CHINA VISIT: Susan Hannam, Slippery Rock University dean of the College of Health, Environment and Science, pauses in front of Hongda High School in Shanghai, China during her recent recruitment visit there. The Chinese message reads, “Welcome Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania of the United States to visit our school.”SRU pursues exchange pact
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - They were welcomed at the Chinese schools with signs as if they were celebrities. They dined on "wonderful food." And they laid the foundation for recruiting up to 15 Chinese undergraduates a year to Slippery Rock University and launching a "Chinese Educators' Academy" for teachers.
Susan Hannam, dean of SRU's College of Health, Environment and Science, recently led a recruitment trip to four high schools in China - Hongda, Haining, Jinling and Zhejiang. Two of the schools, Haining and Zhejiang, are interested in signing a letter of understanding with SRU that would, among other things, send some of their graduates to SRU for their college education.
Hannam also discussed the creation of an SRU Educators' Academy in which Chinese teachers would spend two weeks at SRU in the summer studying U.S. teaching methods.
"The schools told us that they would like their teachers to come and have a chance to practice the English language as we speak it, to learn a little more about the culture in the U.S. and to learn our teaching techniques," Hannam said.
Traveling to Nanjing, China with Hannam were Pam Frigot, director of international services; Jack Livingston, chair and associate professor of geography, geology and the environment; Jialing Wang, associate professor of geology, geology and the environment; and Hongbo Zhou, assistant professor of computer science. Zhou and Wang are from China.
"When we went to the schools, we were welcomed at all four of them with banners. We were big deals arriving there," Hannam said. "That was a surprise to me."
Hannam said the schools hope to sign letters of understanding in October so that SRU could begin enrolling Chinese students next July. "We'd like to get 10 to 15 students a year," she said. "In addition, we would host the educators' academy, and their government would pay to send their teachers here. I am very excited about bringing our people together."
SRU has 86 international students, including three from China, enrolled but has never had an articulation agreement with a Chinese high school. SRU has a partnership with a Japanese high school, Jissen Joship Gakuen, an all-girls school in Tokyo.