by Pamela Young, Published September 21, 2012
Eastern Michigan University education students will soon have a unique opportunity to expand their campus experience in Asia, thanks to two new overseas partnership agreements with Korea National University of Education (KNUE).
Officials from Eastern Michigan's College of Education and KNUE signed the agreements Aug. 16 during a visit by Korean educators to Eastern.
"Collaborating with international partners is instrumental to the future of the College of Education," said Jann Joseph, dean of the college. "We have lots to share and learn from our partners, particularly in Asia. They want to learn to teach with more creativity and we know how to do it well."
The first agreement seeks to establish a program that allows Korean students to study at Eastern for between two and four semesters. They will focus on professional courses, including classroom management, and study teaching (field practicum) in elementary and secondary classrooms. Their degree will be from KNUE, but they also will earn an education international teaching certificate from EMU. It also provides for student and faculty exchanges
The second agreement is for shorter periods of study at Eastern. The initial program will host up to 20 Korean students a year for short semesters. Students can earn up to 15-credit hours a semester.
Further discussions will focus on establishing a dual-degree program where students will earn a degree from both Eastern and the Korea National University of Education.
The first two years of the degree program would be at KNUE; the last two years at EMU. During an optional third year, students could add a Michigan teaching certificate by taking additional courses and a semester-long student teaching experience. The certificate will provide a stronger background for Korean students returning home to teach.
Eastern already has highly successful programs in partnership with the Korean government for students to obtain teaching experience in Korean schools, for student exchange in other fields, and a dual-degree program in business.
"This is an exciting development that adds depth and new possibilities to EMU's programming with Korean partners," said Stephen Burwood, EMU's director of international studies. "In this newest phase, the College of Education has taken the lead."
"EMU education students now have a number of ways to fully grasp the importance of understanding people of different cultures by making friendships at home or in Korea, in experiencing and understanding multiple global approaches to education, and in developing their cross-cultural skill set."
The first class is tentatively scheduled to start in 2013.
Eastern Michigan has a long history of partnering with international universities and in exposing EMU students to international experiences. Its exchange programs reach into Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Affiliated programs open to EMU students are located in every continent except Antarctica. Shorter, faculty-led programs and intensive language immersion programs go to all six inhabited continents.
Existing partnerships include: