LIU Global (formerly Friends World), is a unique program in international and experiential higher education. Friends World College, founded in 1965 by a group of committed Quakers, was established to provide a genuinely alternative educational path that would lead students to consider the world’s pressing issues as a focus of their curriculum. The College was based on a Quaker foundation of community, governance by consensus, and education through firsthand experience, which would be recorded and documented through the construction of a Portfolio of Learning.
In the summer of 1965, the Committee on a Friends World College hired Dr. Morris Mitchell, a Quaker educator, pacifist and civil rights activist from Georgia, to direct the Friends World Institute, which would open its doors to students in the fall of that year. Before coming to Friends World, Mitchell had studied under John Dewey at Columbia Teachers College and had founded the Putney Graduate School of Education in Vermont. The Friends World model which emerged over the next few years owed its essential features to Dr. Mitchell. In it he integrated Quaker philosophy, Dewey's experiential approach to education and a global curriculum intended to produce “world citizens.”
In the system he proposed, Mitchell would bring the students to the world, rather than abstractly present bits of the world to classroom-bound students. Basing Friends World courses of study on the “world's most urgent human problems,” he envisioned study centers in each of the world’s major regions, from where students would set out in groups of fifty on a world journey that would last the entire four years, each group spending a semester in each of the seven regions and a final semester in their home region writing a senior thesis. Students would document, analyze and reflect upon their learning in journals, a practice influenced by Quaker tradition and employed by Dr. Mitchell at the Putney School.
His successor was Sidney Harman, a prominent Long Island businessman, under whose brief tenure a revised education model emerged. In 1968, Friends World settled into a new 93 acre estate in the Long Island hamlet of Lloyd Harbor, acquired from Mrs. Gerald M. Livingston. Later that year, the Regents of the State of New York granted a provisional charter for the establishment of an independent Friends World College.
During the seventies, FWC continued to develop academically. In 1980, FWC's Board hired a new president, Lawrence Weiss. Weiss strengthened the faculty, advocated a more integrated curriculum and attempted to strengthen administration. Financial hardship stood between FWC gaining full accreditation and it became necessary for Friends World to merge with an established university. In May 1991, the Board of Friends World College signed an affiliation agreement with Long Island University. Through this merger, Friends World gained full regional accreditation and moved to Long Island University in the fall of 1991.
In fall 2007, Friends World was renamed Global College (now LIU Global) and introduced a newly revised curriculum in global studies. In January 2012, LIU initiated a rebranding campaign and Global College became known as LIU Global. While no longer affiliated with Quaker institutions, LIU Global continues the early work of Mitchell, Harman, Weiss, Greenstein and others in a new framework sensitive to and influenced by recommendations for liberal learning in the 21st century. Today, LIU Global sets experiential and independent learning within a structured curriculum that builds skills progressively over the course of the college career. First year seminars, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, and writing intensive courses lay the groundwork for global learning, undergraduate research, service learning, and internships. With its focus on interactive, working relationships among faculty, staff, students, and local communities, LIU Global documents progress in the learning, leadership, teamwork, and communication skills vital to success in today's increasingly global society.
LIU Global is a discrete educational entity of Long Island University, with its own course content, faculty, staff, graduation requirements and internal governance procedures. LIU is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, (215) 662-5606. The Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education Accreditation. The degree and certificate programs also are approved and registered by the New York State Department of Education.