July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
NSF Grantees Poster Session
International collaborations for community colleges are important for students who will be competing for employment yet are often overlooked due to the perception that international means expensive. The International Education Initiative (IEI) provides opportunities for international collaboration among community college faculty and students. The IEI is a multi-tiered program that allows different levels of participation and cost for faculty and students through funding from the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Program and the French Embassy in the United States. While the main focus is engineering and technology courses, partners have also included business and communications classes, creating a truly interdisciplinary program. Students participating in these programs can expect to have greater cross-cultural maturity and awareness of the wider world, increased confidence in finding future success in the global workforce, and increased ability to deploy 21st Century skills such as technology and teamwork. Faculty participating in the program can expect to have increased confidence and skills in faculty to support students in achieving 21st century skills; increased ability to co-teach and work effectively with and overseas partner, and more motivation and readiness to sustain overseas partnerships and help grow the international program. The Connecticut Collaborative Learning for International Capabilities and Knowledge (CT CLICKs) provides the opportunity for students to receive a global experience as part of a course they are already taking. During the first year of the program, Faculty from Connecticut community colleges partnered with faculty from French Insitituts universitaires de technologie (IUTs), French equivalent of community colleges, to co-teach curriculum modules to their participating classes. The second year added the option of co-facilitating a project between the two classes. All teaching, assignments, and projects were completed through virtual platforms. Several travel opportunities have been provided for student and faculty participants. These have either been through the attendance of international technology bootcamps that were organized by the French Embassy or a partner IUT or through a travel program organized by the IEI. Both travel options include experiences that provide an overview of French engineering and technology education, industry, history, and culture. A faculty recruitment and preparation model has been created to continuously onboard new faculty for the IEI program. The model includes a program overview workshop, partner matching, and curriculum design workshop that all take place virtually. The CT CLICKs program has built steadily and quickly. The number of teachers participating grew from 6 to 29 in the first three years with more than 6 teachers repeating or developing new modules. A total of 334 students have participated in the CT CLICKs program since fall 2017. The number of Connecticut campuses grew from 1 to 8 and overseas partner campuses grew from 2 to 5. Participant survey data shows that the program is continuously improving in helping students gain a better worldview and how to collaborate cross-culturally and helping faculty incorporate international collaboration into their courses.
Wosczyna-Birch, K. (2021, July), Virtual International Collaboration for Community College STEM Programs Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38019
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