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Office of International Programs

U.S. Department of State NWCCI Program

The Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) is part of the Community College Initiative program sponsored by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Edmonds College initiated the NWCCI program and partners with two other Washington State Community Colleges – Whatcom Community College in Bellingham and Pierce College in Lakewood, to administer the program.

NWCCI's goal is to strengthen other societies by developing capable young professionals who graduate from the program having acquired professional skills, leadership abilities, and an understanding of American society, democracy and culture. To achieve these objectives participants are enrolled in an academic certificate program and a cultural learning program designed to introduce them to aspects of the cultures of the United States and to provide opportunities to share their culture with the college and local communities. Program activities include visits to local businesses, government agencies and tourist sites, workshops on aspects of US culture, volunteer projects, internships at local businesses, and interaction with a "friendship family" who includes students in family events and activities.

The 2015-16 academic year is the seventh year of the NWCCI program. Edmonds, Whatcom, and Pierce community colleges together have hosted 320 students from Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote D'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Panama, South Africa and Turkey.

Participants are chosen in their countries and come to the United States for ten months of professional training and cultural activities. U.S. Embassies manage the recruitment, selection and nomination of candidates. Interested persons should contact the Public Affairs section of their local U.S. Embassy for up-to-date information about the Community College Initiative Program.

We are always looking for new ways to promote culture sharing between our students and local communities. If you are interested in learning more about the NWCCI program, hosting a student internship at your organization, participating in the friendship family program, or having a student visit your organization or classroom to speak about his or her culture, please contact Amanda Fletcher at amanda.fletcher@edcc.edu.

Jean and ben sharooq (Left): 2011-2012 participants Sharooq Syeda (India) and Benjamin Kangligi (Ghana) visit with Edmonds College’s president Dr. Jean Hernandez during a reception celebrating International Night at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.
NWCCI Rafting (Left): 2013-14 Participants from all three colleges gather for a day of teambuilding and river rafting at the beginning of the program.
International Night 2013 (Left): 2012-13 Students show off their countries' flags as part of Edmonds annual
International Night variety show.