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Friday, November 12

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How are Wildlife Habitat, Population Growth, and Women's Health Connected?

MC to Build International Cooperation, Diplomacy and Education in India

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Category: President's Corner

Published: 2010-11-12 00:00:01.000

Office of the President

November 10, 2010


To: The Montgomery College Community

From: Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard, President

Subject: Building International Cooperation, Diplomacy and Education in India

I am thrilled to share the news that the U.S. India Educational Foundation (USIEF) Fulbright Commission has awarded Montgomery College a $195,000 grant to build international cooperation, diplomacy and education in India. As a result of the College's 2008 efforts in Haryana, India with the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development, the U.S. State Department requested the assistance of Montgomery College to enhance the community college model and technical education sector in India. A team of Montgomery College faculty, staff, and administrators drafted a successful proposal for the State Department. As a result, USIEF selected the College to coordinate a two-day national symposium on community colleges to take place in New Delhi next March. The grant will cover 100 percent of the College's expenses.

What I find most exciting about the USIEF grant is that Montgomery College has a unique opportunity to share the community college mission and influence an emerging global economy in a significant way. I believe that changing lives and enriching our community does not stop at the borders of our campuses, at the county line, or our own country. Through the efforts of faculty, staff, and administrators, we can enrich the education of people in India.

Under the terms of the grant, Montgomery College is responsible for (1) developing a faculty and student exchange program with three partner institutions in India, (2) creating a program to promote faculty development, and (3) coordinating a national community college symposium in New Delhi.

The benefits to Montgomery College are numerous and significant. The grant provides professional development for faculty, staff, and administrators to engage in academic dialogue with educators, industry leaders, and government officials from both the U.S. and India. These discussions will provide opportunities to explore the community college mission in greater depth, expand the College's current efforts to internationalize the curriculum, and introduce our faculty and students to another cultural perspective. By positioning Montgomery College as a thought leader in international higher education, we will also be more competitive for future grants, and more attractive to international students.

Additionally, Montgomery College will help India build capacity in teaching, student affairs, and support systems. We will teach Indian education, industry and government leaders how to align vocational education and technical programs with local and emerging industries. We will help Indian partners and stakeholders understand the community college role in economic and workforce development and address the current disparity between gender and social equity.

The grant award provides full funding for a travel team from Montgomery College to conduct the national symposium in March. Not only will all of the costs be covered, but doors will be opened to future revenue enhancing opportunities. This is an important new venture for Montgomery College and I appreciate the leadership demonstrated by Dr. Sanjay Rai, Ed Roberts, and Miriam Carter to bring this effort to fruition.

More information will be forthcoming about the team of faculty, staff, and administrators who will represent Montgomery College in India and the plans we have to leverage this unique opportunity for the benefit of Montgomery College students. Among the ideas being considered are daily blogs and video chats from India to allow the team to share the experience in real time with the College community. I welcome your ideas about how to further expand the learning that this grant represents.

To further understand the significance of Montgomery College's efforts in India, I recommend the following articles, which explore the recent evolution of American higher education in India. The articles linked below are from the Chronicle of Higher Education, which has written extensively on the topic.

In India: No Foreign Colleges Need Apply. February 2008 --

India Appoints Reform-Minded Official to Oversee Higher Education. June 2009 --

Higher-Education Agreement Between U.S. and India Faces Questions of Control. June 2010 --

Indian Businessman to Start $22-Million Information-Technology University. October 2010 --

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