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Friday, June 10, 2005

UNCP launches English program at Mexican university

UNCP launched an English language initiative at a university in Mexico during the 2005 spring semester.

Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de la Region Corbonifera delgation - From left: Director of Academic Affairs Patricia Ramos, President Angelia Bortoni Gonzalez and Rosa Amalia Muzuiz Garza, coordinator of language center.

Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de la Region Corbonifera delgation - From left: Director of Academic Affairs Patricia Ramos, President Angelia Bortoni Gonzalez and Rosa Amalia Muzuiz Garza, coordinator of language center.

Partnering with the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de la Region Corbonifera (ITESRC), the program offers training to English teachers from across the Coahuila state of Mexico. For UNCP, it is a pilot project that will develop and monitor an international certificate program.

In early May, a delegation of top university administrators from ITESRC visited Pembroke to discuss the program and plan future projects. ITESRC General Director (university president) Angelia Bortoni Gonzalez said the program would expand and improve English instruction in a region that borders the U.S.

“The English language is very important to our region,” Dr. Gonzalez said. “We have a good English program for our students, and we wanted to expand it to the public schools, especially the elementary schools.”

Known for its engineering and technology programs, ITESRC is located in Agujita, Mexico, the nation’s coal mining region. Industry is developing in the region, and English language skills are increasingly important.

“We think our program with Pembroke will be important for our region,” Dr. Gonzalez said. “We have many English teachers who need advanced training.”

UNCP’s Spanish language and education program will send professors to ITESRC set up and supervise the program, said Dr. Alex Chen, associate vice chancellor for International Programs.

“This is an important alliance for UNCP because it gives us a Spanish language partner,” Dr. Chen said. “This is a new approach for us, and the model may be used elsewhere.”

“This is our first successful international certificate program,” Dr. Chen said. “We have 35 participants currently, and we expect to have four sections of 25 students each in three locations in the fall.”

Working cooperatively to produce the program were the Office of Outreach, the School of Education and the English, Theatre and Languages Department.

“ All our departments worked smoothly together, and this type of program could not be successful without a high degree of cooperation,” Dr. Chen said. “This kind of international exposure is beneficial for our faculty. It integrates our outstanding pedagogical talents into a project with our neighbors across the border.”

There are other projects in the planning stages between ITESRC and UNCP.

“We would like to have students from UNCP come to our university in an exchange program,” Director Gonzalaz said.

ITESRC’s Director of Academic Affairs Patricia Ramos said a joint sports medicine program is being discussed.

“We would like to create another certificate program through UNCP,” Dr. Ramos said. “Our university plays soccer, baseball, basketball, volleyball and Tae Kwon Do. We have a very good cheerleading team too.”

“We also have a strong arts and cultural program,” Dr. Ramos said. “If your students come, they would have an opportunity to work on their art skills.”

For more information on International Programs at UNCP, please call 910.521.4095 or email oip@uncp.edu.

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