The Bologna Declaration Agreement Impact on U.S. Higher Education: Recommendations for Integration

By Graciela Helguero-Balcells.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Since September 11, 2001 there has been a growing realization within the United States that in order to achieve better instruments to strengthen national security, compete and be successful within the global community, it has become vital to look at the American educational system which, according to some critics, presently is lacking the international elements in order to do so. With the new administration of President Barack Obama there is a renewed hope that there will be more of a push for the furthering International Education and additionally increase second language acquisition coupled with cultural awareness/understanding. The time has come for the United States to set an educational/intellectual course that is consistent with globalization and internationalization. Stimulating the initiative to reform our own higher educational goals will be essential in order to compete with the European Union’s Bologna Agreement Accord and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. With the advent of the educational reforms in Europe (Bologna Agreement, June 19, 1999), those nations that have embraced more uniformity amongst themselves have concluded that competition in the global market has made it imperative to make changes in the academic curriculum of colleges and universities. One of the aspects that must be taken into account in the United States is the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) which is enabling students to gain the confidence in acquiring other languages in a holistic manner. Second language acquisition is looked upon as skill based achievements versus the tradition notion that there are a series of classes that must be taken with set requirements in order to ascertain entry to the next level. This does not guarantee that the learner will effectively be able to perform tasks in accordance to the proficiency level. With the growing globalization movement of the last few years in regard to international education, the challenge for the United States is the pursuit of a national international education policy coupled with acquisition of a second or third language program. Such an effort requires a mobilization and coordination concerning international education efforts, language educators, and recourses at all levels. This paper will provide suggestions for implementing the internationalization and increase second language acquisition programs of our national higher educational institutions. In conjunction, there will be an analysis of the reforms presently being undertaken in the European Higher Educational System.

Keywords: Educational Reform: EU and US

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 10, pp.241-252. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.278MB).

Dr. Graciela Helguero-Balcells

Assistant Professor, Teacher Education, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA

During the course of my professional career I have had a wide range of opportunities that have enabled me to grow both professionally and personally. It is from those experiences that my research field has not been limited to one specific area. My interests are all interconnected. Recently, I finished my PhD dissertation on International Education that is looking at the European Union’s Bologna Agreement and the impact on U.S. Higher Education. Additionally, a second PhD is being worked on in the area of Spanish Literature at the Universidad de León.

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