SUNY Canton’s international outreach program has accepted six students from the earthquake-ravaged city of Chengdu in the Sichuan Province of western China.
Three female and three male students will have the ability to continue their college studies by spending the next two semesters as full-time SUNY Canton students. They will be living on campus and beginning their studies later this month.
“Our partnership in what has come to be known as the ‘SUNY China 150 Program’ presents a number of incredible learning opportunities for all of our students,” noted SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “In addition to the respective cultural learning that will occur, I anticipate that friendships, partnerships, and possibly even business ventures will develop from interactions between our students.”
All of the sophomore- and junior-level students have been taking general education courses toward degrees in the areas of Engineering Technology courses and Business. They will continue working in their chosen areas in addition to taking general education courses at SUNY Canton.
“There are a number of dynamic concepts and lessons taught exclusively through SUNY Canton courses that our visiting students can adapt to aid their country,” said Associate Provost Pauline A. Graveline, who has been overseeing the college’s international initiatives. “Our hands-on emphasis and career-focused courses will be especially useful for these students when they return to help rebuild their home provinces in China.”
Graveline has visited Chinese universities in Beijing, Hefei, and Xi’an, to create dual-degree programs and exchange opportunities similar to those the college has in place with colleges in Ukraine, Russia, Bosnia, and Japan. “Our first on-campus student from Hefei will begin this Fall,” Graveline added.
The college will be offering a special week-long orientation for its newest international students, which will serve as an introduction to the college, the North Country, and to the U.S.
The college is one of 22 State University of New York Colleges to take in a total of 150 students displaced by the disaster. SUNY Canton is part of the team of SUNY Campuses that are offering this one-year opportunity to create a team of young leaders.
The students were chosen after a careful review of their academic performance, as well as English language testing conducted by a team of eight experienced English language teachers from across China.
According to SUNY officials, each one of the students is committed to serving as a vanguard to help rebuild the economy and infrastructure in the impacted region. When they complete their studies in May 2009, they will engage in a period of national service in Sichuan to aid in the rebuilding efforts.
The State University of New York has been involved with educational exchange and research collaborations with China and anticipates that this initiative will increase the connections between New York State and the Sichuan Province, leading to economic, educational, and cultural benefits.
SUNY Canton offers a wide variety of career-driven bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs, as well as three master’s degrees in conjunction with SUNYIT, Utica. Most of SUNY Canton’s new four-year programs are designed so students can take them on-campus, online, or both. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 65 courses online each semester. The college’s athletic teams have joined the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years.
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