Faculty and staff members from Zhejiang College of Construction in Hangzhou, China toured Brookdale Community College this week as part of their ongoing effort to learn about higher education in America.
From Aug. 18-21, 15 Zhejiang teachers and administrators from five different departments will meet with Brookdale officials and tour campus facilities to better understand the role of community colleges in U.S. higher education.
After meeting with Dr. Janice Thomas, director of Brookdale’s International Education Center, and touring the Lincroft campus on Monday, the delegation met with Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy on Aug. 19.
“We are so honored to have you here today, and we are very, very happy about the growing relationship between our two institutions,” Murphy said. “I hope that you have a wonderful visit and enjoy your stay in New Jersey. Welcome.”
Professor Shimei Liu, director of Zhejiang’s department of humanities, and information, thanked Brookdale’s deans and administrators for taking the time to host the delegation and presented Murphy with a beautiful, handmade silk embroidery.
“Thank you so much for inviting all of us to your school,” Liu said. “And thank you Dr. Thomas for your presentation yesterday. We learned a great deal about your school and also the higher education system.”
This is the third consecutive year Brookdale has hosted a delegation from Zhejiang. Following the college’s first visit in July 2012, Zhejiang officials expressed interest in developing a stronger relationship with Brookdale.
In April 2014, Brookdale and Zhejiang signed a memorandum of understanding in order to lay a framework for further cooperation, including faculty and student exchanges.
This fall Brookdale will host two visiting faculty members from Zhejiang, and Brookdale’s division of Outreach, Business and Community Development is creating an English for Construction Purposes course for implementation in June 2015.
Officials with both colleges are also working to develop a dual-degree arrangement that would map a Zhejiang academic program to Brookdale’s associate degree program in Electronics Engineering Technology.
Thomas and Ann Tickner-Jankowski, director of Transfer and Articulation at Brookdale, even travelled to China in 2014 as invited guests to present at an international conference hosted by Zhejiang.
“I have enjoyed getting to meet this group of wonderful people,” said Thomas, who coordinated this year’s Zhejiang visit. “We have discovered together and learned about the U.S. higher education system. We have a full week of activities to really get to know Brookdale and the history of the community college.”
While at Brookdale, the delegation will learn about the concept and the role of the community college in U.S. higher education and get an introduction to Brookdale’s academic programs and student support services.
They will also meet Brookdale Executive Vice President Dr. Dianna Phillips and deans Richard Pfeffer, Dr. Nancy Kegelman, Dr. William Burns and Dr. Patricia Gallo. Faculty and staff meeting with the delegation include Professor Edward O’Neill; Professor Nancy Liu; Professor Howard Miller; Teaching and Learning Center Director Norah Kerr-McCurry; Tickner-Jankowski; Career Services Director Sarah McElroy; OBCD Business Development Manager James McCarthy; and Charanne Smith, director of the Neptune Higher Education Center.
In addition to touring the Lincroft and Neptune campuses, the delegation even had time to visit a local beach during the visit, Thomas said.
“It has been a lot of fun, and very educational,” she said.
Click here for more photos of the delegation.