Instructors can learn abroad now, too
Trevor Stephani, Clarion staff
February 22, 2012
Filed under News
With more and more students choosing to study abroad each year, teaching methods are rapidly evolving. In order to become more culturally and globally educated in their field of instruction, some professors choose to participate in a faculty exchange program. This allows instructors to gain insight into the education system in other parts of the world.
Through the Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs, Madison Area Technical College’s faculty and staff are offered a rewarding opportunity to experience how their courses are taught in international institutions.
In operation for over 15 years, the consortium and programs has provided many schools throughout the Midwest, mainly community colleges, the chance to broaden their staff’s education in their respective fields. Throughout the past 20 years, over 400 faculty members from Illinois and Wisconsin have been involved in the program. The consortium has set a goal to send a total of 30 people abroad for the 2012-13 year. Madison College has been a member since 1998, and continues to participate for the benefit of the students.
“This is a great way to provide faculty with exposure to learn about how their subject is taught abroad, at a relatively low financial cost to the college,” said Dr. Geoff Bradshaw, International Education director.
This spring, the Center for International Education is accepting applications from employees to participate in the exchange program. The participating countries include colleges in the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland and China. The way the program works is the applicants will host a visitor from one of these areas in their home for two weeks. In return, the Madison College staff will then travel to the home of their visitor to experience instruction abroad.
During their stay abroad, the staff will engage in a multitude of different activities, arranged by the host. Activities include lecturing or giving lab demonstrations on certain topics related to their field, speaking to faculty or community groups and observing programs offered to learn about different educational systems. The staff will sightsee and socialize with a variety of people to gain an insight into the country’s culture.
“To address such needs for global competency, Madison College has adopted a multifaceted strategy that includes infusing international content into courses, creating study abroad opportunities, recruiting international students, and providing opportunities for faculty and staff to expand their own understandings of the world,” Bradshaw said.
Inquiries about Study Abroad can be made in the Center for International Education in Truax Room 206.