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International exchange participants impact community colleges

Northampton Community College is one of 10 campuses across eight states to welcome international exchange participants to its campus during the 2017-18 academic year as part of the Community College Initiative (CCI) Program. The U.S. Department of State’s CCI Program is administered by Northern Virginia Community College on behalf of the Community College Consortium. The program provides participants with a one-year nondegree academic program in workforce development fields at a U.S. community college.

The CCI Program is designed to build participants’ technical skills, enhance leadership capabilities and strengthen English language proficiency. The program also provides opportunities for professional internships, service learning and community engagement activities to build relations between citizens of the United States and other countries.

While at Northampton Community College, participants will focus on study in the fields of early childhood education, emergency services, electromechanical technology and information sciences. After completing the CCI Program, participants return home with a deeper understanding of U.S. culture and with improved technical and vocational skills to contribute to the economic development of their home communities.

In 2016-17, independentsector.org reported that CCI participants contributed nearly $1.3 million in service to local U.S. communities. CCI participants also contribute to their U.S. host communities by helping to internationalize U.S. community colleges.

This year’s CCI group at Northampton Community College represent the following countries: Colombia, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, Turkey, Pakistan, India and Indonesia.