Snow College Presents at International Conference on Partnership with Colombian Colleges
Ephraim, UT – Members of the Snow College Center for Global Engagement participated at the NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference in Denver. The college presented on the recent collaboration with colleges in Colombia and the international attention the program has received, including a study done by Michigan State University.
Alex Peterson, Director of the Center for Global Engagement, participated in multiple panel discussions about the 100,000 Strong in the America’s grant awarded from the U.S. State Department last December. The grant awarded funds for a partnership between Snow College and SENA Colombia, a system of community colleges in Colombia. The grant was to develop a student exchange type program with a group of Snow College students traveling to Colombia for two weeks to learn about their culture, education system, agriculture, and construction practices. In turn, a group of Colombian students have spent the last two weeks here in Utah attending English classes, courses on agricultural and construction here in the U.S. and visiting the impressive National Parks in the area. The partnership has attracted international attention from all over the U.S. and in Colombia, including a study by Michigan State University about international programs at rural community colleges titled In Case of Snow: The Business of Rural Community College Internationalization.
The Michigan State study states that “in the U.S., rural community colleges serve 3.5 million students through 600 institutions, which comprise the fastest growing sector of community colleges in the country,” and those community colleges tend to lack an international connection. Snow College stands out for its impressive ability to attract students from all over the world looking for an opportunity to learn English, gain life experience and a quality education.
“Why Snow?” asks the study. “These students needed English language instruction, and Snow offered a strong and reputable program. This program was created first to teach English to Navajo Tribe members, an interesting part of the of the college’s history. In fact, as a result of the language center, Snow is the only two-year college to offer a degree in TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages), a popular major that naturally attracts students with an appreciation of another culture.”
“All eyes are on us, because of our reputation, and the reputation of this grant,” said Peterson. “We are a unique place where we have 34 countries represented in our student body. It’s a global market that these students are going into when they complete school, and Snow College gives them the opportunity to experience that and get familiar with it on our level.”
Currently, many community colleges are creating or increasing their global programs. Since the Snow College International Center was founded in 1978, the college has welcomed students from many countries. Now the children of those alumni are also coming to Snow College to study English and experience the benefits of the college and community — including small class sizes, the friendly environment, student life and exceptional educational opportunities. They are creating a Badger legacy.
ABOUT SNOW COLLEGE
Snow College, founded in 1888 by Utah pioneers, is a two-year college with campuses located in Ephraim and Richfield, Utah. Serving more than 4,500 students, the college has been nationally recognized for its student success rates, affordable cost-for-value, involvement opportunities, and exceptional teaching. Learn more about all Snow College has to offer online at http://www.snow.edu.