The annual Community Colleges for International Education (CCID) conference was held this past weekend, February 21-24 in Las Vegas, NV. The conference theme was “Crossing Canyons” and featured presentations by an array of faculty and international education specialists looking at ways in which to promote global awareness and competency through study abroad, curriculum reform, and international partnerships. Sessions included ones on linkages between colleges in the U.S./Canada and Scotland, developing associate degree programs in Afghanistan, engagement with students in China and Turkey using web-based technology, energy education in South Africa, and developing comprehensive global education strategies using CCID’s internationalization model.
Because of the close alignment between global education and peacebuilding objectives, several sessions looked at ways in which international education strategies can be used to promote conflict resolution education and peace efforts.
In “Advancing International Education by Leveraging the Fulbright Program and its Alumni”
Ken Bus from Glendale Community College and David J. Smith from the Fulbright Association discussed ways in which community colleges can engage in both “outbound” programs (Scholar Program, Administrator Program, Fulbright-Hays Program), and “inbound” programs (Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program, Scholar-in-Residence Program) to build their international education strategy. A number of session participants shared their experiences as Fulbrighters including Bus (who participated in the Administrator Program in Germany) and Smith (who participated in the Scholar Program in Estonia). There was also a discussion on ways in which U.S. based Fulbright chapters can be tapped to support community college global education efforts. Those wanting more information about the work of the Fulbright Association and its network of chapters, should contact Shaz Akram at Shaz.email@example.com.
Jennifer Batton from the International Institute on Sustained Dialogue and David J. Smith, editor of Peacebuilding in Community Colleges: A Teaching Resource hosted a session titled “Peacebuilding: A Path to Global Competency.” In this session academic and experiential approaches to advancing global peacebuilding education were covered including degree programs, study abroad, and pedagogical innovation. Currently there are 30 U.S. and Canadian community colleges sponsoring peacebuilding initiatives. The presentation that Smith made on community colleges and peacebuilding can be found here: CCID.