The Office of International Education strives to ensure that all College of Coastal Georgia students have opportunities to become globally competent. Students must have the knowledge, cultural self-awareness, and adaptability to function effectively in an increasingly interconnected world.
To ensure a smooth transition after the departure of the previous director, I was appointed as the Interim Director of International Education in May, concurrently continuing in my role as Director of Institutional Effectiveness. Over the last few months, I have worked with a number of faculty, staff and students to help build the academic infrastructure upon which the College can continue shaping its evolving international strategy, including access and excellence to global opportunities, intercultural perspectives and institutional partnerships.
In late August, the Office of International Education (OIE) was relocated to the Hargett Administration Building. This provides a more central location for our international students who are supported by Connie Toler; she does an amazing job assisting students with visas and other related immigration matters. Assisting Connie, is Jessica Whitteker, a senior majoring in business (marketing) who hails from Canada. Jess has been instrumental in helping develop a communication series as part of our international student outreach initiatives.
In an effort to keep the campus community informed on international education activities, this inaugural e-newsletter was created to provide bi-annual updates. Each edition will highlight international education news stories; accentuate collaborative international projects; and recognize faculty and staff efforts that are positively impacting international education efforts at the College of Coastal Georgia.
The OIE launched an informative and user-friendly International Education website (www.ccga.edu/internationaleducation) in August. Students contemplating study abroad can explore opportunities to study abroad, while faculty and staff can learn about resources available for international teaching, research and exchange. As the web page continues to blossom, new features will be added.
I look forward to an exciting academic year as we continue embedding our international strategy in intellectual and cultural transactions -- emblematic of the Global Mariner spirit!
With kind regards,
James (Jim) Lynch, Ed.D., M.F.A.
Interim Director of International Education
Director of Institutional Effectiveness
Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars
The Office of International Education is happy to report that the College's petition to charter a chapter of the Society at the College of Coastal Georgia has been approved by the Board of Directors of Phi Beta Delta. The College was designated as the Theta Iota Chapter.
According to Salaam Yousif, Interim Executive Director, Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars Headquarters, "Your petition demonstrates a solid commitment to internationalization. In particular, your college’s commitment to promoting international education is praiseworthy. The excellent international programs and opportunities offered by the College of Coastal Georgia, including Study Abroad program, Fulbright program, and the international education components and pathways your Office of International Education is developing support the mission of Phi Beta Delta."
The CCGA chapter will strive to recognize students, faculty and staff who have distinguished themselves through international education activities. A founding induction ceremony is slated for the 2017 spring semester.
International Student Outreach
Since August, the Office of International Education has been working collaboratively with the Office of Admissions to develop an international student outreach plan.
To successfully enroll an entering class of international students (F1 visa), the Office is attempting to increase the size of its prospect database. To address this issue, with the support of the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Tracy Pellett, the Office secured funding to contract with an international e-marketing company, Keystone Academic Services, to help expand the prospect pool and allow us to make a series of contacts with these interested students. Keystone makes our baccalaureate programs visible online through their online marketing strategy. Students find our program page on one of Keystone's 260 user-friendly websites and complete an online inquiry form that is submitted directly to us for follow up. To complement this prospect generation, a series of personalized emails are being sent to students based on their expressed program of interest.
Simply hover your mouse over one of the highlighted countries on the map below to view the unduplicated number of students originating from that particular country since fall 2007.
The College of Coastal Georgia was honored and privileged to host Mrs. Rocio Carballo and Mr. Fermin Magana, President and Dean, respectively, of Sacred Heart Junior College in San Ignacio, along with their colleagues from Independence Junior College (Dean Marie Scott-Young) and Ecumenical Junior College (Dean Karen Martinez and Mr. Gaspar Martinez, chairman of the EJC Board of Governors) a few months ago to discuss potential international partnering initiatives.
The opportunity for the Belize contingent to meet with a cross-section of CCGA representatives helped identify ways to cultivate potential partnerships between the respective institutions. Among the joint exchange topics discussed included the provision of short-term study abroad program to accommodate students who cannot afford to study abroad for a full semester – creating a service-focused, two-week trip in contrast to an academic focused semester-long trip; encouraging short-term faculty exchanges with a suitable program for utilizing faculty members’ expertise and an opportunity to focus on specialized research and/or offering lectures or short courses; and creating cross-institutional, short-term study abroad programs – for CCGA students this might include programs focused on learning about the complex ecosystems that support Belize’s coral reef systems; studying tropical rainforest ecology, and learning about health issues related to living in a tropical climate.
Currently, there is discussion to establish an institutional exchange whereby faculty are paired with their corresponding counterparts in various disciplines (e.g., culinary arts, education, and nursing) to teach in a class setting, engage in class observations, help design curriculum, and conduct course assessment.
AnguillaIn mid-November, the College had the distinct pleasure of hosting Dr. LeRoy Hill, Dean of Studies at Anguilla Community College in Anguilla, to discuss joint exchange opportunities, including short-term study abroad programs to accommodate students who cannot afford to study abroad for a full semester – creating a service-focused, two-week trip in contrast to an academic focused semester-long trip; short-term faculty exchanges with a suitable program for utilizing faculty members’ expertise and an opportunity to focus on specialized research and/or offering lectures or short courses; and cross-institutional, short-term study abroad programs. Dr. Hill met with President Gregory Aloia, Dr. Tracy Pellett and Dr. Jim Lynch, as well as several faculty members, including Drs. Victor Vega, Colleen Knight, Chris Wilhelm, Tate Holbrook, Claire Hughes, and Walter Wright. The expectation is to sign a memorandum of understanding encompassing several areas of functional cooperation between our respective institutions.
In an effort to expand our students' global awareness and intellectual curiosity, the College has partnered with the USG's European Council (EC), offering a range of summer study abroad programs. Currently, summer 2017 programs are available in Scotland, England, Spain, France, Ireland, and France. Dr. Carla Bluhm, Associate Professor of Psychology, will be teaching two courses in Paris, France. As of early December, seven CCGA students have signed up for an EC summer study abroad program! An on-campus European Council study abroad fair is scheduled for January 19, 2017.
To give students' additional study abroad opportunities to earn college credit, live, study, and travel with a group of students, experiencing other cultures through planned field trips and other learning activities, the Office of International Education is promoting a study abroad program at Zhengzhou University in China through Dalton State College; a culture, business and information technology program in India through Kennesaw State University; an exciting student exchange program in Siena, Italy, through a partnership with Armstrong State University; and an invigorating student exchange program in Athens, Greece.
Should any students express interest in a study abroad program, they need to initially meet with Pat Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Center for Academic Advising. Once advising has been completed, students will work directly with the Office of International Education and the Registrar's Office to complete their needed study abroad paperwork.
For more information about education abroad opportunities, please click here.
Faculty-Led Maymester Programs
Drs. Tyler Bagwell, Robert Bleil and Lisa Noetzel have crafted a faculty-led Florida-Cuba study abroad program that is slated for May 2017, offering students a unique opportunity to study the history, culture, language, and influence of Cuba and its inhabitants within and outside the island nation. More details to follow soon.
A second Maymester program is being developed to Costa Rica by Drs. Tyler Bagwell and Robert Green to occur between May 14-24, 2017. The program will offer students a unique opportunity to study and experience Costa Rica. It will promote student development through observations, interactions, and analysis of critical educational issues through immersion in the Costa Rican culture. Students will explore a variety of Costa Rican ecosystems, including tropical rain forest, mountain cloud forest, volcanoes, jungles, and the Pacific coast.
Dr. Orsolya Kolozsvari is in the process of preparing a third Maymester study abroad program to Hungary. The course to be offered is SOCI 1101 - Introduction to Sociology. Initially, the course will begin on the CCGA campus with a week of face-to-face instruction, followed by a ten-day study-abroad component, which will include 15 hours of service-learning. Thereafter, instruction for the remainder of the session will be face-to-face either in the classroom at CCGA or in an online format. Approximately half of the study abroad component will be spent in Budapest, with the remaining portion in Debrecen, Hungary, the second largest town in Hungary, about 120 miles from Budapest. More details to follow soon.
Student & Faculty Spotlights
To learn more about world cultures as brought to us by the diversity of our CCGA international campus community, the Mariner Global Newsletter will highlight one student and one faculty member. In this inaugural issue, the following two Mariners are showcased:
StudentAshma Sapkota, a sophomore majoring in psychology
FacultyDr. Orsolya Kolozsvari, Assistant Professor of Sociology
In the News