Community College Initiative Program offers unique opportunity for personal and economic growth

Two male and two female students smiling with backpacks
MCC international students

MESA, Ariz. -- July 28, 2022 – Mesa Community College (MCC) is pleased to once again welcome international exchange students during the 2022-2023 academic year as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Community College Initiative (CCI) Program.

The CCI Program provides participants, from underserved and underrepresented groups, a scholarship to study in a non-degree program for one academic year at a United States community college.

Sixteen students from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, South Africa and the Dominican Republic will arrive at Mesa Community College in July.

“The program provides these students with challenging backgrounds an opportunity to learn a new trade or skill to help their careers, families and countries,” explains MCC International Education Program Director Aziz Alhadi. “They learn about American values, systems and community service. For us, the international exchange has many benefits including cooperation, expanded understanding and global awareness.”

This year’s students are enrolled in business, early childhood education, computer and information technology, healthcare, emergency medical technology and sustainable agriculture certificate programs.

Since 2013, excluding the 2020-2021 academic year, MCC has hosted more than 120 international students under the CCI program – who collectively contributed more than 10,000 community service hours. MCC also hosts hundreds of other international students, studying under the F-1 visa program. Pre-pandemic, over 60 countries were represented at MCC.

A full schedule of activities awaits the new students, including student orientation, an intense schedule of preparatory training and other programs and activities designed to immerse students in the culture and day-to-day life of the United States.

Upon successful completion of the program, Alhadi states, many CCI graduates remain in contact with the International Education Office and many of their instructors. “They routinely participate in our education engagement activities and serve as proud volunteer “student ambassadors” in their home countries.”

The CCI Program is administered by Northern Virginia Community College in cooperation with the Community College Consortium.

Learn more about the MCC International Education program at

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer,, 480-461-7892

The Community College Initiative Program (CCI) provides scholarships to spend up to one academic year at U.S community colleges. Participants build technical skills and may earn certificates in their fields of study. Through professional internships, service learning, and community engagement activities, participants strengthen English language proficiency and immerse themselves in the culture and day-to-day life of the United States.

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) --

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Thursday, July 28, 2022