CISP Strategic Plan 2016-2021

California International Studies Project

The Making of a Plan

The California International Studies Project (CISP) leadership team, consisting of all Site Directors, Executive Director, Program Manager, and one Advisory Board Member, met January 8-9, 2016, at San Diego State University to develop the 2016-2021 CISP Strategic Plan. The process was facilitated by Consultant Roni Jones (formerly at National Geographic Education and currently at WestEd). Following this two-day meeting, leaders worked in pairs to further develop components of the plan and flesh out strategic goals. The group reunited on March 6, 2016, to discuss and decide on these components. Further tinkering was necessary until the following plan was presented to the CISP Advisory Board April 20-21, 2016. The plan will be reviewed and updated annually by CISP leaders.

CISP: Developing the potential in every global citizen

The California International Studies Project promotes global education through high quality, standards-based, and interdisciplinary professional learning programs for educators in California. CISP collaborates with teachers, schools, districts, and education partners committed to developing global competence, which includes curiosity, creativity, empathy, integrity, and active citizenship, in PK-12 students.

CISP's statewide office is at San Diego State University. Regional sites include:

  • North Bay International Studies Project at Sonoma State University
  • Bay Area Global Education Project at World Savvy in San Francisco
  • San Joaquin Global Education Project (hosted at San Diego State University)
  • Dominguez Hills International Studies Project at CSU Dominguez Hills (relocated in 2017 to CSU Long Beach)
  • Fullerton International Resources for Schools and Teachers at CSU Fullerton
  • International Studies Teacher Education Project at San Diego State University

Mission Statement

CISP inspires and supports educators to develop global competence and active citizenship in PK-12 students for the 21st century.

Vision Statement

Who we are: CISP Matters

The California International Studies Project inspires and empowers teachers, students, administrators, policy-makers, and community partners to act ethically for the greater good in an ever-changing world. CISP creates space and opportunity to nurture the ongoing development of global citizens who value acting out of love for community, collaboration across cultures, critical thinking, and creative solutions to complex issues. CISP maintains connected communities of practice through high-quality professional development and resources. The organization develops, supports, and presents model programs that utilize research-based practices and authentic inquiry learning methods to help students develop the necessary knowledge and skills to make ethical decisions, participate in addressing local and global challenges, and contribute meaningful solutions to problems of today and the future. CISP staff is committed to finding peaceful solutions to the world’s problems through education, professional learning, and a deep sense of purpose.

What we do: Students Matter

CISP leads California in promoting and developing global education to ensure that all students in California are competent 21st century citizens capable of contributing to their local and global community alike. Around the state, teachers engage students in practices that demonstrate inquiry learning, such as project-based, discovery, or experiential learning, to interact with the world from a standpoint of respect for multiple perspectives, openness for mutual understanding, evidence-based decision-making, and informed individual action. Students develop understanding and skills related to flexibility and adaptability, which are hallmarks of today’s ever-changing world. All students are learning that peoples of the world are living in places that are both specific and interconnected. They recognize the value of history, culture, and geography in their interdisciplinary studies of local and global issues. These studies afford students multiple opportunities to develop empathy and voice. Students simultaneously identify and anticipate the consequences of actions and implications of non-action in a world defined by change. Across grade levels and subject areas, inside and outside of school, students act in accordance with an innate sense of global awareness and understanding. Students become adept in identifying problems as well as proposing and enacting solutions that promote a peaceful world.

Who we serve: Teachers Matter

CISP leads high quality, research-based, effective professional learning communities engaged in a variety of professional activities, including research, field study, study abroad, curriculum development, consultation, presentation, and coaching. Teacher Leaders are model educators for global studies who provide leadership, creativity, inspiration, support, and resources to form a strong statewide network that serves as a model of excellence. Teachers are empowered to prepare and present meaningful learning experiences that engage students in learning about, and with, others in a global community. Like their students, teachers are curious and concerned about local and global issues and seek to acquire, organize, and analyze information before drawing conclusions that lead to positive actions. Teachers ask compelling questions of themselves, their colleagues, their students, and society, and maintain the perspective and disposition of learner.

How we serve: Leadership Matters

CISP is a well known and highly respected “go-to” organization for teachers, schools, districts, and education partners committed to developing and supporting global citizenship for all (students, educators, families, community partners). CISP helps define global literacy for educators and students in California, and leads statewide efforts to promote global awareness, understanding, and competency in school-based programs. Data and outcomes generated as a result of CISP programs attract enough funding and political/social support to build a solid infrastructure allowing for robust sites throughout our state. Accepting and addressing change is a core feature of CISP leadership and mirrors the world in which we live, the world for which we must prepare educators, and the world in which our students will flourish.

Guiding Principles

Global Citizenship

  • world mindedness
  • civic participation
  • resourcefulness
  • perspective conscious
  • activism
  • interconnectedness


  • fairness
  • non violence
  • peace


  • respect
  • non-judgmental
  • ethical principles


  • compassion
  • understanding
  • humility
  • presence


  • inquisitiveness
  • questioning
  • exploration
  • sharing


  • original
  • unique
  • active


  • growth mindset
  • opportunity to learn
  • excellence for all


  • innovation
  • entrepreneurialism
  • activism

Strategic Goals & Activities

1. Identity: Determine identity and improve awareness and understanding of CISP.
  • define global competence
  • determine name for organization
  • develop and maintain website
  • branding
  • explore standards/framework

2. Communication
: Communicate regularly within and about CISP.
  • social media
  • write/publish professionally
  • newsletter
  • create and use listserv
  • video messaging and promotion
  • connect with California Department of Education
  • distribute resources electronically

3. Organizational Structure: Determine site and network structures, policies, and practices.

  • define consistent common practices
  • distinguish and define what sites offer
  • professional development for CISP around consistent practices
  • common activities across sites
  • more meetings for Site Directors
  • marketing workshop
  • shared calendar
  • determine roles & responsibilities of Site Directors
  • create relationships and determine work with scholars
  • capitalize on our uniqueness

4. Accountability: Coordinate evaluation, feedback, and reporting practices.

  • conduct needs assessment
  • determine indicators and benchmarks for global competence
  • research programs, resources, and professional learning
  • determine common outcomes of different programs
  • collaborate around evaluations, student achievement, and data
  • annual report to stakeholders

5. Projects & Activities: Develop signature program and align all programs to CISP mission, vision, and values.

  • use CISP mission and vision statements to guide development of programs
  • visit/observe/participate in projects at other sites
  • determine common elements of programs across sites and correlate with mission, vision, and values (guiding principles)
  • report findings and use to develop statewide "cornerstone" project

6. Funding: Build capacity and increase funding for improved programs and reach.

  • research funding sources
  • pursue grants and funding opportunities to support our work
  • develop donation program
  • develop and build partnerships
  • capitalize on our uniqueness


This strategic plan was developed by the following CISP leaders:

  • Nirvani Budhram, BAGEP Site Director
  • Connie DeCapite, FIRST Site Director
  • Barbara Doten, DHISP Site Co-Director
  • Stephanie Duran, CISP Program Manager
  • Maria Gutierrez-Stearn, SJGEP Site Director
  • Miriam Hutchins, former NBISP Site Director
  • Roni J. Jones, Strategic Planning Consultant
  • Gary Kroesch, ISTEP Site Director
  • Michelle Mazzeo, NBISP Site Director
  • Emily Schell, CISP Executive Director
  • Nicole Solig, DHISP Site Co-Director
  • Christena Turner, CISP Advisory Board Chair

For More Information

If you would like more information about CISP, please join our Facebook group, follow us on Twitter, visit our website, or contact us directly. If you would like to discuss our project, develop programs for your school/district, or support our work through donations, grant opportunities, and/or partnerships, we look forward to hearing from you.