College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Certificate Programs

International Studies (Three Certificates)

These three certificates provide different approaches to international studies. Language and Culture for Global Affairs focuses on area studies; Cross-Cultural Communication concentrates on the impact of culture on behavior in multicultural contexts; and Language Skills for Business emphasizes the development of commercial language skills.

The Department of Political Science administers the Language and Culture for Global Affairs and the Cross-Cultural Communication certificates. The chair of the Political Science Department meets with each student interested in undertaking either of these certificates and assigns an appropriate adviser on the basis of the student's expressed interest. The Political Science Department will keep records on student progress and issue an appropriate certificate to all students completing either program.

Modern Languages administers the Language Skills for Business certificate and awards the certificate. Students interested in this program should contact the Modern Languages Department.

A. Language and Culture for Global Affairs

This is a 16-credit program focusing on the language and culture of one of the following four regions or areas: Western Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Students pursuing majors in Business, Marketing, History, Political Science, Anthropology, Modern Languages, and International Relations will find this certificate offers them an opportunity to establish their capacity to analyze and understand the affairs of a particular world region. Certificate candidates must take one language course focusing on business communications. In addition they must complete at least 12 hours of course work focused on the geographic area of their specialization. Students who choose to study abroad will be able to complete a significant portion of their course work for this certificate through one of the university's summer programs. This approach to the certificate is strongly recommended. For the specific course choices available for each of the four regions, contact the Political Science Department, Rhodes Tower 1744, 216-687-4541.

As a prerequisite to pursuing this certificate, students are required to have intermediate-level knowledge of the target language, either from previous study of the language in high school or from courses taken at the university level.

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B. Cross-Cultural Communication Certificate

This is a 14- to 15-credit program in which students learn to interact effectively with persons from different cultures. The emphasis is not on one culture, but rather on becoming aware of cultural differences and learning communication strategies to cope effectively with such differences. The program requires a field-study experience which may take place abroad or at home (for example, working with the Hispanic population of Cleveland). This certificate program is designed for students intending to pursue service-oriented careers that involve contact with culturally diverse populations. Such careers include marketing, business administration, management and labor relations, social work, psychology, communication, sociology, political science, education and the many career options in health-care fields.

There are three components to this certificate: 1) two courses in methodologies of cross-cultural communications, 2) one comparative culture course, and 3) a field study. For the specific course choices available contact the Political Science Department, Rhodes Tower 1744, 216-687-4541.

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C. Language Skills for Business

This 14- to 16-credit program is designed for students who plan a career in which they will be actively using a language for professional purposes. The program is comprised of three components:

  • A language component (8 credits) where students acquire language skills
  • A field study component (3 or 4 credits) where students put their language skills into use while interacting more generally with a foreign culture
  • A practical experience component (3 or 4 credits) that may take the form of a practicum, internship, or independent study. This last component requires that students use their second language in a professional context that will most probably take place abroad, although experiences at home may also apply.

For the specific course choices available contact the Modern Languages Department, Rhodes Tower 1619, 216-687- 4645.

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