Community College of Philadelphia Study Abroad Program Wins National Heiskell Award

PHILADELPHIA, January 26, 2012 — Community College of Philadelphia’s study abroad program for students and faculty has earned the college a prestigious award for innovation from the Institute of International Education (IIE).

The IIE today announced that the College’s Student-Faculty International Fellowship Program will receive an Andrew Heiskell Award Honorable Mention, in the Internationalizing the Community College category. It is also featured by the IIENetwork as a “best practice” in international education.

The Fellowship Program was initiated in 2009 as part of the College’s Center for International Understanding.  The program has since secured travel scholarships for 65 students and 19 faculty members to study and travel to Turkey, China, India, Ghana, Greece, Belize, Peru and France, said Center Director Fay Beauchamp. This year, faculty members will accompany student groups to Cambodia, Israel and Turkey.
The Center for International Understanding encourages and supports the integration of international content into courses and curricula. “The students and faculty have studied different languages and disciplines such as regional art, histories, literature, world religions, anthropology, environment, sociology, culinary arts and hospitality management,” Beauchamp said.

Participation in the study abroad program reflects the College’s diverse student body with 32 African-American student travelers, three Latinos, two Asian-Americans, and nine immigrants from a variety of countries.

“The Heiskell Award is particularly interested in highlighting initiatives that broaden the base of student participation in study abroad opportunities,” Beauchamp said. “This recognition encourages us to continue a program that places study abroad opportunities within reach of students with limited incomes.” 

The Heiskell Awards promote and honor outstanding initiatives in international higher education among the members of IIE's association of more than 1,000 institutions.  In the category of Internationalizing the Community College Campus, members of the American Association of Community Colleges, with an additional 1,000 members, were also eligible to apply.

Most students in the program have never travelled abroad and some experience their first airplane ride.  In courses and through travel, community college students have learned about the diversity of each city and region they visit; they have studied the Christian history of Istanbul, for example, and the positive Hindu-Moslem relations in the area of Hyderabad, India. 

A non-profit founded in 1919, IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private organizations.

Visit for profiles of the Heiskell Award winners from 2012.