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Richard Bland Expands Global Learning Programs
Petersburg-based College launches study abroad program and online Language Institute
By: Richard Bland College
“Richard Bland College is committed to producing graduates who possess the knowledge and skills required to be effective workers and citizens in the global economy of the 21st century,” said President Debbie L. Sydow, Ph.D. “Students, businesses and the local community will be the direct beneficiaries of these new international connections.”
The online Language Institute being implemented through a strategic partnership between Richard Bland College and Progressive Expert Consulting, Inc. (PEC) will offer over 70 different conversational languages to choose from, ranging from Spanish and French to Chinese and Arabic. These language courses, to be delivered through the same learning platform used to train Special Forces troops before they are deployed to different regions of the world, will focus on the “how” of language, not the “why” of traditional linguistics programs. By expanding language-learning options for Richard Bland students, the online Language Institute will also be a resource for business, military and vacation travelers alike.
“In addition to the sheer diversity of languages offered, this fully interactive online format will deliver a highly personalized educational experience for students,” said Daniel Feng of PEC’s Main Street Solutions, the learning environment that Richard Bland College will be utilizing to deliver language courses and programs.
Richard Bland College is also partnering with Global Education Skills Alliance (GESA), a not-for-profit education consortium that promotes global collaboration between and among education institutions, enterprises and industries worldwide, to expand opportunities for study abroad at Richard Bland. As a founding member of the GESA consortium, Richard Bland College will join other two-year colleges in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. in providing students the opportunity to enhance their education by combining study abroad with employment opportunities—
Kirsten Nash, a Richard Bland student and GESA’s first student intern said she hopes to incorporate foreign and domestic travel into her educational experience. GESA President and CEO Mark Harris, a former Australian-American Fulbright Scholar, said, “Kirsten and other Richard Bland students will add considerable value to their education and career prospects through participation in study abroad and internships with businesses abroad.” Representatives from the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology in New Zealand were also in attendance.
About Richard Bland College
Richard Bland College provides a distinctive learning experience for students preparing for transfer to selective colleges and universities after completing university-equivalent coursework and associate degrees in arts and science. The College enrolls more than 1,500 students—residential and commuter—on a picturesque campus located just outside historic Petersburg, Virginia, two hours south of Washington, D.C. and one hour west of Williamsburg, Virginia. www.rbc.edu