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For Immediate Release (01-30)
Date: April 18, 2001
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College Earns Federal Grant
to Boost International Studies
Community College One of Only Three in Nation to Receive Funding for Project

(Rockville, Maryland) -- Montgomery College is one of only three community colleges in the nation to receive a U.S. Department of Education grant that will help to strengthen and expand the international content of the curriculum. The grant is the second of its kind awarded to the college in the last four years.

The grant project, entitled: The New Global Migration: Case Studies in the Reshaping of World Cultures, is of immediate relevance because of the number and diversity of immigrant students at Montgomery College, many of whom bring unfamiliar perspectives to the classroom and pose new instructional challenges. The largest community college in the state of Maryland, with approximately 21,000 students in credit programs, Montgomery College serves a population represented by students from as many as 170 different nations. Nearly one-third of the total student population is comprised of international students.

The U.S. Department of Education grant will provide Montgomery College faculty with opportunities to study worldwide immigration issues in a systematic way, as part of a faculty development program. By adding Chinese to its foreign language offerings, Montgomery College will address an unmet need for Chinese language at the college level for the graduates of the more than 30 Chinese heritage language schools in the Washington area, as well as for others with an interest in studying Chinese.

Dr. Gail Forman, director of Montgomery College's International Education Program, will direct the project. The U.S. Department of Education will provide Montgomery College with $173,442 in funding for the effort, over two years.

In support of this project, the College has secured the commitments of first-rank scholars for leadership duties. Distinguished visiting scholars who will conduct faculty seminars will include Dr. Alexander Aleinikoff, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Dr. John G. Haaga, Director of Domestic Programs, Population Research Bureau; Dr. Susan Forbes Martin, Director of the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University; Dr. Demetrios Papademetriou, Senior Associate and Co-Director, International Migration Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Dr. Audrey Singer, Director, Immigrants and Social Welfare Project. The inaugural lecturer will be Dr. Betty Lee Sung, whose many books on Chinese American immigration are landmarks in the field.

The Foreign Language Program, using Chinese as the prototype for subsequent course development, will become, as Korean did under the earlier grant, a working model for heritage language instruction and will be disseminated nationally through the American Association of Community Colleges. Such a plan carries future benefits for the instruction of less commonly taught languages in this country.

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(NOTE TO REPORTERS/PHOTOGRAPHERS/EDITORS: An announcement and celebration of the grant award will be made on Monday, April 23 at 3 p.m. at Montgomery College's Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville; in the Campus Center Building, Faculty/Staff Dining Room.)

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