Exchange Participants Build Workforce and Leadership Skills at U.S. Community Colleges
Thanks to the Community College Initiative (CCI) Program sponsored by the U.S. State Department, the student body at Northampton Community College includes 9 students from Pakistan, Indonesia, India and Egypt this fall.
The CCI Program is a program of the U.S. State Department that provides participants with quality educational study at U.S. community colleges and is designed to build technical skills, enhance leadership capabilities, and strengthen English language proficiency. Northern Virginia Community College administers the CCI Program in partnership with eight institutions that make up the Community College Consortium (CCC) of which Northampton is one of the newest partner institutions. The largest of three host consortia, the CCC will host 140 of 233 CCI participants, 9 0f whom are at Northampton, for the upcoming program year.
Participants pursue educational study focused on one-year certificate programs in workforce development fields. The CCI program also provides opportunities for professional internships, service learning, and community engagement activities. After completing the program, participants return home with a deeper understanding of U.S. culture and new skills to help them contribute to the economic growth and development of their countries.
CCI participants also contribute to their U.S. host communities by helping U.S. community colleges to internationalize their campuses. According to 2012-2013 Open Doors Report, only 1% of U.S. community college students will gain 21st-century international experience and workforce skills through study abroad. CCI exchange participants engage community college students with international cultures and diverse perspectives in their U.S. classrooms and on their home campuses. CCI participants will study in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Since 2007, the CCI Program has hosted more than 2,350 participants from 20 countries. This year, CCI participants are from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa, and Turkey. The CCI Program recruits participants from underserved and unrepresented communities, particularly women.
Northampton has hosted CCI students since 2007. The students who are at Northampton this fall are studying business, information technology, engineering, public safety and media.
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