The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Faculty trip to Far East connects TCC globally

By Kenney Kost/ne news editor

Delegates from TCC present a gift to the Chinese delegation that previously visited TCC in May. NE President Larry Darlage emphasized the eagerness the Chinese displayed in getting exchange programs with TCC started.
Photo courtesy Larry Darlage

A TCC delegation returned from a two-week trip to Asia to discuss student and faculty exchange programs.

The group visited eight colleges or universities: five in China, following up on the five schools that visited TCC in May, and three in Japan, said NE President Larry Darlage.

“It was a wonderful trip,” he said. “Everything we had planned went well. We talked to each school about interaction between TCC and their particular college, specifically in terms of exchange programs, faculty and student exchange.”

Darlage said international programs have been on the discussion table for several years though there was never much emphasis put on the programs.

Although TCC does have study abroad classes particular to campuses, the idea is to formalize them under the same districtwide umbrella.

The benefits of these kinds of exchange programs go beyond what is learned in the curriculum, said Sheryl Harris, TCC’s director of program development and international initiatives.

“We want to build global citizens,” she said. “These programs help students and faculty many ways. First of all, it helps them to learn how to navigate in a foreign country because it is completely different. It also broadens their knowledge of other cultures. This would help a prospective business student better understand how to conduct international business without offending anyone because China, for instance, is a very different culture as far as what is thought to be offensive and what is not.”

The long-term goals of the exchange programs, Darlage said, would be to send students and faculty for extended periods of time. For now, TCC plans to focus on short-term exchanges of two to three weeks, in which faculty would go to China or Japan and visit a few of the colleges to get to know their systems of operation and meet with faculty from their own disciplines.

“I believe this will make the classrooms here much richer,” he said. “The faculty members here could talk about their experiences abroad. Also, anytime I have talked to a student who has studied internationally, gone abroad, they are much more mature. They have a better perspective of the whole world as a global community.”

SE instructional associate Vivian Lu said the trip showed how the programs can benefit students and faculty.

“The trip was right in the middle of the Chinese celebrating their traditional Moon Festival and National Day [China’s Independence Day],” Lu said. “This gave our delegates a chance to see 1.3 billion people coming together to celebrate in their own way. This kind of thing leaves lasting impressions.”

Lu said she sees Asia as having great potential for TCC to explore and develop global learning as many Asian nations are opening up to develop international cooperation programs such as these.

Harris shared the sentiments.

“I am excited for everyone at TCC,” she said. “It was a wonderful trip, not just for us, but for what we accomplished for TCC.”

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