South Africa Project Picks Up Speed: Opportunities for Faculty Emerge

Rob Henderson, Office of Grants Development and Special Projects, speaks with the CEO of the Nkangala Further Education and Training College at a Provincial Workshop Training Site in Ehlanzeni in Mpumalanga Province during the November advance mission.

On return from a 10 day mission to South Africa for the College, Special Assistant for Career and Technical Education Milan Hayward and College Grant Writer Rob Henderson debriefed with Provost Peter Maphumulo (AL) regarding the array of meetings held with officials from the Department of Higher Education and Training, the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and the Further Education and Training (FETs) Colleges, many of whom visited NOVA over the last year. The visit reinforced a unique grant program wherein NOVA will provide funding from the American Council on Education/USAID project to the Wits School of Education, a world-class research University, to strengthen its capacity to support developmental math, math literacy and English instruction at the FETs.

In March 2012, NOVA will field a team of 12 of its best math, math literacy, English and student support service professionals to lead Technical Assistance Workshops in South Africa. This group of faculty will form in January and work intensively with Witwatersrand counterparts before traveling to South Africa to provide training at four provincial workshop training sites across the country. Two teams will deploy to different Provincial Workshop Training Sites in Limpopo Province, and one each to the Northern Cape Province and Mpumalanga Province.

Under the strong leadership of Maphumulo, originally from South Africa, the project has provided a new look to NOVA’s global outreach and built new partnerships with the American Council on Education and overseas with the South African government, the South African community college system, and their major research university.

“This demonstration of NOVA’s capacity to deliver technical assistance in the developing world is a threshold to additional work in many other countries. It is demanding work but so far we have been up to the challenge,” Henderson said.

“The FET program managers and college leaders want and need our help,” Hayward said. “They believe NOVA has the solutions to the challenges they face in their respective institutions. However, they don’t want NOVA representatives to just tell them what works in Virginia. They need solutions that can be adapted to local needs. Close collaboration with Wits and FET partners should help NOVA prepare for successful workshops in March.”

“The needs in South Africa are great. NOVA is now positioned to play a role in helping the FET colleges in South Africa address the same challenges in workforce development, developmental education, and educational leadership that we face on a daily basis. By sending a team of our very best community college professionals in March we will help these sister institutions reach a new level in terms of delivering student success,” Henderson concluded.

Please look for more details about this exciting opportunity for NOVA as the project gathers momentum in January 2012.