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Glenville State College signs exchange deal with Philippines university

GLENVILLE — Glenville State College more than a month ago inked a memorandum of understanding for academic exchange with a university in the Philippines.

Glenville State and Southern Luzon State University plan to exchange faculty for joint research activities, exchange students for research and study, participate in academic meetings, seminars and short-term projects, exchange academic materials, provide professional training for scholars, and jointly develop Collaborative Online International Learning modules.

Representatives from Glenville State and Southern on Feb. 22 formalized the agreement.

“I’m excited about this opportunity, in particular for our students to interact with their international counterparts at SLSU. Many of our students, particularly in central West Virginia, come from smaller schools and have not had the opportunity to travel,” Glenville State President Mark Manchin said. “I think that aspect will be just one of the great things for us as part of this agreement. We thank Dr. Nantes for joining us in this new venture and look forward to a great relationship,”

The exchange of opportunities is the foundation of economic development, Southern Luzon President Doracie B. Zoleta-Nantes said.

“I am confident that our collaboration will expand and, in the process, allow our students to learn more and expand their horizons and be ready, shall we say, to be more open to the positive things that come of collaborative academic and intercultural discussions,” Zoleta-Nantes said. I consider this partnership as a blessing for our students and also for our faculty members who are involved in this initiative,”

The schools first partnered in 2019 by offering a virtual learning program connecting students around the world to work together on a common class project. The program was integrated into three courses from three academic institutions in three countries, Glenville State in the USA, Southern Luzon and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia at Johor, Malaysia.

Glenville State and Universti Tun signed a memorandum of understanding in 2018.

“In 2019 I partnered with Dr. Amalia Esclanda Almazol from SLSU and Dr. Alona Linatoc from UTHM. We designed the module to include common activities and projects that address the learning outcomes of our individual courses. The activities were designed to elicit interactions among our students. Our students enjoyed learning from each other, understanding different cultures, and learning about the unique forest ecosystems from each country,” said Rico Gazal, chair of the Department of Land Resources at Glenville State. “This agreement aims to foster a stronger partnership between the two institutions by creating more opportunities for faculty, student and virtual exchanges.”

C.O.I.L. courses differ from online learning courses because the focus is on cultural exchange, whereas traditional online courses generally focus on course content, and students interact very little with each other. Under C.O.I.L., the partner teachers develop collaborative modules that help meet the goals of the individual courses while also enriching the cultural awareness of students enrolled in the courses.

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