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Indonesia looks to Seminole State for community education model

Dr. E. Ann McGee, president of Seminole State College of Florida, addresses a delegation of about a dozen representatives from community colleges in Indonesia.

A delegation of educators and representatives from institutions of higher education in Indonesia visited Seminole State College of Florida to explore ways to improve the model and execution of their community college system.

The group of 15 visitors, including instructors, program directors and a doctoral candidate, attended sessions on March 5 from Seminole State College administrators on topics ranging from developing community partnerships to creating and implementing high-tech programs such as information technology.

“One of our goals at Seminole State has been to become more global,” said Dr. E. Ann McGee, president of Seminole State College, addressing the delegation. “We have developed several programs with a worldwide need that we think can be replicated in Indonesia.”

The speakers for the day were chosen from programs offered by Seminole State that appeal to the needs of Indonesia’s infrastructure and economy, such as engineering, construction and technology. Speakers included Dr. McGee; Hugh Moore, associate dean of the Center for Business, Legal and Entrepreneurship; Leon Portelli, associate dean of the Center for Information Technology; and Mark Davis, program manager of Automotive Technology. The six-week trip, funded by the U.S. Department of State, is primarily being hosted by Florida State University, which places particular international significance on Indonesia through various partnerships and exchanges.

Dr. McGee discussed how Seminole State is developing partnerships with local businesses and organizations and offering programs that meet a significant community need. She cited Seminole State’s relationship with the Central Florida Auto Dealers Association (CFADA) as an example of a mutually beneficial partnership, which supported the College’s construction of the $10.1 million CFADA Professional Automotive Training Center on Seminole State’s Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.

“We were pleased to have the Indonesian delegation visit Seminole State – there was much shared learning that took place about both cultures,” said Kevin Konecny, director of Seminole State’s Center for Global Engagement who helped to arrange the visit. “It was comforting to learn that, as educators, we have a common goal: A mutual desire to see our students learn, develop and grow to become contributing members of society.”

Seminole State College was chosen as one of six stops the delegation visited during their stay in Florida due to the utility of its programs offered and its track record of global coordination. The College has exhibited a commitment to developing as a diverse, globally connected institution through the development of its Center for Global Engagement, as well as various collaborations with educators from around the world. Recently, the College has hosted similar groups visiting from Denmark, Ukraine and Turkey. Dr. McGee participated in the 2012 Fulbright Community College Administrators Seminar in Russia, and she similarly traveled to Turkey last August.

Made up of thousands of islands, Indonesia is the world’s third largest democracy and the fourth most populous country.

The College draws students from 86 countries, and it has become a nearly majority-minority institution. The Center for Global Engagement, established in 2012, promotes interaction among students of all cultures and develops a culturally enriching learning environment by providing programs and services to facilitate international diversity and foster global understanding and awareness.

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