DCCC Joins Institute of International Education Coalition to Double Number of Students Who Study Abroad by End of Decade

March 31, 2014 — Davidson County Community College has pledged to join the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. DCCC has committed to increasing the number of undergraduate students who study abroad by 100 percent over the next five years.

IIE has committed $2 million of its own funds over the next five years. DCCC plans on creating a subcommittee of its International Education Committee to ensure the college’s goals are met. The group will work on developing new marketing strategies for their study abroad programs and will investigate ways to raise money for student scholarships. The committee has already established a fund through the DCCC Foundation to which people can contribute. Two $1,000 scholarships were awarded this year to students traveling to Peru and Spain. 

Suzanne LaVenture, director of International Education at DCCC, notes that the college emphasizes the importance of global awareness and believes that a study abroad experience enhances a student’s global outlook and overall education; it also benefits the local community by preparing students for the 21stcentury workforce.

“Studying abroad is a transformative event in a student’s life. You can’t come close to learning in the classroom what you learn during a trip abroad,” says LaVenture. “I’ve been a classroom teacher for more than 20 years, but I sincerely believe that taking students overseas is the most educationally important thing I’ve done in my career. Those students will never see things the same way. It’s been a great joy in my life to have the privilege of seeing DCCC students’ perspectives transformed.”

DCCC has offered many short-term study abroad opportunities over the past decade. Recurring programs include a Business and Culture study in China and a service-learning trip to Peru. These ‘Troika’ programs are offered in conjunction with CCID – Community Colleges for International Development. “Students who have experienced other countries firsthand through these opportunities are better prepared to work with a diverse group of people; they also understand the interconnectedness of the modern world and are able to view things from multiple perspectives,” LaVenture says. “This creates a local workforce with a competitive edge. It also facilitates cooperation and understanding between diverse groups of people living together, making for a strong, unified community.”

LaVenture adds that other programs in 2014 include a language immersion program in Salamanca, Spain and a Community Travel Club trip to Australia and New Zealand. The DCCC Foundation provides four $750 scholarships for the China program and the Student Government Association provides some support for the Peru trip.

For more information on IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, and a complete list of commitment partners, go to: www.iie.org/generationstudyabroad.

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 celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 and is looking forward to serving students in Davidson and Davie counties for many years to come. The college 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 at davidsonccc.edu.