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Edmonds College awarded Community College Initiative funds


LYNNWOOD — Edmonds College has received an award of $1,699,946 from the U.S. Department of State to administer a program to provide professional training and degrees to students from South Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Near East. Edmonds CC, as the lead college, has partnered with Whatcom Community College and Pierce College to create the Northwest Community College Initiative to provide the educational programs stipulated by the grant.

This is Edmonds College’s third year of hosting the Northwest Community College Initiative, which, to date, has hosted 90 students. During the 2011-12 academic year, 40 students from Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan, Panama, South Africa, and Turkey will study in Washington state through this partnership.

The program’s goals are to foster mutual understanding between the participating countries and the United States, and to provide young professionals from underprivileged backgrounds access to professional training. Participants will take classes toward a professional certificate while engaging in a program designed to introduce them to American society and the cultural norms of the United States.

In addition to taking classes and participating in extracurricular activities, such as visits to city government offices and local businesses, participants share their own culture through presentations on campus and in the community. In years past, students have presented to audiences in public schools, local rotary and other volunteer clubs, as well as student leadership and Edmonds College’s Creative Retirement Institute.

The Community College Initiative program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Edmonds College’s Northwest College consortium is one of three groups in the United States to receive these awards. The funds provide valuable support to assist the college in its international education goal of fostering better understanding between people of the world and local communities.