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IU, Ivy Tech partnership expands language education




IU and Ivy Tech Community College have partnered to bring expanded language instruction, including Arabic, to students all throughout the state. 

The Global Learning Across Indiana Project is an initiative put together by IU’s Center for the Study of Global Change and Ivy Tech, according to a press release.

The program was initiated with the help of a $334,603 grant under the United States Department of Education’s International Studies and Foreign Language Program.

According to a press release, the funding will allow the partnership of the schools to widen the Ivy Tech curriculum through focused course redesign.

This redesign will include the development of a system-wide Global Learning Certificate and the offering of Modern Standard Arabic language instruction statewide.

“The two schools have already been working together,” said Michelle Henderson, program coordinator of the Global Learning Across Indiana program. “But they wanted to create a global learning certificate at Ivy Tech. The grant should be interactive and help support a global education at Ivy Tech.”

Henderson said while the specifics of the program are still being discussed, Arabic would begin to be offered alongside the languages that are already taught at Ivy Tech, which are French, Spanish and Chinese, as of last year. 

“The goal is to create more global education on the 14 (Ivy Tech) campuses,” Henderson said. 

Currently only the South Bend campus offers a Global Learning Certificate, Henderson said. 

“Ivy Tech South Bend is the pilot of the global certificate,” Henderson said. “The other programs will be based off what works there.”

The initiative is receiving much help from IU staff.

The directors include Hilary Kahn, director of the Center for the Study of Global Change, and Cigdem Balim Harding, associate director of the IU Center for the Study of the Middle East, who is going to help guide the development of the Arabic curriculum. 

The project is just starting out with the help of the governmental grant.

Henderson said there was still much work to be done deciding what will actually make up the Global Certificate.

“There will be more information,” she said.  “But it’s too new for a lot of information. It’s still being developed.”

Laura Schulte

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