A nearly two-week trip to China by Dr. Rose B. Bellanca has the Washtenaw Community College president eager to pursue collaborative academic exchanges.
While in China in November, Bellanca signed Memoranda of Understanding with Chairwoman Liqiao Wang from Liaoning Vocational College and Chairman Bao Fengyu from Guidaojiaotong Polytechnic Institute.
Both Dr. Wang and Dr. Bao have previously met with Bellanca at WCC.
“The trip, sponsored by Liaoning Vocational College, was a result of their initial visit to the WCC campus that led to a desire for further collaboration,” Bellanca said. “These agreements allow us to investigate ways we can work together to provide opportunities to faculty and students to benefit from exchange and mutual understanding.”
Bellanca called her visit “a fascinating journey” that provided her an opportunity to speak to and connect with faculty, staff and students at medical colleges, four-year universities and technical colleges across the country.
WCC has focused on promoting international education on and off campus in multiple ways over the last several years.
The college diversified its study abroad opportunities by combining fields of study to create interdisciplinary trips.
For example, Radiography and Anthropology faculty and students have made trips to Peru to study and classify mummified remains.
Also, History and Anthropology students joined together on a trip to the United Kingdom last year that included one week of studying historical sites and one week of participating in an archaeological dig.
In the Spring/Summer 2018 semester, WCC will offer for the first time a study abroad trip to Spain offered in partnership with Go Abroad Oregon, part of the University of Oregon, and led by WCC faculty.
This international study will focus on photography and in-depth study of Spanish culture and architecture.
WCC will also offer its first business-focused study abroad trip to study the supply chain of coffee in Brazil from bean to cup, with stays at a Brazilian coffee plantation.
This fall, the college piloted a global endorsement program that allows students to track activities, events and coursework that contribute to global learning.
Upon completing a minimum number of points in various categories, students will be able to have a global endorsement on their transcript indicating a level of global awareness and competency that may be valuable to them in transferring to other colleges or universities or applying for jobs.
The endorsement will prepare students to live, learn and work in a global environment by encouraging participation in global learning through coursework, local events, activities, study abroad opportunities, and other experiences that may enhance their understanding and awareness of other cultures and global issues.