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Recognition follows Peace Corps partnership agreement

NORFOLK, Va. – (April 21, 2004) – Fast on the heels of this fall’s Peace Corps recognition and partnership agreement, Tidewater Community College has won a distinguished recognition for success in global education programs at a community college. The college received one of three 2004 International Intercultural Achievement Best Practices awards from the American Council on International Intercultural Education (ACIIE) this April.

Most notably, TCC’s leadership with the Vietnam Project won the attention of ACIIE’s selection team. A consortium of community colleges in Virginia participated in the Vietnam Project, funded by the National Security Education Program/Department of Defense, in 2000. Led by TCC, the Vietnam Project developed opportunities for faculty and students to pursue the less commonly studied Vietnamese language, history and culture.

TCC began internationalizing its campus in the mid-1980s and has maintained its hallmark of a decentralized, faculty-driven approach to globalization. The process began with establishment of the International Education Committee, one of six standing governance committees at the college.

TCC’s successful program focuses on providing international opportunities for students and faculty, emphasizing the infusion of global content into the curriculum, encouraging students to study foreign languages, particularly less commonly taught languages, and promoting opportunities for TCC students to experience the world beyond the borders of the United States.

The Vietnam Project, for example, was conducted in four phases: curriculum development, Vietnamese studies, travel, and sustainment and dissemination. The project integrated academic development from TCC and six partner colleges in Virginia and North Carolina through distance learning technology.

The project recently entered the sustainment and dissemination phase with several related courses included in TCC’s regular fall schedule: Beginning Vietnamese 1, taught by compressed video and Introduction to Vietnam, an online course.

Several methods are underway to disseminate the Vietnam Project model. The college has produced a 30-minute video documenting the development and impact of the project (available for viewing). Visitors can see the video on DVD and on TCC’s Vietnam Project web portal. Interested colleges can use TCC’s assembled instructional material as a real working model.

“The project allowed TCC to not only take students and faculty to the country, but also to buy library holdings about Vietnam and Southeast Asia,” explains Jeanne Natali, international program coordinator. “This comprehensive approach is crucial for us to be able to teach and learn about less commonly studied languages and world regions.”

* TCC’s prominent role in bringing international education to the community-college stage earned a first national award in 2002 - Promising Practices: Spotlighting Excellence in Comprehensive Internationalization, from the American Council on Education. The ACE profiled TCC, citing its partnerships with organizations such as NATO and its mentoring of community colleges, in the 2002 Promising Practices case book funded by Carnegie Corp. TCC’s model features global outreach including major service-learning abroad programs, such as one in horticulture in Costa Rica. TCC students can take a variety of languages, from the traditional Spanish, German and French to rarer Chinese, Japanese and Tagalog. Study-abroad programs for TCC students take them to Costa Rica and France, with a plan for a service-learning program in the Philippines.


Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 34,000 students annually. The 37 th largest in the nationís 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. † Founded in 1958 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-three percent of the regionís residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC.