Batavia, NY- Two years ago the South American country of Ecuador shut down more than a dozen universities and community colleges that were not performing to high standards. As it works to rebuild its higher education system, a delegation from the country visited Genesee Community College to learn more about the College’s programs and best practices. Ecuador plans to launch 40 new technical colleges within the year.
The delegation included German Rojas and Carol Guerra from Ecuador’s Higher Education Council and Michelle Semanate and Karla Leon from the National Secretariat of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation.
“We want to know how you work,” Semanate said. “We are looking to offer similar careers as you, like Food Processing Technology.” GCC launched a new degree in Food Processing Technology this fall. Director of Science Programs Professor Maureen Leupold was among those showing the group around the Batavia campus. They visited the science laboratories and toured other areas of the campus. They also spoke with several College administrators.
The delegation may invite GCC faculty to come to Ecuador as part of The Promoteo Project, an initiative of the Ecuadorian government that seeks to strengthen research, academy and knowledge transference in specialized topics by hosting foreign experts at some of their colleges and universities. Ecuador may also send students on scholarship to GCC. “We are developing criteria to see which colleges will fulfill our criteria,” Semanate said.
GCC is one of several schools the delegation is visiting during an 11-day trip to the United States arranged through the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. They’ve already spent time at Northern Virginia Community College, Rochester Institute of Technology and Monroe Community College in Rochester. They also plan to explore Herkimer County Community College and visit Miami-Dade College in Florida before returning to Ecuador November 5th.
“It’s been our pleasure to host this delegation and share some of our successful programs with them,” said Tanya Lane-Martin, assistant dean for Enrollment Services and director of Admissions at GCC. “We enjoy excellent relationships with many countries that send students to GCC, and we hope to have the opportunity to bring some students from Ecuador here to Batavia.”
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A photograph of the delegation from Ecuador at GCC on Oct. 31, 2014 is available here:
Caption: From left, interpreter Hernando Soto Rodriguez, Ecuadorians German Rojas, Carol Guerra, Michelle Semanate, Karla Leon, Interpreter Susana Martin and International Visitor Leadership Program director Josephine Perini from Rochester Global Connections.