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College’s Study Abroad Program Wins National Award

College’s Study Abroad Program Wins National Award
Students participate in research efforts during a 2010 trip to Belize.

The Student-Faculty International Fellowship Program has received a prestigious award for innovation from the Institute of International Education (IIE). The study abroad program earned an Andrew Heiskell Award Honorable Mention in the Internationalizing the Community College category on Jan. 26. It will be featured by the IIENetwork as a "best practice" in international education.

The Fellowship Program was initiated as part of the Center for International Understanding in 2009. It 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, Ph.D. This year, faculty members will accompany student groups to Cambodia, Israel and Turkey.

"The Fellowship Program makes study abroad experiences more accessible to the College’s diverse student population," Beauchamp said. "The majority of our students have neither the time nor the financial resources needed to participate in a traditional, semester-long program."

While students’ time abroad is short, the richness of multiple academic disciplines creates an intensive, wide-reaching learning experience.

Other faculty members involved in the program are Christopher DiCapua (2009-2011) and Oscar Cabrera (2011-2012), who served as study abroad coordinators; and Sharon Thompson, Ph.D., associate vice president for Academic Affairs.

Over the past 11 years, the Heiskell Awards have recognized nearly 100 programs for their excellence and innovation, and this year’s winners and honorable mentions fit exceptionally within this distinguished list.