IES Abroad to Develop Custom Study Abroad Programs for Partnership of 11 Historically Black Colleges & Universities

We are pleased to announce an agreement this week with 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), represented by the IERC Education Foundation, to develop custom study abroad programs that will enroll students beginning Summer 2014.

IES Abroad and the IERC Education Foundation, which represents the study abroad program interests of the North Carolina SAGE Partnership of 11 schools, are working cooperatively to develop custom programs that suit the academic priorities of HBCUs and build the global workforce skills and employment opportunities needed by students and college graduates in the 21st century.

The two organizations are working to help raise the participation rate of African American undergraduates in study abroad. During 2009-2010, only 4.7 percent of about 270,000 U.S. students who studied abroad were African American as compared to Caucasian (78.7 percent), Hispanic (6.4 percent), and Asian (7.9 percent) students.

A pilot program at the University of West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, that focuses on sports medicine is under development by IES Abroad’s Customized Programs. This program is targeted to launch Summer 2014. A broader slate of affordable custom study abroad programs at additional global locations is planned for the future.

The 11 schools in the partnership are Barber-Scotia College, Bennett College, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, St. Augustine’s College, Shaw University, and Winston-Salem State University.

The partnership was developed as part of our Initiative to Diversify Education Abroad (IDEA) launched in 2008 and managed by Gretchen Cook-Anderson, Director of Diversity Recruiting & Advising. “As a graduate of an HBCU—Spelman College—I take particular pride in this new partnership between IES Abroad and these 11 schools. This collaboration has the potential over the next few years to significantly grow the number of African American students with the linguistic skills and intercultural competencies that employers are looking for, while also diversifying the face of America seen abroad,” said Cook-Anderson.

“IES Abroad has always led in the study abroad arena and we are pleased to partner with them to build a sustainable increase in the number of African American students gaining international education opportunities with a groundbreaking pilot for the summer of 2014," said Steven Jones President/CEO of IERC Education Foundation.

The IERC Education Foundation was cited in 2010 by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as an “example of innovative collaboration…that prepares students to work in businesses, non-profits and NGOs in an era of a global economy.”

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