EMU delegation (L-R: Karen Paciorek,
Jann Joseph, Alane Starko, David Anderson)
Schools in the U.S. are becoming increasingly international. According to the most recent statistics from the Census Bureau, 23% of all K-12 students have at least one foreign born parent, and the number is rising rapidly (US Census Bureau, 2011). In addition, an increasingly large number of US students are choosing to study abroad, including over a quarter of a million students annually (Institute for International Education, 2011). For these reasons, global and international perspectives are becoming a necessary part of strong educational preparation for all students, but especially for future teachers. Eastern Michigan University's College of Education (COE) has several current initiatives to expand the international educational experiences for its students.
One primary COE initiative is a recent partnership agreement with the Weiming Education Group in Beijing, China. China is an important country for inter-institutional linkages because it sends more of its international students to the US than any other country: in the past two years, the number of Chinese students in US schools has doubled, with over 150,000 arriving in the 2010-11 academic year. This contributes roughly $4 billion to the American economy, according to the US Department of Commerce (Education News, 2012). Conversely, the US sends about one tenth as many students (approximately 15,000) to China each year, although this number is growing by about 5% annually (Institute for International Education, 2011).
On May 4, 2012, a group of representatives from EMU's COE, including Jann Joseph (Dean, EMU College of Education), Karen Paciorek (Professor, Teacher Education), Alane Starko (Professor, Teacher Education), and David Anderson (Associate Professor, Leadership and Counseling), traveled to China to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Weiming Education Group (WEG) as a first step in building a long term partnership between the two institutions. The WEG, established in 1999, is associated with the Affiliated High School of Peking University. The WEG manages approximately 30 schools in seven branch locations across China and is committed to providing a high quality, internationalized education for its 25,000 students through continuous exploration and innovation. The EMU representatives first met with WEG officials in Beijing on May 7, where Dr. Joseph formally signed the MOU. From May 8 through May 11, the group visited schools in three cities across China: Shenzhen, Wuhan, and Chengdu.
The partnership between EMU and WEG has several dimensions, including the placement of EMU students in WEG schools (both for student teaching and full-time employment after graduation), the training of WEG teachers in student-centered pedagogical strategies (including classes delivered in China, at EMU, and online), a direct admission policy for WEG students interested in attending EMU, and annual summer camps at EMU for WEG students interested in visiting the US and learning more about pursuing higher education in this country.
The EMU COE is recruiting 26 teachers to fill positions at WEG schools. The deadline to apply is June 15, 2012. If you are interested in this wonderful opportunity, or know of someone who might be interested, please visit www.emich.edu/coe/teachinchina/. For more information about the EMU-WEG partnership, please contact the COE Dean's Office at 734.487.1414 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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US Census Bureau (2011). "Profile America: Facts for Features". www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb11-ff15.html (retrieved May 24, 2012).
Institute for International Education (2011). "Open Doors 2011: Study Abroad by U.S. Students Rose in 2009/10 with More Students Going to Less Traditional Destinations". www.iie.org/en/Who-We-Are/News-and-Events/Press-Center/Press-Releases/2011/2011-11-14-Open-Doors-Study-Abroad (retrieved May 24, 2012).
Education News (2012). "Rising Number of American Students are Learning Chinese". www.educationnews.org/k-12-schools/rising-number-of-american-students-are-learning-chinese/ (retrieved May 24, 2012).
ChinaHot.com (2012). "Weiming Education Group". www.chinahot.com/employer/weiming-education-group/997/ (retrieved May 24, 2012).