Heartland hosts Chinese delegates at Normal Campus

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[July 26, 2014]  NORMAL – Heartland is currently hosting 39 delegates from China as part of the International Institute for Teaching and Learning (IITL). The delegates arrived June 23 from 14 different institutions within Jiangsu Province, China and will stay until August 12. While on campus, the delegates will experience the American educational system, language and culture.

Since its start in 2012, the IITL has served 134 faculty members from more than 30 vocational and technical colleges in China. During IITL visits, delegates take several courses on language studies, culture, teaching methods and the overall American community college system. Delegates also participate in a variety of social events, field trips and visits to major cities.

Overall, the program offers a unique professional development opportunity for Chinese delegates. Gavin Lee, Coordinator of International Programs at Heartland explained how the technical and vocational schools in China are similar to American community colleges. At the end of the program, delegates can take home best practices to their institutions. “With all its learning opportunities and activities, IITL is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Lee. “It’s the kind of experience where you return a lot different than how you left.”

Lee also noted Heartland is well suited for international learners because of the support offered through smaller classes and more individualized attention. Upon arrival, delegates are provided with a detailed itinerary, residence at Lincoln College and a variety of sessions to introduce them to the bus system, grocery stores and other necessities.

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Heartland has a history of being actively involved in international activities and partnerships, particularly with China. The College has hosted a Chinese school for youth, arranged incoming and outgoing visiting professors and sponsored a community-wide Chinese New Year celebration. The IITL is a natural outgrowth of these relationships.

In addition to delegates, Heartland will host three Chinese consuls July 16 and 17. The consuls will meet with various HCC representatives, tour campus and observe classes. A reception will be held in their honor Wednesday, July 16 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. in room 1802 of the Student Commons Building on the Normal campus.

For more information about Heartland Community College, visit www.heartland.edu



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