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The Global Partners Project

Phase Two Proposal to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Prepared in October, 2001 by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, the Associated Colleges of the South, and the Great Lakes Colleges Association.

Proposal accepted by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in December, 2001.

 

Continued...

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International Learning Centers

The three International Learning Centers produced the most visible activities of the first phase of Global Partners. In each of the three target areas - Russia/Central Europe, East Africa, and Turkey -- Global Partners has created a network of faculty with research or teaching interests in the region, provided travel support to and seminars in the region, and in the case of Turkey created a program for students.

Each in a slightly different way, the three Centers propose developing their programs in a second phase to emphasize the development of ongoing research and teaching collaborations, to strengthen curriculum development in their target areas, and to move toward reciprocal visitor opportunities for faculty from partner universities in target regions.

Central Europe/Russia Center

The Global Partners Task Force for Central Europe and Russia will continue its efforts to increase interaction between the campuses and the region. In the second phase we will offer two additional faculty seminars, one in Central Europe and one in Russia. We will also provide additional travel grants to allow faculty to pursue individual scholarly or curricular interests. These impact of these individual professional development experiences will be extended through a set of workshops and meetings bringing faculty together within the U.S, including both those who had received grants or attended seminars and those who have not,to share syllabi, develop new courses, and consider potential collaborations with other campuses. In the first phase, Global Partners was able to build on conferences on transition in Eastern Europe sponsored by ACM and by GLCA and to establish some connections with ACS faculty. More of these linkages will be established with meetings and through electronic links for continued interaction.

Connections with regional partners will also be strengthened. Following the faculty seminars hosted by Palacky University in the Czech Republic and Kuban State University in Russia, faculty from Global Partners campuses will be encouraged to continue connections and faculty exchange from the region. The partner universities will be one source of colleagues, but other connections can be developed through ACS contacts in the Carpathian Universities, for example.

The Russia/Central Europe Task Force will work with the Language and Technology Task Force to continue efforts to develop web-based modules for site-based language study and for pre-departure orientation. It will also be valuable to bring together Russian language teachers to examine their efforts to prepare their students for study abroad, advise them on program strengths, and help them integrate their study abroad into their home campus curriculum. They can also benefit from sharing developments in using technology to support their campus language teaching. For students studying in Central Europe, Global Partners will develop pre-departure materials, consider joint activities with language teachers in the region, and develop resource banks of materials to make available through the Web site.

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest will continue to give administrative leadership to the Russia/Central Europe Center.

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East Africa Center

Global Partners will, by the end of its first phase, have sent nearly 60 faculty from participating colleges to East Africa for symposia and to develop, or continue, research collaborations with East African scholars, NGOs, or cultural institutions. We have thereby created a strong base of interest in the region and its issues. We now plan to turn to developing curriculum by encouraging the inclusion of East Africa in courses and programs on participating campuses.

In a second phase, the International Learning Centre in Nairobi will focus on hosting smaller seminars, study groups and individual scholars at various universities in East Africa and within the U.S. for the support of continuing research and curriculum development. To date, our activities have been centered at the University of Nairobi. Other Kenyan universities, such as Moi and Kenyatta, and the universities of Uganda and Tanzania have expressed interest in becoming part of our network and will be hosts for future programs. The International Learning Center will connect travel grant recipients with local resources and colleagues at these universities to support their work.

We now also hope to bring East African visitors to the U.S. Such visitors would have an existing project or collaboration with a participating college or colleges and be willing to visit and serve as a resource to various of the Global Partner campuses during a visit.

While continuing to support interaction between African and American scholars, we also intend in a second stage of Global Partners to develop collaborations among our campuses within the U.S. We intend to work with the languages Task Force on developing materials in kiSwahili.and making these available on the web. Beginning in April 2002, we will bring together the U.S. participants in previous Global Partners East Africa symposia to explore collaborative teaching, program development, and materials development possibilities between campuses within the States. Finally, we hope that our East Africa activities will go forward in the form of a Regional Alliance, studying in a disciplined way the presence of East Africa in curricula and study abroad and making recommendations for future program and curriculum development.

The Great Lakes Colleges Association will continue to give leadership to Global Partners activities in East Africa.

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Turkey Center

Global Partners is committed to continuing the consortial program in Turkey. During the first stage of the project, we have established a framework for a program that will last well into the future. Further adjustments and fine tuning will enhance the program, smoothly synthesizing the on-line course, the first three weeks in Istanbul, the educational travel experience from Istanbul to Ankara at the start of the program and the fall term in Ankara. Extended funding for this pilot program will give the program leaders the time they need to strengthen the network of participants, learn from the developmental phase of the program, and put a solid and sustainable program into position.

Given the positive feedback from the faculty seminars in Turkey, the Task Force is committed to continuing this aspect of the program as well. We intend to make various refinements in the seminars to include linking them more closely to curricular offerings on the campuses. Participating faculty will be able to pursue their own professional development related to Turkey, but they will also be asked to work with one another in teams to modify old courses and to create new . In addition, the Task Force would like to offer travel grants similar to those offered for East Africa, Central Europe and Russia.

Several participants in the faculty development seminars have expressed the desire to reconvene as a group following their return to the U.S. to build upon their experience. With this in mind, Global Partners intends to organize a conference on Turkey and Turkish studies. Such a conference would bring together faculty seminar participants with students from the study abroad program, other interested faculty from Global Partners institutions and representatives from other interested institutions and associations, such as the Turkish-American Association and the Institute of Turkish Studies. The conference would feature speakers from Turkey from a variety of disciplines, enabling participants to make contacts that would lead to a number of interdisciplinary collaborative efforts.

The Turkey Task Force would also like to implement exchange programs during the next phase of Global Partners. Ideally, such exchange programs would involve both faculty and students. Our current Turkish partner universities have expressed a great deal of interest in both types of programs. The Task Force is anxious to initiate a two-way exchange program through which Turkish students can visit Global Partners campuses. The Task Force realizes that such an exchange would benefit both Turkish students and Global Partners campus communities. A possible starting point for such exchanges is to offer English language study in the summer. Faculty exchanges might also begin as short-term visits-a few weeks, perhaps during an interim session-and then grow into longer periods, covering a term or a full year. Through these exchanges, it is hoped, joint research efforts will emerge.

Working with the Language and Technology Task Force preliminary efforts are also foreseen in the area of Turkish language instruction, as well as the languages supporting the other Global Partners Centers.

The Associated Colleges of the South will continue to provide administrative leadership to efforts in Turkey.

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Dissemination and Evaluation

In its second phase Global Partners will place greater impact on the creation and dissemination of materials, including white papers from the Leadership Institute and the Regional Alliances, Web-based materials developed by the Language and Technology Task Force, and the results of Best Practice Project initiatives. Such materials should provide a body of shared information supporting continued collaborations among participating colleges.

Each of the programs will be evaluated individually, as they have been in the first phase. The Leadership Institute will be charged with evaluating the cumulative impact of all the programs taken together.

Continuation of programs

Some Global Partners projects will reach their natural conclusions at the end of the grant period. For example, the Leadership Institute and Regional Alliance deliberations will be completed and disseminated and will, we hope, inform discussion of individual campus strategy and policy. We do not envision these as ongoing or permanent programs requiring financial support beyond the grant period.

It remains to be seen what the specific projects undertaken by Best Practices will be and whether any will merit ongoing support by member institutions. Conceivably, some of these also will have run their full courses, having created resources, models, or materials for dissemination. Others may lead to ongoing initiatives for which support would be sought from participating institutions.

The International Learning Centers are the most complicated in terms of continuation. The program for students in Turkey is working toward developing financial equilibrium. (We recognize, however, that in the short run and in light of current political events this program may face particular challenges in student recruitment, as might any program in a primarily-Muslim nation.)

Faculty programs in Russia/Central Europe, Turkey, and East Africa will, at the end of the grant, be significantly reduced. During the renewal period, however, discussions will proceed as to the possibility of limited continuation through cost-sharing by participating institutions and possibly with student programs in these regions.

The functions of the International Learning Center as an office in Nairobi will be evaluated at the end of the renewal period. If its continuation seems warranted, a plan for support through a combination of subscription and fees for services will be developed.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Global Partners seeks funds from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the purpose of reinforcing and extending the successful collaborative effort begun in 1999. With additional funds Global Partners will be able develop the strategic impact of the overall program on the (now) 42 participating campuses. The initial grant from the Foundation enabled the three consortia to build a strong network for collaboration and joint action. We are now poised to put that network to even more active and strategic purpose. We hope that the staff and trustees of the Foundation will find our effort worthy of continued support.

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