College of the Canyons and Universidad TecMilenio in Mexico have designed a student exchange program, with a group of 12 high school students visiting Santa Clarita to participate in ‘English for Business Classes’ at the college’s Valencia Campus.
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The program was designed to assist international students enhance English language skills as well as prepare for the growing internationalization of business.
The development of the intensive course marks the first time that Universidad TecMilenio and a California community college have partnered for a student exchange program.
“This successful partnership is the result of a collective effort by College of the Canyons, Universidad TecMilenio and each institution’s surrounding communities, which have clearly demonstrated their support of, and commitment to, the development of new and innovative International Education opportunities for their students,” said Dr. Claudia Acosta, chair of the COC Modern Languages department, and liaison for International Education programs.
The group of 12 visiting students— which hail from TecMilenio campuses located across Mexico — arrived on July 6, and will spend the next several days studying English and interacting with COC staff and students, before departing on July 18.
The ‘English for business’ course has been specifically designed to meet the individual needs of the TecMilenio students, and is being taught by faculty members from the college’s ESL (English as a Second Language) and Modern Languages departments.
“The TecMilenio students are delightful to have in class,” said Heather Maclean, chair of the college’s ESL department. “They are all very intelligent, motivated to learn and a genuine pleasure to teach.”
As part of the course, TecMilenio students will have daily opportunities to meet with COC Spanish language students in order to practice their conversational English skills and develop a deeper understanding of American culture. Such collaborations will also provide COC students with opportunities to further develop their Spanish language skills, while learning more about Mexican culture.
“This language and cultural exchange is an excellent opportunity for students to enhance their language skills and broaden their cross-cultural understanding,” Acosta said. “Most importantly, it deepens their experience in global responsibility and citizenship.”
The students will also have many opportunities to get out of the classroom and explore Santa Clarita, along with some of Southern California’s other nearby attractions, as part of the cultural immersion aspect of the program.
To begin their trip, the students were introduced to College of the Canyons with a welcome luncheon hosted by Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook, and a tour of the Valencia campus.
Also included in the group’s itinerary are scheduled visits with representatives from SCVi Charter School and the Santa Clarita Valley International Programs (SCVIP), a visit to City Hall to meet with City of Santa Clarita Manager Ken Striplin, and an American-style barbecue hosted by the college’s International Student Program (ISP).
At the conclusion of the two-week program students will receive a certificate of completion from College of the Canyons, along with course credit from Universidad TecMilenio.
The Universidad TecMilenio system consists of 39 high school and college campuses, as well as an online campus, located in 21 states across Mexico.
The institution’s educational model, which is unique in Mexico, fosters the development of successful professionals through the offering of high school diplomas, certification programs and more than two-dozen bachelor’s degree programs in subjects including business, engineering, nursing, psychology, education and law.
It is hoped that the college’s new partnership with Universidad TecMilenio can provide a model that will lead to the development of additional courses and student/faculty exchange programs with the college’s International Student Program (ISP) and other college’s and universities across the globe.
“This language program,” said Acosta, “is just one of the many possible ways that College of the Canyons can collaborate with other higher education institutions in order to welcome international students to our campus and community, while at the same time introducing our local students to other cultures.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News