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Montgomery College Secures Dept. of Education Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Programs Grant to Boost the Promotion of Asian Languages and the Strengthening of the International Studies Program

The College, awarded $206,543 over two years to serve 800 learners, is one of only two community colleges in the country to receive the grant

The U.S. Department of Education announced 13 awards to public and private institutions of higher education across the country for the FY2023 Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) Grant Program. Montgomery College was awarded a $206,543 grant over two years and was one of only two community colleges in the country to receive an award.

The UISFL Grant Program awards assist: (1) institutions of higher education to plan, develop, and carry out a program to strengthen and improve undergraduate instruction in International Studies and foreign languages; and (2) associations and organizations to develop projects that will make an especially significant contribution to strengthening and improving undergraduate instruction in International Studies and foreign languages.

The percentage of the total costs of the program that will be financed with federal money is 64%, a dollar amount of $206,543. The percentage and dollar amount of the total costs of the program that will be financed by non-governmental sources are 36% - $115,039.

Montgomery College will use funding from the UISFL Program grant to develop a second year of Japanese instruction. This funding will also allow for further support in the form of tutoring and mentoring for all three Asian languages taught at the College, development of interdisciplinary activities, and the introduction of calligraphic techniques to assist students with learning the mechanics of a writing system very different from that in the West. Moreover, by providing students with the opportunity to study Asian languages for two years, MC will be helping students in the International Studies (IS) program, which strongly recommends two sequential years of a single language for skills development. The goal is to design within IS a certificate program that allows students to follow an Asian Studies track. 

“Montgomery College is grateful that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded this generous grant,” said Dr. Jermaine F. Williams, president of Montgomery College. “The funding will enable the College to boost two valuable aspects of its work: promoting Asian languages in an increasingly multicultural county and strengthening our international studies program. The objectives of the grant align with MC’s mission to help students discover their passions in a variety of disciplines and build greater appreciation of diversity in our community and globally.” 

MC will tailor specific classes within the IS program to increase the focus on Asia, including adding the option of taking POLI 270 – Politics in Action – as a course in local outreach and advocacy with and for the Montgomery County Asian-American community. Funding from the grant will also allow POLI 270 students to attend the Model UN in New York City, representing Asian countries (North Korea and Laos).

Additionally, the project will provide funding for a select number of eligible students in the Japanese language and International Studies programs, to embark on a study abroad trip in the summer of 2025. For students of International Studies and Japanese culture, study abroad will reinforce and expand classroom-based learning, thereby enhancing the student experience. Based on current enrollments, a conservative estimate is that the grant will serve 800 students; 400 in year one, and 400 in year two.

For more information related to the Montgomery College program, please contact Department Chair Dr. Joseph Stumpf at