Mar 11th, 2011 @ 9:33 am | Author:
Valley City State University recently signed an agreement with the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur (UABCS) in La Paz, Mexico to extend a sister university relationship for the next three years. An agreement between the universities has been in place since 1994, and the new agreement includes additional elements that extend the scope to include more emphasis on other academic areas and provide for the exchange of staff members.

The agreement was signed during a February visit to UABCS by VCSU president Dr. Steve Shirley, Dr. Julee Russell, chair of VCSU's Division of Communication Arts, and Dina Zavala-Petherbridge, instructor and director of VCSU's Spanish program. According to Dr. Shirley, "One of the purposes of our university is to promote a multicultural perspective and global awareness, and this agreement is an excellent example of the ways we work towards that goal. We very much look forward to continuing and extending this relationship for the benefit of all of our students."

Mtro. Javier Gaitán, Rector of UABCS, said, "We have a long tradition of exchanging students with VCSU. This relationship is renewed with the signing of this agreement. Students who participated have broadened their horizons both culturally and academically. This agreement will allow us to continue with our collaboration and student exchange."

Previous agreements between the universities have focused on exchange of students studying Education, particularly Spanish Education, and dozens of students have participated over the years. VCSU students have been able to apply credits they earn at UABCS to meet VCSU graduation requirements, and could even complete student teaching requirements in La Paz schools.

The new agreement maintains these elements, but adds opportunities for exchanges of staff members and exchanges of students in non-teaching majors. "These kinds of exchange programs can appeal to students in any major,' said Dr. Shirley. 'For example, a student with a major in Business Administration may take advantage of this exchange program in order to enhance their background in international business."

The next contact between the universities will come in April of this year when three representatives from UABCS are scheduled to visit VCSU. The next exchange of students is planned for the Fall semester 2011 and is expected to involve two students from each university.

Valley City State University (VCSU) prepares people for life through visionary leadership and exemplary practices in teaching, learning and service. VCSU is nationally acclaimed for attracting and retaining talented individuals who advance quality learning opportunities and economic growth through technology and innovation.