The Community College Initiative Program enables individuals from Brazil, Cuba, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, and selected countries in Central America to spend one year studying at community colleges in the United States and earn a vocational certificate.
The program provides academic instruction in selected fields including agriculture, applied engineering, business management and administration, health professions, information technology, media, and tourism and hospitality management, while also immersing participants in U.S. society and cultural life. After completing the program, participants return home with new skills and experiences that enable them to contribute to the growth and development of their countries and societies.
Participants are recruited from historically underserved populations and may not have had opportunities for formal job training or higher education. Most participants are in their early- to mid-twenties and many already have work experience.
The Community College Initiative Program demonstrates the United States’ commitment to increasing access to higher education for underserved international students in key regions and utilizes the unique resource represented by U.S. community colleges. The program reinforces U.S. community colleges’ efforts to become involved in international education and develop international ties.
As a special component of the Community College Initiative Program, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, is providing support to young Egyptian men and women to develop professional skills and enhance their leadership abilities at U.S. community colleges. The program also provides Egyptian participants with opportunities to improve their understanding of U.S. culture and society.
Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) a nationwide consortium of community colleges, received the Cooperative Agreement to administer the Community College Initiatives.
Three organizations have received awards to administer the Community College Initiative for Egypt: Northwest Colleges, a consortium of three community colleges in Washington State, including Edmonds, Spokane, and Whatcom Community Colleges; the California Community Colleges; and CCID. CCID also administers the Initiative for Teachers and Administrators.
- In addition to their coursework, Program participants across the nation take on leadership roles on their campuses, serve in student government, and participate in seminars on U.S. politics and society. Students at Greenville Technical College in South Carolina had a first-hand look at the voting process in the U.S. when they met with the county election commissioner and visited polling stations during the Presidential elections.
- Participants excel in their coursework. An 18-year-old student from Brazil earned an Associate’s Degree in Engineering at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in only one year and with a high grade point average. He also campaigned for student government and was elected a student senator.
- Program participants seize opportunities to apply new skills. Two students from Turkey studying Media and Communications at Parkland Community College in Champaign, Illinois, hosted their own shows on the college’s radio station, producing music and news broadcasts for the community.
- Participants get involved in their communities. Egyptian students at Tallahassee Community College in Florida taught Arabic language classes on campus. Students at Richland Community College and El Centro Community College in Dallas, Texas volunteered for a local organization that sends medical supplies to developing countries.
How To Apply
Interested persons should contact the Public Affairs section of their local U.S. Embassy or binational Fulbright Commission for up-to-date information about the Community College Initiative Program. U.S. Embassies or binational Fulbright Commissions manage the recruitment, selection and nomination of candidates.