by Debra Johnson, Published October 16, 2012
YPSILANTI - A new partnership between Eastern Michigan University's College of Education and Global Educational Excellence (GEE) will pave the way for student-teaching and job opportunities for EMU students and graduates in the Middle East.
During the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Monday, Oct. 1, both institutions pledged to provide collaborative educational opportunities as GEE expands its operations into Jordan and Dubai.
GEE is an Ann Arbor-based educational management company that was founded in 1998 by Mohamad Issa and Dr. Said Issa. The company was established as a "vehicle for developing educational environments where all children are offered quality educational opportunities," according to its website.
The GEE family of chartered schools consists of eleven campuses within southeast Michigan and Ohio, with three early childhood centers, eight elementary schools, five middle schools, and three high schools. GEE plans to open a private K-12 school in Jordan in Fall 2013 and also another K-12 school in Dubai in 2014.
"This partnership will open up opportunities for student-teaching in Jordan and potential jobs for our graduates," says Jann Joseph, dean of the College of Education at EMU. "We also expect to see an increase in students attending EMU from the Middle East."
The MOU provides for cooperation in professional development for GEE identified teachers who enroll in EMU's international teacher certificate program. In addition, EMU will admit GEE qualified high school graduates who meet EMU's admission requirements, and those students would be eligible for international partnership scholarship awards equal to the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition.
"The project will allow for EMU and GEE to develop international relations with the Middle East," said Mohamad Issa, director of GEE. "The teacher training will prepare international students by using the Common Core State Curriculum to be successful in American universities and for teachers in America to learn successful programs from the Middle East. This program also will create opportunities for students from the Middle East to experience quality American higher education at an affordable cost."
The term of the MOU agreement is for five years and will be reviewed annually.