Edmonds Community College receives U.S. Department of State grant

Edmonds Community College has received an award of $1.87 million from the U.S. Department of State to administer the Community College Initiative program to provide professional training and degrees to students from South Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Near East.

Edmonds Community College, as the lead college, has partnered with Whatcom Community College and Pierce College to create the Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) to provide the educational programs stipulated by the cooperative agreement. Edmonds Community College coordinates the NWCCI program and works with two other Washington state community colleges — Pierce College in Lakewood and Whatcom Community College in Bellingham.

These colleges were selected for their extensive experience providing international programs and professional training for international students; their demonstrated commitment to the goals of the CCI program; for offering strong academic programs in the targeted fields of study; for their geographic representation and diverse communities; and for their knowledge of the participating world regions.

The 2013-14 academic year is the fifth year of the NWCCI program. A cohort of 48 students who will arrive in August 2013. To date, NWCCI has hosted 170 students from Brazil, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Panama, South Africa and Turkey.

Each participant takes part in a four-week English and academic success program, followed by three quarters of study in one of six academic fields: applied engineering, business management and administration, early childhood education, information technology, media, or tourism and hospitality management. All students complete an internship allowing them to apply classroom learning in a professional setting. They also participate in a cultural program that introduces students to the cultures of the United States and provides opportunities for them to share their own cultures with local communities.

The cultural program includes visits to local businesses and government offices, service learning activities, leadership training, being paired with an American friendship family, and regular opportunities to give presentations in the local community.

The Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) is one of only three consortia in the United States to receive the annual award from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The funds provide valuable support to assist the college in its international education goal of fostering better understanding between people of the world and local communities.

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