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Qingdao Education and Cultural Exchange Begins

Sixteen senior administrators from Qingdao Vocational and Technical College (QVTC) in China are beginning their leadership and cultural exchange program today at Northwest Community College's (NWCC) Terrace campus. Their arrival is a continuation of the Partnership Agreement both institutions signed in 2005. "The partnership agreement NWCC & QVTC signed last year laid the groundwork for a variety of cultural and educational exchange programs," explains Stephanie Forsyth, President of Northwest Community College. "This professional development program, designed specifically for senior administrators, is the first of many that the College will offer through our partnership." The Qingdao delegates include QVTC's President, Dr. Shi Zhongjian along with senior administrative deputy directors, deans, and directors. Their program consists of morning workshops that provide exposure and instruction on Western educational management and leadership training as well as Western approaches to educational delivery. Workshops are being led by college administrators, instructors, and staff. Afternoons will be spent traveling throughout the region, visiting various city and First Nation communities to learn about the history and culture of the region and the people who make up the Northwest. Tour destinations include Terrace and district, Kitwanga, Old Hazelton and its surrounds, Prince Rupert, Kitimaat Village, Stewart, and the Nass Valley. "This is a great opportunity to showcase the Northwest region of BC", states Forsyth. "By experiencing our communities, cultures and incredible geography these delegates will take away valuable knowledge and understanding of this region which will help strengthen and grow our relationship with China and the Asia-Pacific." Northwest Community College has reciprocated this cross cultural exchange by sending NWCC instructor Ian McLean to QVTC in July. McLean was there for one week offering a workshop to QVTC teachers on 'Western Approaches to Education'. Additional exchange programs involving students as well as instructors and administrators are being planned. Opportunities will be available for NWCC students to study at QVTC, as well as learning Mandarin in 2007. The Qingdao delegates leave July 29.

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