Educators in higher learning recognize the critical need to prepare graduates to meet the challenges of living in an increasingly globalized society. In order to respond to this need, graduates must acquire a deeper understanding of the many facets of our world interconnectedness, and be able to venture into other ways of perceiving and applying knowledge. While foreign language instruction helps students progress towards this goal, the task of producing globally competent graduates goes far beyond the scope of traditional foreign language instruction and is a university-wide issue that involves a wide range of disciplines and entities. There is a growing recognition that other disciplines, even those apparently "universal" disciplines such as the sciences, are framed by culture and developed within cultural contexts. The challenge to U.S. universities and colleges is to find ways to link language and culture to other disciplines so that students have adequate opportunity to acquire cross-cultural competence, and learn to think of foreign languages and cultural knowledge as tools that can be applied in a wide variety of circumstances, not just when they are reading literature in the original or studying abroad. Meeting this challenge is both a structural and funding issue for universities and colleges. However, these kinds of opportunities are a critical part of the education of globally competent graduates, graduates who can access information presented in non-English language sources, and synthesize information from multiple cultural perspectives.
The Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) Movement intends to make global competence a reality for students and to create alliances among educators to share practices and find ways to incorporate an international dimension in curricula, and, more generally, to achieve internationalization goals. General principles of CLAC include: