Thursday, December 22, 2011

Free computer courses

The Katy Library has scheduled free computer courses classes covering topics ranging from the basics to office productivity and special topics at its location at 5414 Franz Road.A seven-week course on basic computer skills will begin on Jan. 4. Sessions will be offered beginning at 10:15 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. on Mondays, and 1:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

A five-week class on Microsoft Office Excel and PowerPoint 2007 will begin on Jan. 3. One-hour sessions will be given at 10:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, and 10:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays.Registration is not required. Class space is limited to 13 students per class session, with seating given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Students received scholarships from the MUS

The following students received scholarships from the Minnesota State University College of Business:

Richard and Leone Myers Finance Scholarship Christopher Wilke of North Mankato, $400.
Hickory Tech Foundation Scholarship Hannah Wasko of Mankato, $1,000.
CHS Foundation Scholarship Victoria Hagen of Mankato, $1,000.
Dean Bowyer/Baseball Endowed Scholarship Nick Kaus of North Mankato, $500.

The following International students received scholarships from the Minnesota State University College of Business for the 2011-2012 academic school year:

Elmer T. and Nina C. Anderson Endowed Scholarship Natsua Asai, $725; Anuka Rodrigo, $725; Guanyu Ma, $725 Mohammad Khan, $725.
Gaber Abouelenein Scholarship — Kirill Graminschi, $1,000 .
Finance Faculty Student Scholarship — Sanjesh Kumar, $1,000.
B.H. and Betty Chesley Endowed Scholarship — Anisha Pant, $475.

Essentials of Orchestra Management

MANKATO — Mankato Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Director Sara Buechmann was accepted into the Essentials of Orchestra Management program offered by the League of American Orchestras. Only 30 candidates are accepted each year based on leadership potential, application essays and letters of recommendations from other professionals in the field.

North Dakota State University

Hailey Colbrunn, daughter of Michael and Merilee Colbrunn of Mankato, was admitted to North Dakota State University “With Distinction” for fall 2012. Distinction means that NDSU is acknowledging Colbrunn as an honor student.

Study Abroad Programs

The following students are studying abroad during the fall 2011 semester through the Office for Education Abroad at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph and Saint John’s University in Collegeville:

Andrew Thom, son of Jeff and Cindy Thom of North Mankato, is studying in Australia through St. Joseph and Saint John’s University.
Gretchen Osdoba, daughter of Dan and Kris Osdoba of Mankato, is studying in the Greco-Roman program. Osdoba is a junior chemistry major at College of Saint Benedict.
Mary Weber, daughter of Frank and Connie Weber of Kasota, is studying in the Roman-Greco program. Weber is a junior sociology major at College of Saint Benedict.

Welsh Association

The Board of Directors of the Minnesota Gymanfa Ganu Association, Minnesota Welsh Association, elected the following persons and committee chairs for 2011-2012: President Marcia Richards, Mankato; Vice President Robert Williams, Vernon Center; Secretary Karen Wojahn, Windom; Treasurer Helen Balcome, Lake Crystal; Membership Steve Alinder, Le Sueur; Historian Shirley Grundmeier, Mankato; and Publicity Ellis Jones, St. Peter.

Essentials of Orchestra Management program

Mankato Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Director Sara Buechmann was accepted into the Essentials of Orchestra Management program offered by the League of American Orchestras.Admission is competitive and only 30 candidates are accepted each year based on leadership potential, application essays and letters of recommendations from other professionals in the field.

Mankato Riverblenders Barbershop Chorus

The Mankato Riverblenders Barbershop Chorus placed second, 3 points out of first place, in “Harmony Internationals” 2011 Chapter Achievement Program. Each chapter was judged on Membership, Community, Chapter Management, Events/Contests, and Fulfillment. The Riverblenders score of 92 was the highest score in Community of the top ten chapters.The Riverblenders have 52 members on its roster and have five active quartets that performed or competed over 60 times during the past year. The chorus has won the Southwest District Contest 14 different times and then competes at the District level.

North Dakota State University

Emily Karkoska, daughter of Robert and Nancy Karkoska of Mankato, has been admitted to North Dakota State University “With Distinction.” She will enter NDSU in fall 2012. Distinction means that NDSU is acknowledging Karkoska as an honor student.

Marine Corps

Marine Corps Pvt. Marielle M. Schultz, daughter of Christine L. and Ronald V. Schultz of Easton, completed 12 weeks of basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Katherine Ann Ingman of Mankato graduated in December, 2011, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Friday, December 16, 2011

State to fund more study abroad in Brazil, Russia, India and China

The Norwegian parliament's committee on education has asked the Ministry of Education to fund more Norwegians to study in Brazil, Russia, India and China the four original BRIC countries from 2012.Kyrre Lekve, junior education minister, said funding would be focused on attendance at good quality institutions listed in international rankings.We are working on a model, where the eligibility criteria will be coupled to the international ranking lists. We know that these lists have many weaknesses, but we have to try out some selection instruments, Lekve said.

We will use a simple rule: higher education institutions in the BRIC countries on the Academic Ranking of World Universities 400 or the Times Higher Education 500 ranking will be eligible for support for Norwegian students.The ministry is now working on how this will be implemented. Significant numbers of Norwegian students already travel to South Africa, which joined the bloc to create BRICS in 2010.The Association of Norwegian Students Abroad (ANSA) welcomed the focus on emerging countries.There were 165 exchange students in India, 94 in Russia and 279 in China, but only eight bachelor students were studying for a degree in China and none in India, said Kristiane Roe Hammer, president of ANSA.This proposal from the parliamentary committee is something ANSA has been working for over many years.

But she said ANSA opposed the government's decision to concentrate funding at élite universities, as set out in the white paper on internationalisation of higher education 2008-09, and the use of rankings to decide who gets funding.She said:Such rankings are research-based and not a good instrument to measure the quality of teaching.ANSA thinks that all higher education institutions recognised by the Norwegian authorities should be eligible for support.
To ensure as many Norwegian students as possible have the opportunity to study abroad, it is important that not only élite institutions are eligible, Hammer told University World News.It is not only students with the straight As that are benefiting from going abroad to study.ANSA said that NOKUT, the government body responsible for approving quality in education, has a list of approximately 12,000 approved institutions around the world where Norwegians studying there are eligible for student loans through the Norwegian Government Loan Board.

These institutions have already been evaluated and found to have high standards. They include 4,000 institutions in the United States and 4,000 in Europe alone.According to ANSA, NOKUT, in approving higher education institutions, already works as a guarantor for quality in the education, and another 'quality list' would be redundant.Hammer said the next step after extending funding for study in emerging economies would be to include other countries of strategic importance for Norway, like Japan, Chile, Argentina, Malaysia and the US.This year 21,811 Norwegian students studied abroad, compared to 221,123 students studying in Norway, either for a full degree or as exchange students, with comparatively generous support from the Norwegian Government Loan Board.The number of Norwegian students financed by the Government Loan Board in 2010-11 was 21,811, of whom 14,154 studied for a degree abroad, and 7,657 were exchange students or students taking part of their degree abroad.

Three-year bachelor and masters students get grants and study loans to cover living costs and tuition fees to study abroad.ANSA has for many years called for Norwegian students abroad also to be supported in the freshman year of a bachelor degree in the US and in non-Western countries. These countries often have a four-year bachelor degree, and if Norwegian students want such study, they have to pay for the first year themselves.US Ambassador to Norway, Barry B White, wrote in the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv that it would be strategically sound to extend the eligibility of freshman studies to countries like Japan, Chile, Malaysia and the US.The number of Norwegian students in the US has been almost halved over the last 20 years, he said.We have worked for funding of the freshman year since it was removed from the loan scheme, Hammer said.It is important to have more Norwegian students in these countries.Junior minister Lekve denied that there has been a sharp reduction in the number of Norwegian students in the US, or a lack of support for the freshman year.Both ANSA and ambassador White are focusing on the number of degree students in the US, which correctly has been reduced. But at the same time the number of exchange students has increased every year, with a top in 2009-10. This is positive,Levke said.The government has not had as a policy to reduce the number of degree students, but we are satisfied with the results that the total number of Norwegian students in the US is increasing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

NIDES to offer two fine arts and technology programs

North Island Distance Education School (NIDES) will be offering two new programs that focus on fine arts, technology, engineering and robotics in September 2012. NIDES is a publiclyfunded, accredited school that offers web-based courses as well as face-to-face classes and field trips for kindergarten students all the way up to adult learners.NIDES principal Jeff Stewart said one of the programs, Fine Arts eCademy, is the first of its kind in Canada. The program is for students enrolled in kindergarten through Grade 9 and will run for three days each week during the regular school year. During those three days, students will alternate between studies in world music, performing arts, visual arts and time with distributed learning teachers to focus on math and language arts. The other two days will involve home-based learning focusing on academics.

For most of their classes, students will be grouped together by grade, but a few times a week students of all ages will come together for presentations, celebrations and collaborative projects. Fine Arts eCademy will take place at the Tsolum Campus in Courtenay and it is will accommodate up to 150 students. The idea is to combine different areas of study and put them to use in a concrete way through the study of the arts.We need to shift the learning on its head," said Stewart. "By integrating the curriculum, we can tailor the learning to each child rather than forcing them through the same model.He added that students will have the chance to explore different cultures through the arts.The second program, ENTER, will focus on new technologies, engineering and robotics, for students in Grades 6 through 8. The course, which also runs three days a week, will take place at Aspen Elementary. Stewart said that Aspen is a good fit because it currently has a shop class sitting empty.The hands-on program will give students the opportunity to explore a number of technologies, as well as self-regulated learning and academic subjects. Stewart said that the idea is to incorporate other subjects, including arts, math and science, into the

practical aspects of working with machinery and technology.Students and their parents will also be expected to pursue further learning outside the three weekly sessions.The programs are still in their infancy and funding arrangements for the additional costs associated with both courses have not been decided. The Comox Valley School District will provide much of the funding and those enrolled will have to provide the rest. Just how much that is, and whether it will be supplied through program fees, fundraising, or a combination of the two, has yet to be determined, said Stewart. Before any decisions are made, NIDES will be gathering a list of interested students and asking parents how they would like to fund the additional costs for the programs.Two information evenings for students and parents are scheduled for Monday. Jan. 16 at the NIDES Tsolum campus and Thursday, Jan. 26 at Mark R, Isfeld Secondary. Both sessions run from 6: 00 p.m. to 8: 00 p.m.

Monday, December 12, 2011

German University, Taiwan NCKU to Beef up Exchanges

Germany's Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus (BTU) and Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) agreed to step up exchange of students and faculty members as well as cooperation in research projects on Dec 9.Prof. Dr. habil. Walther Ch. Zimmerli, president of BTU visited NCKU on Dec. 9 and exchanged views with NCKU President Hwung-Hweng Hwung, Vice President of International Affairs Cheng Hung Huang, and the dean of College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Yonhua Tzeng.President Zimmerli, who was visiting Taiwan for the first time, praised NCKU for being a distinguished university in southern Taiwan and said he looked forward to furthering cooperation with NCKU.

According to Zimmerli, BTU is very selective in choosing partners and NCKU, with its outstanding achievement in engineering education and research, is high on his school's list for cooperation.In 2009, the two universities entered an agreement for a dual degree master program in which electrical and mechanical engineering students can study in both institutions and earn the dual degree in Master of Science.NCKU President Hwung would like to expand the program to include students from other disciplines.Currently the dual degree agreement is signed at the departmental level, said Hwung.We hope to have exchange at the university level.

Yonhua Tzeng, dean of College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of NCKU, talked about the combined strength of NCKU and the BTU on power engineering. BTU, being a young university of 20 years, has the newest facility and a specialty in environmental engineering and mobile power storage. NCKU's strength, on the other hand, lies in its comprehensive research into different sources of power engineering, as well as in computer science for monitoring power distribution. The cooperation between the two universities promises to yield good results, Tzeng said.Cheng Hung Huang, vice president of NCKU Office of International Affairs, said that NCKU currently has about 10 German students. To encourage international enrollment, NCKU offers free Chinese language courses.

Vice President Huang praised BTU for its success on attracting international students and asked President Zimmerli how best to motivate students to participate in the exchange program.Student exchange presupposes a strong exchange of faculty,said Zimmerli.To attract international faculty, universities must provide dual career opportunities for the faculty and their spouses, and offer strong language programs to participants.Located in Cottbus, the BTU was founded in 1991. The university hosts 6,800 students, 119 professors, and 571 scientific staff. Characterized by internationalism, the BTU's student body includes 986 international students from 92 countries. It aims to achieve 20% in the near future.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Free computer courses

The Canara Bank Institute of Information Technology (CBIIT) has announced the launch of a host of free full-time programmes in computer education for the poor and unemployed youth.
The first programme, a 90-day course in Network Administration will commence on December 26, 2011.It will include fundamentals of computer, MS-DOS, Troubleshooting and Assembling, Laptop and Printer Servicing, Network Basics, Windows XP, Windows 2003 server and Red-Hat Linux.

The 45-day programme in Office Administration comprising fundamentals of computer, Windows, MS Office, and Tally Ver. ERP9 will begin on January 9, 2012.So will the 90-day programme in Desktop Publishing that comprises fundamentals of computer, Windows, MS Office, Corel-Draw, and Photoshop.Aspirants will have to write a selection test at 10 am on December 23 at the CBIIT premises, 8th Main, 15th Cross, Chitrapur Bhavan Complex, Malleswaram, Bangalore-55.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

University will open two additional study abroad sites in Brazil and India

NYU's global network is about to get a bit bigger: The university will open two additional study abroad sites in Brazil and India.The university is in the very early planning stages of opening these two sites, NYU associate vice provost Anne Waters said.What is under discussion now is what is the best model and what would be the timing, she said.Waters thinks India and Brazil are the natural next steps in the university's global expansion plans.India and Brazil are two incredibly important world economies,Waters said.India is the world's largest democracy, and both India and Brazil are multi-ethnic, multi-racial, religiously diverse societies. It is incredibly important that these complex, dynamic societies, cultures and economies are part of our global network.

Since the multi-year planning stages for the Brazil and India sites have just started, academic offerings, specific locations and opening dates have not been determined.The university will conduct internal surveys to determine the structures of the two programs, said Christopher Nicolussi, senior director of student services and support at the Office of Global Programs. Once this is determined, he said. the next step will be to decide where in the countries the sites will be.
The work is mostly done with individual schools and faculty and departments here in New York before we start doing research on the ground in the country, Nicolussi said.Waters said she thinks NYU's global sites will play a vital role in the two countries. As these countries develop economically and politically, education will be a priority, Waters said.NYU's Global Network University is an intriguing model for leaders in those countries to consider,she said.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Study abroad experience in China

This is what students and faculty will hearwhen they step off the plane in China this July as they embark on UDM's first study-abroad experience inChina.This is the launch trip to China," said Lara Wasner, director of Language and Cultural Training.The trip is duplicated from the Brazil study-abroad trip, which was launched in 2005. That trip went very well, but it started to get too expensive due to the planning for the 2016 Olympics and the World Cup.Ten to 20 UDM students traditionally participate in the Brazil trip.

We are hoping to gainthat amount for the China trip, Wasner said.The tripwill run July 1-14 with stops in megacities like Beijing, Shanghaiand Xi'an.Though this is the university's first time abroad to China, it will be Wasner's fourth.The first two times I went were for recruiting for university programs, said Wasner.My focus on the last trip was education reform in China. I enjoyed all of the visits, even when I was there on business.Wasner met with college students andvisited historical sites.The last time I was there, I dove into the educational aspects of China because of the rapid changes being brought on by the economic growth and development," Wasner said. "From there, planning for the China trip began"following requests by UDM students.

For many, the trip to China will be the trip of a lifetime.For the Rev. William Tillie, the trip will offera great chance to gain more knowledge pertaining to his career aspirations.I think that going to China will be very interesting, said Tillie. "I can't wait to study their culture, religion, interpretation of the Bible,as well as seeing the business side of the country.While I'm there, I hope to gain more knowledge on how to run a business or businesses,he continued.I want to help people who are struggling in this economy and do God's will. This experience will help me grow and when I grow, other people grow as well.Courses will beoffered in comparativeeducation, cultural anthropology, urban issues and problems, and directed readings, a course being offered to students who already have taken one of the other classes, said anthropology Prof.Dr. Aloha Van Camp.

The readings class is a private study arrangement that can be worth anywhere between three to nine credits, said Van Camp.One example is a nursing student who is going to China and is using the directed readings to study the Chinese holistic approach to medicine and how the Chinese medical system is different than ours.Being in Van Camp's cultural anthropology class this semester, Tillie will be participating in directed readings during his trip to China.While I am in China, I have to take at least 100 pictures,said Tillie.Taking the pictures will be the first part of the course and then the second part will be presenting them after we get back.Van Camps hopes that her students will take the opportunity to immerse themselves in Chinese culture.

I think that the traditional classroom learning experience isgood, but the chance to immerse one's self in a culture such as China's is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,said Van Camp.Ms. Wasner has done a wonderful job with the study abroad opportunities here at the university. I am excited about seeing the Great Wall as well as some the megacities such as Beijing and Shanghai. It is a great opportunity for the students and faculty to see where China is going and, especially for the students, see how China will continue to play a key role in society for the future.Students will be attending a Chinese theatre, taking rickshaw tours and participating in many more memorable experiences.The costis not cheap, but Wasner saidfinancial aid and travel grants areavailable for students interested in studying in China.For those who are planning on studying abroad inChinaor in any other summer study abroad program, there is a discounted rate of tuition,said Wasner.You can also apply for financial aid. There is also a travel grant established by Jamie Dylenski and family three summers ago.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

College offers affordable study abroad

One of the most highly recommended, attractive experiences at university is the opportunity to study abroad. There are few better chances to experience the thrill of living outside your own country and broaden your horizons than in college.Sadly, for many brilliant young Korean students, the financial burden of paying tuition at a host university, plus room and board, can keep them grounded.However, Barnard College, a women’s college in the heart of New York City, offers all of the above plus more without the extravagant price tag for female Korean university students.

Through their Visiting International Student Program, Korean students are able to attend the top tier private school as a full-time student for the semester and also attend courses at Columbia University.The program allows students from Yonsei University and Ewha Womans University to study at the campus minutes away from Central Park for a semester, only paying Barnard College’s room and board.According to Barnard College President Debora Spar, the program is a rare win-win offer that no other American college offers.It’s been a great way for us to internationalize our campus to get a large influx of students and I think it’s been a wonderful experience for the students,explained Spar, during an interview with The Korea Herald.So the faculty at Barnard tries to “internationalize our students by having them exposed to as many students from as many different countries as possible because that’s what they are going to need to function in the world.I’ve spent my career working on international politics and international economics and I firmly believe that the 21st century is going to be much more international than the 20th century was.”Her own personal experience amassed during her 17 years as a professor at the Harvard Business School helps her to see the importance of such international exposure for her 2,300 students.

I think we owe it to our American students to make sure that they are getting exposed to as much of the world as possible, said Spar, who was recently appointed a board member at Goldman Sachs.And the Korean students who have joined the program not only gained quality education and exposure to multiple cultures, but have taken advantage of the extracurricular education, seamlessly entering the academic atmosphere.They’ve done surprisingly well in terms of getting involved with things on campus and particularly student government, said the president, adding that there are a disproportionate number of Korean students in their student government.A great number of Korean women have also partaken in their strong economics program, with many moving into professional financial roles, according to the college.

With the strong background in women’s rights, including a Global Symposium on the topic three years and running, the college offers empowerment that female Korean students can use.Spar herself is familiar with the abysmal professional field for Korean women here, which may be why they are so actively engaged Barnard.According to the college, many of the Korean women from Barnard have gone on to successful financial careers, particularly in multinational firms, because of the resources the college offers.Statistics both within the country and the OECD have shown that local firms offer little opportunity and advancement for female employees.Although Korea is one of the primary countries in the program, it also attracts students from all over the world including China, South Africa and Denmark.And the program has seen a remarkable 500 percent increase in students over the past four years, which Spar modestly accounted to a start in a small base, but nonetheless a large surge.Founded in 1889, Barnard is known for successful graduates, especially in the literary world, including seven Pulitzer Prize winners.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Student engineers test real-world applications

Eight teams of industrial engineering seniors presented their projects designed to solve real world problems Friday morning to peers and potential clients.The exhibit, hosted by the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the Computing, Research and Education building on Busch campus, showcased a wide range of products with defects that students in the Design of Engineering Systems course remedied, said Basily B. Basily, an assistant research professor.They are given a problem and they have to find a solution for that. They actually start with an idea. We try to guide them through it until they find a good idea and create a prototype, said Basily, who teaches the class.

Students tracked the changes made on each product for the exhibit, making it easy for a buyer to mimic their designs, said Joseph Tadros, a member of the Machine for Assembling Modern Electronics team.We’re going to document all of our information and all our design specifications. If people come in with the same budget, they can develop the same machine,said Tadros, a School of Engineering senior.Teams from the system design course have placed in national competitions for the past six years, said Hoang Pham, chairman of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.Pham said high success of their designs in the competition would have a positive effect on the students’ employability.Of those that graduate, about 75 percent of students get a job. Some of them also decide to compete for graduate school,Pham said.

The project helps students understand the actual process of creative problem solving, said Drew Flannelly, a member of the Shop Mate for Picking up Objects group.I think this class definitely prepares you for real life. It gives you the expectations and limitations, said Drew Flannelly, a School of Engineering senior. “It gives you a sense of how much work actually is involved in designing something, how much more goes into it than you expect.Niccole Marcial, a member of the “Fully Automated Elevator Maintenance System team, believes these projects help build up a résumé and boost professional credibility for the inevitable job hunt.

It gives us the skills for when we go on interviews. Any job interview I go on, I mention this project and the teamwork that goes into it,said Marcial, a School of Engineering senior.Blake Cignarella, a School of Engineering senior who worked on a lawn weeding and repair system, said the work required to complete the systems surpassed the skills of other engineering students who do not participate.We have the most intensive senior design project. They’re telling us that some of the stuff we’re doing like our coding and the amount of integration we have to do — is more than students in electrical and computer engineering, and that’s their forte, Cignarella said.The design class is unique for the curriculum, as industrial engineering has more of a technical concentration, said Keith Rodgers, a member of the Shop Mate for Picking Up Objects team.Industrial engineering typically goes into bookwork or statistical analysis, not anything with designing or mechanical or electrical components, said Rodgers, a School of Engineering senior. “This [project] definitely brings in other components of engineering which other universities don’t do.

Industrial engineering students appreciate the comprehensive program and its distinct hands-on style, said Zachary Shands, a member of the “Machine for Assembling Modern Electronics group.I don’t think any other course really challenges you as much as this design course does, Shands said, a School of Engineering senior. “Every other class, they kind of spoon feed you the information. We had to go out and attain the information and find ways to invent this, build this.Kang Li, an assistant professor who teaches in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, said the curriculum is textbook-oriented and welcomes the upcoming changes.We may add a programming class [this summer] to let them have the necessary knowledge to be prepared, rather than just rely on this course of two semesters, which we feel is not enough."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Victoria College offers online course

Victoria College's Workforce and Continuing Education Department is offering an online program that makes it easy to master the art of public speaking.VC has partnered with ed2go to offer Mastering Public Speaking.In this course, participants will learn how to speak confidently and persuasively to both large audiences and small groups. They will master the art of verbal and nonverbal communication, find out how to overcome their fear of public speaking, learn how to organize and deliver a short or long speech effectively, and practice techniques for
communicating with ease and skill in any setting from a meeting to a job interview.

This course is part of the college's growing catalog of more than 300 instructor-facilitated online courses. Through well-crafted lessons, expert online instruction, and interaction with fellow students, participants in these courses gain valuable knowledge at their convenience.These online courses offer students the flexibility to study at their own pace combined with enough structure and support to complete the course along with access to the classroom at anytime from anywhere with an Internet connection.New sessions of each course begin every month and each course lasts six weeks. Courses are entirely web-based with comprehensive lessons, quizzes, and assignments. A professional instructor facilitates every course: pacing learners, answering questions, giving feedback, and facilitating discussions.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

WE need more Americans studying abroad particularly in China and soon

The U.S. Department of State and the International Institute of Education recently released new numbers on global study abroad in the annual Open Doors Report. Once again, China tops the list of countries sending students to study in the U.S. In the last academic year, the number of Chinese students studying in the U.S. grew by 23 percent to a population of nearly 158,000 students. American enrollments in China grew as well, but far more modestly at just under 2 percent keeping China the fifth-most-popular destination for Americans studying abroad and taking the total population of Americans studying in China to just under 14,000.

We welcome more Chinese students, alongside those from other countries, coming to the U.S. for our world-class education system. These students internationalize our campuses and contribute to the U.S. economy: In 2010, international students spent nearly $22 billion on tuition, housing and other expenses. But with just over 1 percent of U.S. college students pursuing study abroad, we face real challenges to growing a generation of global citizens. But we can and must do better.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has called China,One of our most challenging and consequential bilateral relationships.We welcome a strong, prosperous and successful China that plays a greater role in world affairs. It's good for the global economy and it's good for creating jobs back home in America. But in order for the U.S. to remain competitive in the global economy, we must ensure that our young people have the understanding and skills to engage with China during its impressive economic growth. Two years ago, President Obama announced an initiative designed to do exactly that.

The 100,000 Strong Initiative will increase the number and diversify the composition of Americans studying in China. Although it aims to increase to 100,000 the number of Americans studying in China over a four-year period, it is really the beginning of a long-term effort to encourage Americans to engage China constructively so that we can achieve our goal of global peace and prosperity. The initiative also enjoys personal support and engagement from Chinese President Hu Jintao.Building on successful U.S. government-funded educational exchange programs, 100,000 Strong is a partnership with the private sector. As such, the Initiative represents the best of America government, private sector, nonprofit and academic groups coming together to invest in both our young people's future and the long-term stability of the U.S.-China relationship.Private companies, foundations and individuals to date have pledged just more than $11 million to allow American students and educators from high schools, community colleges and four-year universities to study in China. Mega-artists like, and John Legend have signed on to do a December concert in Beijing that will open doors for underserved high-school students from five U.S. cities to study in China. Seattle joins leaders from Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., as partners with the Department of State to make this Initiative a reality for high-school students across the United States.

Recognized as a national leader in providing Chinese-language training for public-school students, Seattle should be quite proud of its role in this initiative. Funds raised from the private sector for Seattle through the 100,000 Strong Initiative will support national study-abroad program Americans Promoting Study Abroad and Seattle-based nonprofit OneWorld Now!, which give hundreds of underserved public-high-school students the chance to learn Mandarin and send them on life-changing summer programs to China.But we need more help. We estimate that at least $68 million in private funds will be required to achieve the president's goal of seeing 100,000 Americans study in China by 2014. The initiative needs the support of more American companies whose businesses are affected by the state of U.S.-China relations, and who need a strong, China-savvy pool of potential employees from which to recruit their future workforce.

The initiative needs corporations, foundations and philanthropists to create opportunities for underrepresented students across the United States to ensure that they have the same opportunities as other young Americans whose parents can afford to send them abroad. The initiative needs schools and study-abroad programs to leverage this presidential initiative to expand their study-abroad programs.Americans have a huge role in determining whether China ultimately presents a threat or an opportunity for us. What will make the difference is how well the next generation is prepared to engage China. Armed with language skills and experience interacting with Chinese peers, the next generation will be able to manage the U.S.-China relationship in a way that will allow both countries to thrive. Seattle is poised to lead the way.

Friday, December 2, 2011

College students most likely to go study abroad

According to a recent study conducted by the Institute of International Education, the College of William and Mary has the highest percentage of undergraduate students who choose to study abroad of all public doctorate institutions in the United States.The IIE’s Open Doors 2011 Report showed that 43.9 percent of students at the College have studied abroad in the 2009-10 academic year. This is a 3.6 percent increase from 2008-09, when the percentage was 40.3, following a 6 percent decrease from 2007-08, when the percentage peaked at 46.3.

These numbers correspond with the national trends indicated by the report. Overall, numbers slowed down after the economic downturn beginning in 2007, but began increasing again in 2009-10.I think we’ve been paying attention to this for a long time,Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and associate professor of Hispanic studies Silvia Tandeciarz said about the popularity of study abroad at the College.I think that as a liberal arts college we emphasize maybe more than other state institutions, I don’t know the importance of breadth and depth in our education, and part of that breadth is an international exposure. I think that the faculty deserve a tremendous amount of credit because they are constantly recruiting students for study abroad programs.

Tandeciarz is the faculty liaison for the semester study abroad program in La Plata, Argentina and participates in the governance of study abroad programs at the College.I don’t see how you could be educated to be a citizen in the 21st century without some kind of global understanding and global perspective,Tandeciarz said.Tandeciarz attributed the College’s preponderance of students who study abroad in part to the nature of the student population and in part to the unique opportunities that students receive abroad.I think that our students tend to think about the global reality that they’re engaged in and are very active in terms of finding ways to make it possible to study abroad, whether it’s over the summer or on semester-long programs or even short research trips,Tandeciarz said.I think where there’s been a lot of growth has been in faculty-mentored research abroad. The culture of study abroad, I would say, has shifted over the years to more intense mentored undergraduate research experiences, where students aren’t simply going abroad and immersing themselves in the culture and the language and living with host families and studying in classes sometimes with foreign nationals, other times just with American students but they’re also going abroad thinking about original research that they can undertake in the field and so using that experience as a lab where they’re pursuing independent research questions under the guidance of faculty mentors. And I think that’s really very exciting and something that’s very special about in particular and our study abroad.

Kelsey Conway ’12 agreed, citing the students and the opportunities available to them as the reasons behind the College’s superior ranking.I think it’s the students and then the students mixed with the opportunities that we have available for us here [that] really make it so that we have a good study abroad program,Conway said.Though many students clearly do take advantage of the study abroad opportunities that the College has to offer, others feel as though obstacles such as finances, major requirements and extracurricular commitments impede them from going abroad. However, there are several solutions to these problems.

I’m on the golf team here, so I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to go abroad during the semester,Conway, who spent the summer after her freshman year in Galway, Ireland, said.I knew that the only time I would be able to do anything would be over the summer.Originally, Conway’s interest lay not in study abroad, but just in visiting Ireland.It wasn’t really to have the study abroad experience; it was more to visit Ireland specifically, but it turned out that I got a lot more out of doing it by studying abroad than going to visit personally,Conway said.The faculty of the College is also trying to make study abroad more accessible to those who believe it to be beyond their reach.Meanwhile, the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies is working to advocate and facilitate study abroad for students.I think it is getting the message out there over and over that this can be a really important part of your academic course, and then once students are convinced, helping them work out those practical problems the finances, the academics getting over those hurdles,Theresa Johansson, assistant director of the Global Education Office at the Reves Center, said.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Study Abroad Trip to Ireland

Genesee Community College will once again host a study abroad trip to rural Ireland this summer. Led by professors Charley and Connie Boyd, students as well as community members, are invited to join a tour of mid-land Ireland June 4-19, 2012. An informational meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 6 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in T102 at the Batavia Campus.Students enrolled in the courses will study human relations and earn six college credits. Courses include HUM154: Introduction to Irish Culture, History, and Arts as well as HUR101: Introduction to Human Relations.

Participants will stay at Rathgillan Farm in the rural town of Nobber in County Meath about one hour from Dublin. Meath, the heritage capital of Ireland, is home to the historic Boyne Valley Region, an area rich in legend and folklore. Viking and Norman ruins, castles and crosses and numerous monastic sites enrich the Irish Midlands. Students will visit the historic cultural sites of Hill of Tara, Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth Neolithic burial chambers, Malahide Castle, Trim Castle, Loughcrew Cairns and the Hill of Ward.Other excursions include a day at the Irish American Folk Park, two or three days in Dublin, Ireland's largest city and its capital with a visit to see the Book of Kells, one of Ireland's finest national treasures. Students will also visit the Wicklow Mountains and participate in Irish music and language workshops. Optional trips to the Aran Islands and Blarney Castle may be offered.

Students discover much about Ireland and themselves, Charley Boyd, professor of English at GCC said.It promises to be a life changing experience.The approximate cost for this trip is $3500 includes airfare, lodging, most meals, transportation and college tuition.Interested participants should contact Connie Boyd, at 585-343-0055 x 6292 or Charley Boyd at 585-343-0055 x 6281 as soon as possible.