Developing pedagogical strategies and approaches for incorporating critical engagement with global issues into their teaching
Who can join GECP?
Students join GECP as freshmen, and in their first two years, they take four specialized global education courses as a cohort.
Once they join MSU’s Teacher Preparation Program in Year 3, GECP students have opportunities to apply what they learned through globally focused field placements and internships.
Do you offer specialized classes?
In Year 1, coursework is focused on developing students’ understanding of the U.S. education system in global context (TE 101: Social Foundations of Justice and Equity in Education and TE 102: Pedagogy and Politics of Justice and Equity in Education). In Year 2, GECP students continue to cultivate global understandings and skills through coursework on migration and education (TE 352: Migration & Education) and international education (TE 353: International Education).
Message from the Director
Welcome to the Global Educators Cohort Program website! We are excited that you stopped by, and we hope you will connect with us. Now, more than ever, future educators must be prepared to teach students in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world. The world outside our doorstep is constantly changing, and teachers must be prepared to help their students grapple with complex global issues and to communicate and build relationships across cultural and linguistic differences. Global educators are prepared not only to teach core academic subjects, but to help their students develop the knowledge, skills, and agency to identify and develop solutions to issues in their communities and beyond. If you are someone who wants to help students learn to recognize and take action to address global challenges, please explore this website to learn more about the Global Educators Cohort Program!
The Global Educators Cohort Program (GECP) is a specialized teacher preparation program focused on global and international perspectives. Cohort participants enjoy all the benefits of a nationally ranked teacher preparation program but also have the opportunity to study, socialize, and engage in hands-on, practical learning activities with a small group of fellow students. GECP students enjoy many advantages, such as individualized mentorship by faculty, practicing teachers, and administrators with expertise and experience in global and international education; opportunities to participate in special seminars, undergraduate research opportunities, and special, smaller, faculty-led, course sections designed specifically for members of GECP.
GECP students learn to teach in a wide range of settings both in US preK-12 classrooms and abroad. GECP graduates are prepared to bring the world to their students and educate for global citizenship in both elementary and secondary settings in all subject areas. Students in our program pursue teaching certification in a variety of areas; majors that GECP students have pursued include: elementary education, special education, music education, physical education, as well as secondary English, biology, history, social studies and Spanish.
As you explore our website, you will have a chance to learn more about our program, meet some of our GECP students and graduates, and get information about how you can apply to be a part of GECP. Please feel free to contact us directly if any of your questions are not answered here. We hope you will consider applying to be part of our community of global changemakers!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: How can I apply to GECP?
Once accepted to MSU, students must complete the GECP Application located in the “Applying to GECP” section. Students will hear back from the review committee within 2-4 weeks of submission.
Question: How can I complete my Global Experience?
Students may complete the Global Experience through participation in activities such as, but not limited to, MSU programs (i.e. MSU Dialogues), education abroad, or globally-focused volunteering. Read more about the requirements for the Global Experience in the “Program Requirements” section.
Question: Is GECP an option for elementary and secondary teacher preparation students?
Yes! GECP is open to future teachers across multiple levels of education and disciplinary focus. In GECP, students have a chance to interact with other future teachers who are specializing in a range of areas–from political science to mathematics to early childhood education. Many cohort students mention appreciating this chance to get to know future teachers across diverse disciplines.
Question: How many classes are required for GECP?
GECP classes are often students’ favorite part of the program. Four GECP courses are required. Typically, students take two introductory courses in their first year (TE 101 and TE 102), and for these classes, they are in special GECP sections. The other two required GECP courses are TE 352 (Migration & Education) and TE 353 (International Education).
Question: What types of careers do GECP students have?
Many GECP alumni become classroom teachers in the United States or other settings. Because GECP students are well-prepared to work with culturally diverse learners, they often find employment in schools with a high population of transnational students. Beyond teaching, GECP students have found careers working in international education or in the non-profit sector.
Students must enroll in GECP-designated sections for all courses. Descriptions can be found on the MSU Course Description website.
- TE 101 (GECP section): Social Foundations of Justice and Equity in Education – 3 credits
- How can we reflect critically on our own individual positionalities and connect these to institutional and ideological systems that exist within, and extend beyond, the United States?
- How do school structures and practices create and reproduce systems of power and privilege through their intersections with other social institutions and policies?
- How can we work as change agents and co-conspirators toward social justice and abolitionist transformations in schools and society, both domestically and globally?
- TE 102 (GECP section): Pedagogy and Politics of Justice and Equity in Education – 3 credits
- How do socio-political climates impact teaching and learning at interpersonal, institutional, national, and global levels?
- How do youth and teachers engage in activism to combat social and institutional inequities?
- How can critical pedagogies be used to create and nurture more humanizing and justice-oriented teaching and learning?
- TE 352: Migration & Education – 3 credits
- How do educational institutions, communities, and families respond to the academic, linguistic, social, and cultural needs and possibilities of immigrant children and youth?
- In what ways do values, beliefs, and systems surrounding citizenship, belongingness, and immigration underpin educational policies and practices?
- How do immigrants and refugees in schools and communities negotiate and respond to educational policies and social structures as they craft their own identities and sense of belonging?
- TE 353: International Education – 3 credits
- How are conceptions of education rooted in specific cultural contexts and reflected in the structure of education systems, teachers’ pedagogical approaches, and students’ classroom experiences?
- How do international education projects respond to, erase, and/or complicate the complexities of educational experiences?
- What does it mean to apply global perspectives in education?
What is the purpose of the Global Experience?
As a global educator, you are learning to develop skills and understandings that will support your future work with students. The Global Experience Requirement is not about going to a new place and being a tourist–it involves a deeper level of engagement. A global experience pushes you to rethink your own assumptions and to think critically about the role global educators can play in helping all young people develop agency and the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to thrive in their future lives and contribute to their communities.
What counts as a Global Experience?
The goal of the Global Experience is for you to have an immersive engagement in a setting that will help you develop your ability to engage in contexts and situations that are unfamiliar to you, and to think critically about global issues and how they affect education. The Global Experience is purposeful and carried out with intent–it is not tourism or charity work.
To meet the Global Experience Requirement, an activity must involve:
- A global focus – Global could involve travel outside the U.S., but you can also have a global experience in East Lansing by engaging with a community organization or group at MSU focused on a global issue.
- Sustained engagement – Global experiences involve sustained participation in the life of a community. You might do this through an immersive Education Abroad experience. If you complete your global experience locally, you should document at least 40 hours of engagement with an organization or group focused on global issues.
- Active participation – Global engagement involves doing something. You cannot meet this requirement simply by attending lectures. To meet the requirement, you’ll need to identify an opportunity that allows you to actively engage in a community, whether that is at home or abroad.
- Reflection – Throughout your global experience, you are encouraged to reflect on how the experience is challenging your own assumptions and to think critically about the role global educators can play in helping all young people develop agency and the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to thrive in their future lives and contribute to their communities. You will submit a written reflection upon completion of the Global Experience in order to have your experience certified by the GECP Program Coordinator.
Once you have identified an activity that meets the criteria above, you must seek approval from the GECP Program Coordinator prior to beginning the activity/engagement.
Many GECP students are excited to participate in an Education Abroad experience, and you certainly can do that to fulfill your Global Experience requirement. MSU hosts many Education Abroad programs. Many programs are going to be up and running again this year, and you can learn more on the Office for Education Abroad website. If you are engaged in an international activity that is not an Ed Abroad program, please check with the GECP Program Coordinator to see whether it meets Global Experience Requirements.
You can also have a Global Experience without leaving the U.S. Here are a few local activities that you could engage in to fulfill the Global Experience Requirement:
- Participate in an activity like the Ubuntu Dialogues Virtual Student Dialogues. This opportunity, hosted by MSU, gives you a chance to interact with university students in South Africa.
- Volunteer at an organization serving immigrants, refugees, or migrant students, such as: Refugee Development Center, New Americans Southeast Michigan, or the CAMP program
- Volunteer in a globally-focused activity at a K-12 school in the Lansing area.
- Participate in a globally-focused registered student org. For example, become an Intercultural Aide.
- Participate in a program like the MSU Dialogues or LATTICE.
- Another activity that you identify and discuss with the GECP Program Coordinator.
The GECP Program Coordinator will advertise additional opportunities as they come up, and you can always check to see if something you’re thinking about will fulfill the requirements.
GECP Students’ Global Experience Examples
- Co-creation of a podcast series with students in Yemen
- Participation in a virtual exchange with students in Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, & France
- Volunteering with refugee-background youth through Lansing’s Refugee Development Center
- Participation in a reciprocal exchange program with students at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana
GECP interns fulfill their field experiences in global placements. Global placements are Michigan classrooms where either the school, teacher, or student demographics meet the program’s definition of a global placement.
To fulfill the global internship requirement for GECP, students’ field placements must meet one of the three criteria. The GECP Coordinator can support processes of validation for individual schools.
- School indicates a global focus in their mission statement or emphasized school-wide goals. If school does not indicate a global focus, the mentor teacher’s global stance, training, and/or practices in specific classroom placements indicate a global focus.
- Validate with the school website and/or discussion with district administrators.
- Student demographics of school and/or classroom placement indicate a global focus.
- Validate through MI School Data. Treating multilingualism as a proxy for multiculturalism, a global focus can be indicated by more than 50% of the school population labeled as ‘English Language Learner.”
- School has a school-wide language immersion program.
- Validate with the school website and/or discussion with district administrators.
Want to learn more about the Teacher Preparation Program? Start here.
GECP Curricular and Co-curricular Program Components
The Global Educators Cohort Program (GECP) gives future educators the tools they need to teach with a global view and to make an impact in today’s classrooms, which are increasingly culturally diverse. Through social and educational experiences, MSU’s Global Educators are prepared to help young people think about themselves as citizens and stewards of the world around them.
Applying to GECP
Apply to MSU
Apply to MSU from your senior year of high school and on.
Obtain admission to Michigan State University and indicate your intention to complete a teacher certificate in elementary or secondary education. Information on financial aid for students can be found on the Office of Financial Aid homepage.
Apply to the Global Educators Cohort Program
After acceptance to MSU, submit a supplemental application to the Global Educators Cohort Program. GECP applications are due after orientation and before the start of the freshman academic year.
Send your completed application and application essay to:
MSU College of Education
attn. Robin Lenkart
620 Farm Lane
East Lansing, MI 48824
The Global Educators Cohort Program is a specialized program within the Teacher Preparation Program at Michigan State University. GECP students must therefore complete the same requirements as any Teacher Education student at Michigan State University. GECP simply provides added special emphasis in international/global themes.
When you complete GECP, you will graduate from Michigan State University with a degree in Teacher Education and you will be eligible for teacher certification both in Michigan and, often with little or no extra requirements, in many other U.S. States.
For more information on the Teacher Preparation Program, start here.
Why should you join GECP? It helps you gain a better understanding of the increasingly diverse educational system in America and around the world. The challenging coursework prepared students for a career in education, and the course content helps Spartans analyze their contributions to the world.
– Matt White (Alumnus)
Growing up as a Korean-American, I’ve always been interested in learning about education all over the
world. I was so excited to hear MSU provides a cohort like GECP. I’ve learned so much about myself in TE 101 and in the GECP program. Through this, I was able to grow more passionate about teaching and even challenge myself to take on a leadership position for something I am passionate about… I want to bring more to the table to grow our GECP community, and to share the passion that I have found through GECP with other GECP students.
– Hannah Yoon, Class of 2025
I joined GECP because I want to teach abroad and work in multilingual classrooms. Additionally, I want to be able to create a globally informed educational setting for my students.
– Elizabeth Tweadey, Class of 2022
Growing up, my family couldn’t afford to travel, so I always felt like I was lacking in cultural knowledge and experiences. I joined GECP so I could gain these experiences in college and have the opportunity to learn about various cultures and engage with individuals with different cultural backgrounds than my own.
-Grace Steele, Class of 2022
Being a part of GECP gave me the unique opportunity to participate in my teacher education program within a smaller network in College of Education. This community included classmates and faculty who were similarly enthusiastic about global education but were also willing to challenge my perspectives to develop my critical thinking skills around pedagogy. The program ultimately provided the confidence I needed to pursue a career teaching abroad, and a network I can still rely on today.
-Taylor Sandweg, Class of 2015, Teacher at Maples Elementary in Dearborn