International Partnerships for Community Colleges


InternationalPartnerships for Community Colleges

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InternationalPartnerships for Community Colleges

Oneof the issues in international education today for community collegesin South Africa and the United States is how global citizenship canbe promoted through connecting ideas, opportunities, and resources.While global citizenship has become a common term in communitycolleges around the world, it can usually be as challenging toachieve as it is to define. The term global citizenship goes beyondmerely living an expatriate lifestyle or traveling on the worldwidestage. Global citizenship commonly refers to a more holistic view ofthe world on how people identify themselves with individuals in theemerging world community and recognizing responsibilities in order toassist others for the purpose of building a neighborhood thatsafeguards the future of the planet (Andreotti 2016). Theinternational education that has a multi-cultural setting provides aplatform for using different approaches to promoting globalcitizenship.

Thesemethods include (a) the design of a curriculum that embraces a moreholistic educational approach (b) the use of technology to fosterconnections between classrooms around the globe and (c) the use ofsocial action projects that utilize service-based learning tools thatpromote global citizenship. As such, this paper provides proposalsfor the 41stCommunity College International Development (CCID) Annual Conferenceon how to promote universal residency by examining the differentapproaches that uphold global citizenship. The paper focuses on theContinuing Education and Training Act (CET), No. 16 of 2006 and howit can achieve its mandate through international partnerships, aswell as provide practical suggestions of an affiliation betweencommunity colleges in South Africa and the United States.

TheDesign of Curriculum That Embraces a More Holistic EducationalApproach

Oneof the most important ways to upholding global citizenship is bycreating a scholastic curriculum based on its encompassingprinciples. This method has been adopted at Yokohama InternationalSchool, where James MacDonald, the Former Head of School implementeda “Global Citizenship Degree” that provides students withextra-curricular activities in order to achieve a supplementarydegree upon graduation that focuses on “environmental stewardshipand global perspective” (Hayden &amp Thompson 2014). For instance,a geography class in the United States examining the human impact ofdiscrimination of black South African citizens may help studentsunderstand worldwide issues of discrimination, and thereby, promoteglobal citizenship. In order for community colleges in South Africato promote global citizenship, they need to adopt a similarscholastic curriculum.

Oneway that South Africa can promote global citizenship is by adoptingthe newly established CET Act 16 of 2006 that offers youth and adultswho did not complete their schooling with a post-school scholasticcurriculum by partnering with “community-owned or privateinstitution, such as faith-based organization or other education andtraining centers in order to enhance their capacity to meet theeducation and training needs of youth and adults” (Nzimande 2015,p. 6). This curriculum can be used to create an internationalpartnership between community colleges in the United States and SouthAfrica because it provides students with the ability to understanddifferent cultures, such as eating and dressing, therefore, createsan understanding that promotes global citizenship. However, thepartnership between community colleges can be ensured through the useof technology to foster connections between classrooms around theglobe (Mouza &amp Lavigne 2012).

TheUse of Technology to Foster Connections between Classrooms around theGlobe

Anothersignificant approach to promoting global citizenship is using digitaltechnology to enhance the partnership between community collegesthrough providing connections between classrooms around the world.For many years, classrooms have been using digital technology, suchas Skype to link with other classes to learn about each other’scountries and cultures (Hewitt &amp Tarrant 2015). However, thecurrent trend is to improve these partnerships and take them beyondthe tradition of “is food in your country as sweet as food in ournation?” model. Currently, schools that are using digitaltechnology have partnered to research on global social issues thatare affecting the world, such as the effects of global warming, andthen, come up with tangible plans that offer practical solutions(Casper 2010 Selwyn 2011). In some of the cases, the partner schoolsteam up to find a solution to a local problem facing the schools,such as the reason for the increasing number of students notattending class on a continuous basis.

Thereare a number of programs, particularly web-based ones that are usedto connect classrooms around the world to exchange culture in orderto promote global citizenship. One program is called InternationalEducation and Resource Network (Dunn, 2013). This program connectsschools around the globe and provides a collaborative framework thatexposes students to issues in the world and solutions. Due to theprogram, South Africa can promote global citizenship by using digitaltechnology. In CET Act 16 of 2006 report, Nzimande states that “Thetwo disadvantaged groups are adults and young people who are outsidethe formal economy and formal workplaces, who are not in educationalinstitutions, who have few opportunities for access to first orsecond-chance learning” (Nzimande 2015, p.4). As a result, SouthAfrica community colleges can create an international partnershipwith the United States community colleges by using digital technologyto reach these adults and young people in order to provide them withknowledge. In doing so, global citizenship will be promoted incommunity colleges in South Africa.

TheUse of Social Action Projects That Utilize Service-Based LearningTools That Promote Global Citizenship

Whilethe use of digital technology seems to promote global citizenship byensuring that partner schools are benefiting from collaborating onresearch on global social issues that are affecting the world, suchas the effects of global warming and increasing HIV infections inSub-Sahara Africa, it is the social action projects that areimportant in promoting global citizenship. Collaborating with localand international organizations, such as non-profit firms is the bestway to not only engage students to foster positive change, but alsoto impact the community. Research shows that service-based learningoffers students many benefits. Students attain a sense ofself-efficacy when they experience the impact of their work(Schunk&amp Zimmerman 2008 Pressley &amp McCormick 2007). Therefore,students develop compassion and empathy which nurture globalcitizenship and cultivates community development that lasts beyondhigh school.

SouthAfrica community colleges can emphasize the implementation of socialaction projects through an international partnership with the UnitedStates community colleges in order to promote global citizenship. Inthe CET Act 16 of 2006, Nzimande states that “The focus oncommunity in the CETCs and CLCs is as much a matter of location as itis a matter of orientation, location this sphere of adult and youtheducation in communities with strong links to communities in theirvaried forms, to NGOs and CBOs” (Nzimande 2015, p.4). As such,students in South Africa community colleges need to create closelinks between themselves, the community, and NGOs by providing theirservices to the aforementioned. In doing so, the students who carryout tasks, such as feeding hungry people in a war-torn country, forinstance, Southern Sudan, get to understand global issues. The linksoffer an opportunity for South Africa community colleges to havestudents who understand global issues and willing to collaborate withthese institutions in the United States.


Inthe discussion, it is apparent that global citizenship refers to amore holistic view of the world on how people identify themselveswith individuals in the emerging international community andrecognizing responsibilities in order to assist others for thepurpose of building a populace that safeguards the future of theplanet. In the discussion, it was shown that there are differentapproaches that promote global citizenship that include (a) thedesign of curriculum that embraces a more holistic educationalapproach (b) the use of technology to foster connections betweenclassrooms around the globe and (c) The use of social actionprojects that utilize service-based learning tools that promoteglobal citizenship. Each of these approaches was shown to be able tofoster an international partnership between American and SouthAfrican community colleges that promote global citizenship. However,more research needs to be conducted to find new means of enhancingexisting ways to ensure that international partnership betweencommunity colleges promote global citizenship.


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Hewitt,D &amp Tarrant, S 2015, InnovativeTeaching and Learning in Primary Schools,SAGE, Thousand Oaks.

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