DCCC Honored with Prestigious Award for International Education

International Night

April 3, 2014 – Davidson County Community College was recently selected as the 2014 recipient of the Institution Award for International Excellence by the North Carolina Association of International Educators.

Each year, NCAIE honors an institution that has demonstrated remarkable dedication to advancing the goals of international education. DCCC was selected based on leadership in the field of community college education, as well as international programming.

Suzanne LaVenture, director of International Education and Spanish instructor, says it is an honor for DCCC to be recognized by NCAIE for their continued efforts in international education.

“Over the past several years, DCCC faculty and staff have been committed to international education on our campus,” LaVenture says. “The members of our International Education committee are passionate, and spend many extra hours carrying out our vision toInternational Night Flags provide students with a global perspective in order to prepare them for the 21st century workforce.”

DCCC was presented with the award at the NCAIE Spring Conference at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Melissa Johnson, English faculty and International Education Committee member accepted the award.

“This award is a particular honor since it recognizes DCCC as a leader among both two- and four-year colleges in North Carolina,” Johnson says. “Our international initiatives set us apart even alongside large universities, and that speaks to the high quality of our programs and the strong institutional support for international education throughout the college.”

The school is involved in numerous international initiatives. DCCC recently joined the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. In 2014, study abroad programs will include a language immersion program in Salamanca, Spain and a Community Travel Club trip to Australia and New Zealand, in addition to annual study abroad trips to China and Peru.

Other international education initiatives include:

-Scholars of Global Distinction, a program that offers students a chance to enroll in globally intensive courses, such as foreign language, world civilizations and geography, international cultural exploration, business and more. As part of the program, students attend international Passport Events on campus, as well as participate in a study abroad or domestic intercultural experience.

-Fulbright Scholar Foreign Language Teaching Assistant program, which enables young educators to refine their teaching skills, increase their English language proficiency and extend their knowledge of the cultures and customs of the U.S.

-A partnership with the Asolare Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Lexington that works to provide community arts services to emerging international artists. The Foundation has previously provided artists who have painted murals not only on campus, but also in downtown Lexington and Thomasville.

-Passport Events, which provides students with several opportunities throughout the year to learn about different countries and cultures through unique events and presentations. Some of last year’s events included “The Walk of the Immigrant,” Community Irish Dancing, and cultural presentations on Brazil and Spain.

-A virtual exchange between DCCC students and students at Lycée Brémontier in Bordeaux, France. The school partners with them on a grant proposal through the European Union. Universities in eight European countries are involved; DCCC is the only non-European partner.

-DCCC hosts international students on campus through the CCI program and a new Truck Driver Training program.

LaVenture adds that more international initiatives are being added, including a grant to bring Mexican students to campus, and also sending a nursing faculty member and student to Ghana in May to explore the creation of a service learning study abroad program for nursing students.

DCCC will also host a “Passport to Discovery” summer camp in July for rising seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders.

“Students will have the opportunity to research their ancestry, learn about other cultures and countries, and participate in international sports and dances, as well as create arts and crafts,” LaVenture says. “These opportunities for both college students and younger students in our community are prime examples of how DCCC is on the cutting edge of 21st century education, creating global citizens prepared to work and think in our increasingly interdependent world.”

*Editor’s Note: Attached pictures are from International Night, held recently in the Brinkley Gym on the Davidson Campus. The first picture shows Natalie Akashambatwa discussing the culture and customs of Zambia to guests at the event.

Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50 degree programs. A fully-accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It is committed to developing minds, inspiring imaginations, and preparing students for enhanced career and educational opportunities within a changing global environment. Visit Davidson County Community College on the Web at davidsonccc.edu.