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August 3, 2005
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
734.487.4400
ward.mullens@emich.edu

Eastern Michigan University graduates first cohort in China

YPSILANTI - Names were read, graduates walked across the stage to receive their degrees, tassels moved and pictures were taken to mark the important milestone.

The only difference is that this EMU graduation ceremony took place in China.

EMU celebrated its first graduation in China recently as part of its cooperative agreement with Tianjin University of Commerce (TUC) in Tianjin, China, a city of about 6 million people located 100 miles from Beijing.

Twenty-two students, enrolled in EMU's College of Business Master of Science in Human Resource Management and Organizational Development (MSHORD) program, received their degrees from Juanita Reid, EMU's vice president for University Relations.

"There is a huge potential market for education in China," said David Mielke, dean of EMU's College of Business. "Multinational corporations in China are looking for employees with U.S. business degrees."

The EMU program is the first of its type to be approved by the Chinese government and received the highest evaluation from the Education Ministry when it was reviewed in the fall.

"The Chinese students are eager to learn about human resources' best practices in the U.S.," said Fraya Wagner-Marsh, who helped develop the program and is the head of EMU's Management Department. "Several faculty have considered the opportunity to teach in China one of the best teaching experiences of their lives."

The program started two years ago as a result of the initial cooperative agreement with Tianjin University. The curriculum requires the completion of 12 graduate courses taught by EMU and TUC faculty. Seven faculty members from EMU's College of Business traveled to teach "hybrid" courses. Each course began with a week of intensive instruction in China, followed by seven to eight weeks of instruction online and then a return of the faculty member for another week of course work.

"We are proud of our first class of graduates," said Mary Vielhaber, a professor of management who taught in China. "The students who came from provinces all over China worked exceptionally hard to learn advanced human resources and organizational development concepts and skills that they will be able to apply in their jobs."

The program was delivered by EMU's Continuing Education.

"This really helps with the internationalization of EMU," said Dan Gaymer, dean of continuing education at EMU.   "The University's faculty travel to China and learn more about a world power, then they bring that experience and knowledge back here and our students benefit from it."

Gaymer said that the success of the program has opened several opportunities for other programs at Tianjin and other universities in China.

"This is a very successful program and it's great to have alumni in China with EMU degrees. It couldn't be better for us," Gaymer said.

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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