Feb. 24, 2015
Cross-Border Education Opportunities Coming to Fruition
Increasing the opportunities for students on both sides of the border to study abroad has been one of my long-term goals. I’m pleased to report that those opportunities are becoming a reality.
Last week, the Governing Board voted unanimously to approve Memoranda of Understanding with Centro de Enseñanza Técnica Y Superior Universidad, México (CETYS) and Universidad Tecnológica de Tijuana, México (UTT) to create and expand cross-border programs. Under the agreements, students from Southwestern College and the two Tijuana universities can attend classes at both colleges without a delay in their studies. Additionally, students from the two Tijuana universities could attend Southwestern College at the district resident price of $46 per unit.
The agreements are the result of a year of increased discussion among Southwestern College leaders and our colleagues at CETYS and UTT. We have visited both campuses and are excited about the potential to articulate some of our career technical, logistics, business and engineering courses to allow a seamless transition among the three institutions. Thanks to Dr. Carla Kirkwood, our efforts have been focused and fruitful.
The timing of the Governing Board’s approval was perfect as I was able to announce the agreements at the University Presidents’ Summit hosted by the Consuls General from Mexico and the United States last week. The purpose of the summit held Thursday was to address the barriers for students to access higher education on each side of the border and to launch the CaliBaja Consortium for Higher Education.
Under the context of meeting the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, U.S. Consul General in Tijuana, Andrew S. E. Erickson, and the Mexican Consul General in San Diego, Remedios Gomez Arnau, have a goal to make the California/Baja California region a leader in cross-border education by the year 2020. The discussion at the Summit focused on key areas: language acquisition; learning for regional competitiveness; women and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); and funding.
In facilitating the language acquisition small group discussion, I was able to share our program in child development that helps students become fluent in English in four semesters. I explained that this model could be used for other academic content areas.
The day-long summit gave all of us an opportunity to deepen our discussions with our colleagues on both sides of the border. I look forward to the work ahead.
L-R: U.S. Consul General in Tijuana Andrew Erickson, Mexican Consul General in San Diego Remedios Gomez Arnau, CETYS Rector Dr. Fernando León Garcia, UC San Diego Chancellor Dr. Pradeep Khosla, UABC Rector Dr. Juan Manuel Ocegueda, myself, National University President Dr. Michael R. Cunningham and Mexican Foreign Ministry Proyecta 100,000 Coordinator Dr. Martha Navarro.