Across Oceans, Cultures, Education is Top Priority

CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried

CSM Welcomes Chinese to Learn About American Community College System

The College of Southern Maryland educated a Chinese delegation on the American community college model. The Chinese guests, 17 presidents and vice presidents from vocational and technical institutions, learned about the college's flexibility and responsiveness to student, community and industry needs; its role in local economic development; and the role of the president and board of trustees. During their one-day visit, the delegation also toured the La Plata Campus, the Center for Trades and Energy Training in Waldorf and the Waldorf Center for Higher Education.

            In a spring 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center, the majority of Americans polled on U.S.-China relations said that building stronger relations with China was more important than getting tough. In 2010, 68 percent of Chinese saw their relationship with the U.S. as one of cooperation but, a year later, those preferring stronger relations were in the minority and Chinese views on the U.S. also changed. As hosts to its Chinese visitors, CSM saw the visit as an opportunity to build understanding as well as relationships with other cultures.

            “Building stronger relations between our countries is vitally important. It was easy for us to accept the invitation of the American Association of Community Colleges to host the delegation, as it gave us an opportunity to show off our beautiful campuses, our state-of-the art facilities, our faculty and, of course, our students,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried who spoke to the delegation about his role in providing leadership, crafting a vision for the college and building partnerships with community leaders.

“Equally importantly, we savored the opportunity to interact with, and learn from our Chinese counterparts. The delegation learned that the American community college model is unique in that it responds to the needs of individuals throughout their lives, not just as a stepping stone from high school to advanced degrees or from high school to vocational school,” said Gottfried.

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