Mesa Community College (MCC) is a host campus of the U.S. Department of State’s Community College Initiative (CCI) Program, administered by Northern Virginia Community College on behalf of the Community College Consortium. To learn more about this program click here to see a video created by the 2015-2016 participants. The CCI Program provides participants from underserved areas and underrepresented groups in 12 developing countries with a one-year, non-degree academic program at a U.S. community college. Participants pursue study in fields of applied engineering, business management and administration, early childhood education, information technology, media, public safety, tourism, and hospitality management. MCC hosts participants in the fields of business and early childhood education.
MCC is one of two Maricopa Community Colleges among the Community College Consortium’s nine overall host campuses. The Community College Consortium, an association of some of the largest community college systems located in Virginia, Arizona, California and Florida, welcomes more than 100 CCI participants to their host campuses as part of a $5 million cooperative agreement. The principal focus of the association is to help nations across the globe realize the importance of community colleges as a prime motivator and initiator of higher education and to collaborate on grant initiatives that will bring students from abroad to consortium institutions to study.
CCI participants in the Community College Consortium build technical skills in applied fields, enhance their leadership capabilities, and strengthen their English language proficiency through community engagement activities that include professional internships, service learning, and cultural exchange. Participants also contribute to their U.S. host communities by completing 100 hours of community service and helping U.S. community colleges to internationalize their campuses.
According to 2011-2012 Open Doors Report, only 1% of U.S. community college students will gain 21st-century international experience and workforce skills through study abroad. Through the CCI exchange program, participants engage community college students with international cultures and diverse perspectives in their U.S. classrooms and on their home campuses.
“This program will increase cross-cultural exchanges between International and American students, and with the community in Mesa,” said Annique Nestmann, Director International Education MCC. “More importantly, it will facilitate diversity opportunities of civic engagement and global learning for all students at MCC."
After completing the program, CCI participants return home with a deeper understanding of U.S. culture and new skills to help them contribute to the economic development of their home countries. The CCI Program is one of many U.S. Department of State exchange programs that offer cultural and educational exchange opportunities in the United States.
Scottsdale Community College, a sister college in the Maricopa Community College District, is also a part of this initiative and has been hosting students in such fields as hospitality & tourism, business, and media for several years.