After six weeks of study, Egyptian educators share insights and friendships with Florida State University, Santa Fe College and the U.S. Department of State

Educators and administrators from Egypt today joined international education experts from Florida State University, the U.S. Department of State and Santa Fe College to discuss what they had learned during six weeks of intensive study of the U.S. community college system.

Since April 2, the Egyptian educators have been in Florida as part of the Community College Administrator Program, an exchange initiative of the U.S. Department of State. They began their study at FSU’s Learning Systems Institute, which included conversations with Florida Legislature leaders and senior policy-makers with the Florida community college system, then continued at Santa Fe College in Gainesville before returning to FSU for a week of review.

Dr. Mostafa Amin Hassanein Abohashema, speaking at FSU’s Turnbull Center, gives a summary of the experiences of the Egyptian educators during their six weeks of study. He is professor and director of the Egyptian National Institute of Transport.

Everyone agreed the Community College Administrator Program was a learning experience for all involved.

“We’ve learned so much from you,” said Jeffrey Ayala Milligan, director of the Learning Systems Institute. “We have made some good friends in Egypt, and you have some good friends here in Florida. We look forward to any way we can to continue to work with you in the future on projects that would be mutually beneficial.”

Wasan Tawfeeq, an FSU doctoral student studying the Arabic language who assisted as an interpreter for the Community College Administrator Program, prepared a fine Mediterranean lunch for the Egyptian educators.

The Learning Systems Institute administers the program for the State Department, working with its partner Santa Fe College. In all, the participants gain a look at the philosophy and policies that form the foundation of the U.S. approach to community colleges and get training in the day-to-day challenges of administering an open-access institution.

The program is part of the State Department’s commitment to the belief that education builds friendships and fosters cooperation nation to nation.

“This is a great opportunity to have engagement around the professional field of education and technical and vocational education…,” said Larita Campbell, Program Officer in the State Department’s Office of Global Education Programs. “It is an important area of work across the world.”

Campbell invited the members of the Egyptian delegation to stay engaged through the State Department’s International Exchange Alumni Network, an online virtual network that allows alumni from programs such as this one to connect and share insights on meeting the demands for education around the globe.

This is the sixth international group the Learning Systems Institute has brought to campus under the Community College Administrator Program. Educators from Indonesia, India, Ukraine, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have studied previously under the State Department initiative.

The State Department, the Learning Systems Institute and Santa Fe College will continue the Community College Administrator Program with four additional nations. Educators from Pakistan will come to FSU through the State Department exchange program in October, with groups from other nations to follow.

Learn more about the Community College Administrator Program at http://lsi.fsu.edu/ccap/.

The Community College Administrator Program participants, and others. Larita Campbell, Program Director with the U.S. Department of State, is third from the left, on the top row; Jeffrey Ayala Milligan, Director of the Learning Systems Institute, is third from the right on front row; at center, next to Dr. Milligan, is Vilma Fuentes, Assistant Vice president for Academic Affairs at Santa Fe College.