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OCC signs virtual cultural exchange agreement with India

Source : OakLand Press
July 04, 2012

 

Date: 4th July 2012

Oakland Community College and Shriram Indira Gandhi National Open University in Chennai, India, have signed a two-year agreement for virtual cultural exchanges between students in both countries.

The memorandum of understanding between the two community colleges was reviewed during a recent ceremony over SKYPE, a computer program which allowed officials from both schools to see each other and discuss the program as they signed the papers.

“We sincerely look forward to working with the team at OCC that will surely benefit the students” said Shriram IGNOU Community College Resource Head J. Murali Krishnan.

“As a community college, we at OCC found we have a lot to offer community colleges in India,” said Dean Cathey Maze, who visited Shriram IGNOU in 2010. “We discovered that their vision, mission and goals are the same as those of community colleges in the U.S.”

The OCC and Shriram students will communicate with each others through Web 2.0 tools such as wikis and interactive online forums, said George Cartsonis, OCC spokesman in a news release.

Faculty and staff members will share information and training through the Internet as well.

Among the topics to be covered will be teaching English as a Second Language, counseling practices, assessing student learning styles, and the conduct of academic placements.

In the past few years, India, a country of 1.21 billion people and the world’s largest democracy, has established a community college system of 50 community colleges based on the American model.

The country’s goal is to bring higher education to the nation’s vast population, and in so doing, raise the standard of living. While middle- and upper-class urban Indian citizens are able to access higher education, community colleges such as Shriram IGNOU seek to bring affordable, practical and job-oriented education to the nation’s rural and urban poor.

Signing the document on behalf of OCC were Vice Chancellor of External Affairs Sharon Miller and Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs Richard Holcomb.

The Shriram IGNOU signers were Principal Vidya Shankar and J. Murali Krishnan. Also present were Highland Lakes Campus Dean Cathey Maze and Auburn Hills Campus Interim Dean/English faculty member Suba Subbarao, who assisted in arranging the agreement.

Both parties will revisit the agreement after two years. Once reapproved, renewals will be automatic each succeeding two years.

 
 
 

 


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