Throughout late July and August, the Community College Initiative (CCI) Program welcomed 191 participants from 15 countries to the United States to participate in the program’s 15th year. This year, participants represent Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, and Turkey. Excitingly, for the first time since the program’s establishment in 2007 participants will also be representing Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Ukraine.
During their exchange year, CCI participants complete academic coursework at U.S. community colleges in select CCI Program fields of study and, when possible, pursue professional certificates. As part of their educational experience, they build technical skills in applied fields, enhance their leadership capabilities, and strengthen their English language proficiency.
During the 2021-2022 program year, participants will focus on fields of study including agriculture, business management and administration, early childhood education, engineering, information technology, media, public safety, and tourism and hospitality management.
This year, 12 community college campuses in eleven states are hosting the CCI Program. Host colleges include College of DuPage in Illinois, Community College of Baltimore County in Maryland, Fox Valley Technical College in Wisconsin, Houston Community College in Texas, Jamestown Community College in New York, Kirkwood Community College in Iowa, Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria and Annandale Campuses in Virginia, Sinclair Community College in Ohio, Snow College in Utah, and Valencia College in Florida.
While completing academic coursework at their host colleges, participants also immerse themselves within their host communities. Throughout the year, CCI participants engage in volunteer activities, professional internships, cultural exchange events, and leadership and action planning workshops. These additional opportunities increase CCI participants’ understanding of their field of study and allow for deeper engagement with U.S. culture.
This year’s participants already have an exciting slate of events and experiences ahead. In September, participants will be exposed to the American value of volunteerism by joining the 9/11 Day of Service in their host communities. In November, participants will learn about Thanksgiving traditions across the United States and will host and take part in International Education Week events on their campuses. During their winter break, participants will partake in a multiday leadership event. And that’s just the first half of their exchange year!
Welcome, CCI participants! We hope you are excited to dive into your college classes, and the rest of the incredible exchange experiences that await you!
Do you have a story that you would love to share with the Community College Initiative Program? Participants, alumni, instructors, staff, social hosts, and community members are encouraged to share their stories for the chance to be highlighted in future blogs and social media highlights. Follow this link to complete our “Submit A Story” form.
Written by Evan T. Flatt, Alumni Relations and Communications Coordinator