Over the years, CIPUSA has continued to foster a positive relationship with colleges and universities. We see college/university interaction as an important component of many of our international exchange programs. One reason being, the ease of working with colleges and universities, and their ability to connect abroad with other educational institutions in an effort to bring people and nations together to promote friendship, peace and understanding internationally. In addition, colleges and universities have access to resources that are beneficial to our participants such as professionals who have extensive skills or knowledge in a particular field.
John Carroll University and VSSPU (Volgograd, Russia)
Volgograd State Socio-Pedagogical University (VSSPU) in Volgograd, Russia has a large American Studies program of 50-60 students and 5 full-time faculty, all of whom speak fluent English. Delegates from VSSPU met professors from John Carroll University (JCU) in Cleveland, Ohio in the fall of 2012 during a CIPUSA Open World Higher Education program. This meeting laid the foundation for a professional relationship that CIPUSA helped to nurture. CIPUSA was awarded a State Department Peer-to-Peer Grant to benefit this partnership in 2013. JCU faculty, lead by CIPUSA's Kate Windle Cohen, traveled to Volgograd for the first in-person exchange portion of the program in May of 2014. VSSPU faculty convened with the US team on John Carroll's campus last month for the conclusion of the grant-funded portion of the program. VSSPU faculty met with various administrative leaders and faculty to learn how an American private university operates and to discuss new program ideas and future collaborations between the two universities beyond the grant-funded period. One of the main goals of the program was to set up classroom-to-classroom interactions between students from both universities, and during the visit they were able to test out the equipment already purchased and installed at VSSPU. Once the equipment is installed at JCU, the classroom interactions between the two universities can begin.
Next steps include:
Short-term faculty and student exchanges
The opportunity for JCU faculty to publish research in VSSPU's journals
Classroom-to-classroom lessons using purchased technology in Russian Language, Russian Literature, Interpersonal Communication, Intercultural Communication & Media Studies
Open World Program: Ukraine Teacher-Faculty Exchange
As Ukraine tries to shed the Soviet influence over the educational system, Ukrainian professors expressed interest in gathering how U.S. institutions develop curriculum, teach course material, connect with students, evaluate and test for proficiency, the admissions process, and the scholarship selection process. To meet their interest, a higher-education program was developed and in October, 2014, five Ukrainian professors and a group facilitator visited Cleveland for eight days to examine higher education teaching methodologies as part of their Open World Higher Education Program.
The delegation visited a variety of local educational institutions including:
Professors from each of the above schools discussed teaching methodologies, curriculum development, syllabus oversight and departmental regulation, and methods of evaluating student performance. The delegates spoke with professors of a multitude of different disciplines, ranging from law and economics to psychology and TESOL.
Administrators and staff members also spoke on admissions, career development, student affairs, and campus policies. The delegates expressed surprise and fascination with what they learned while comparing it to their own models.
The Open World Leadership Center has awarded a grant to CIPUSA to administer this and similar exchanges in 2014. CIPUSA affiliate offices in Chicago, Columbus, and Kalamazoo are also hosting Open World programs this year in collaboration with CIPUSA.
The U.S. Congress established Open World in 1999 to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and Russia. In 2003, Congress made all post-Soviet states eligible for the program. Thanks to Open World, some 19,000 current and future Eurasian leaders have experienced American civil society and have been exposed to new ideas and practices that they can adapt for use in their own work.
Ursuline College: Art Education Program
In July and August, 2013, three Jamaican social workers participated in a short-term art education program both with CIPUSA in Cleveland and in Columbus with our affiliate Columbus International Program. In Cleveland, they met and trained with faculty and art therapists of Ursuline College, as well as a variety of other arts and medical institutions. Each of these trained art therapists shared their experiences in the profession with the delegates.