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

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A pilot study abroad program in Jamaica starting summer 2014 will launch the first-time partnership between IERC Education Foundation and IES Abroad to develop custom study abroad programs that suit academic priorities of HBCUs and build 21st century global workforce skills

IES Abroad students in Paris

This study abroad collaboration has the potential to significantly grow the number of African American students with the linguistic skills and intercultural competencies that employers look for

IES Abroad, a consortium of 200 major U.S. colleges and universities, announced 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 IES Abroad’s Initiative to Diversify Education Abroad (IDEA) launched in 2008 and managed by Gretchen Cook-Anderson, Director of Diversity Recruiting & Advising at IES Abroad. “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.”

About IES Abroad
IES Abroad is a global, not-for-profit academic consortium of more than 200 top-tier American colleges and universities that has been a leader in study abroad programs for over 60 years. Founded by three optimistic post-war students in 1950, IES Abroad today offers 100+ study abroad programs in 36 cities worldwide. More than 5,700 students enroll in IES Abroad programs each year.

Every day our staff sees how studying abroad changes students’ lives. As an educational organization that puts purpose before profit, we’re proud of our legacy and leadership in the study abroad field. We believe that every student should have the opportunity to go abroad—especially in a fun, safe, and superior academic and cultural environment. For more information, please visit http://www.IESAbroad.org

About IERC Education Foundation
IERC Education Foundation is an umbrella non-profit founded in 2009 which represents the study abroad program interests of the North Carolina SAGE Partnership of 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. For more information, please visit http://www.IERCEF.org

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