The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

European professors visit EC to exchange ideas

Language was not a barrier to impede two enthusiastic international professors from sharing their experiences as educators in their respective countries to the EC faculty.

International guests visit EC

Tetyana Vvedenska and Jana Urbanova, two European professors, visited EC to speak about the international partnership program that the campus has been a part of for the past three years.

The EC international program receives two grants which are used to exchange professors and faculty among the universities.

“People don’t know, but this is a very interesting program,” Bozena Morton, director of grants, said. “The best thing is it doesn’t cost anything because it is funded by the department of state.”

Working to improve program

Vvedenska, from Dnipropetrovsk National University in the Ukraine and Urbanova, from the University of Silesia in Poland, are both working with the EC faculty, trying to further develop skills needed for a successful educational program, Morton said.

There has been a wider acceptance of the program among the colleges in the Ukraine, with some anticipating the possible positive outcome of working with professors in America, Morton said.

“At first they didn’t see the possibilities of what could develop,” Vvedenska said. “The whole attitude has changed from indifference into optimism.”

Antoinette Phillips and Janet Young, instructors from EC, traveled to Europe and organized workshops in which they carried out professional development sessions with the faculty of the university in Ukraine which they attend, Morton said.

“People back in the Ukraine received a valuable international experience by being exposed to a different culture,” Vvedenska said. “When you’re exposed to a different culture you also learn to value your own.”

Grants improve facilities

The grants are not only improving professional working skills for partner universities, but outdated facilities are beginning to see the benefits of the international program, Morton said.

“With the new grants, we updated our technological systems and retrained our teachers,” Vvedenska said. “Our technological divisions are more developed. We would never have founded the distance education center without this program.”

Among the schools in America that participate in the program are UCLA and USC, with EC being the only community college in the state to be a part of the program.

“We are among very good company in the program,” Morton said. “Not many community colleges apply to the program because of the complications involved. When a professor is involved with the program, arrangements must be made to find a substitute for the semester and that sometimes can be hard.”

Student participation expected

Due to the success its participants believe the program has had, there are plans to initiate a joint activities program online where students in the Ukraine will work together with EC students in certain classes.

“It is planned to begin in the fall on a small scale,” Morton said. “If it goes well then it can hopefully grow.”

Both professors will stay at EC until the end of May when they will return to their respective countries.

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