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* Shoreline signs pacts with two Chinese universities

Qingdaosails.jpgShoreline Community College and Qingdao University officials in Qingdao, China.  More photos

Shoreline Community College now has academic transfer agreements with two premier universities in China.

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At the heart of the pacts with Tsinghua and Qingdao universities is a “1 +1 +2” plan. After their first year, students from the two Chinese universities can come to Shoreline for the second year toward a two-year associate’s degree from Shoreline. With a Shoreline degree in hand, those students could then apply for admission to a four-year university in the U.S.

“We are honored and excited to have these agreements in place,” said Lee Lambert, President of Shoreline Community College and who helped negotiate and then signed the agreements. “Our students, our college and our state must develop the skills to be globally successful. These agreements will help make those skills a reality.”

The agreements have been in the works for nearly a year through outreach efforts in China by Lambert and Diana Sampson, Executive Director of International Education at Shoreline. Delegations from both Tsinghua and Qingdao have also visited Shoreline as part of the discussions.

“The lives of our students are increasingly impacted by what goes on around the world,” Lambert has said. “We must help our students better understand that world. We can do that by bringing the world to Shoreline.”

Tsinghua University is often referred to as “China’s MIT” with a strong reputation in the sciences. Admission to universities in China is difficult in general, determined in large part of scores on a national test called the “gaokao,” but Tsinghua has particularly high standards.

Among the notable graduates of Tsinghua University, are China’s President Hu Jintao, the current Vice President Xi Jinping and  the current chairman of the National People's Congress Wu Bangguo. Tsinghua has two Nobel Prize winners, Tsung-Dao Lee and Yang Chen Ning.

Qingdao University was formed in 1993, by combining three existing universities in Qingdao. The combined university includes 26 schools and colleges and a graduate school. Courses are offered in 11 main academic disciplines: philosophy, economics, law, literature, history, natural sciences, engineering, management, medicine, education and military. The university serves a total of about 95,000 students, including 41,000 full-time students, 11,000 postgraduate students and more than 1,000 international students.

Located in Shandong Province, Qingdao is a coastal city about 300 miles southeast of Beijing and hosted the sailing events during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games held in China.  According to 2010 numbers, the greater Qingdao area has about 8.7 million residents, about 2 million more than in the state of Washington.

During a visit here in July, Kaixian Jin, Dean of the College of Adult Education at Qingdao University, said he is already recruiting students to come to Shoreline for the program.  Besides the 1+1 option, the discussions with Qingdao officials have also included the possibility of an ongoing presence for Shoreline on the Qingdao campus. Jin suggested that Shoreline create a branch campus at Qingdao to help Chinese students with language skills and also give U.S. students and opportunity to study in China.

“The American community college system is not well-understood by Chinese students and their parents,” Jin said through an interpreter. “It would be helpful for Shoreline to have a continued presence on the Qingdao campus.”

Sampson said that international students are focused on getting a university degree and that Shoreline will be a good fit for Chinese university students. “Here at Shoreline, we do a very good job of preparing both international and domestic students to transfer to a university,” she said.

The University of Washington is the top destination for all Shoreline students, international and domestic, wanting to transfer to a university. Second and third places go to Washington State University and Seattle University, but domestic and international students transfer to universities across the U.S., including the University of Southern California, Purdue, Ohio State, Arizona State and many others.

Focusing on international education is one of two strategic initiatives for Shoreline. The other is the creation of Shoreline Virtual College with a focus on online education. Both initiatives are designed to help students by helping them be more successful and increasing access to education. As an open enrollment college, Shoreline is committed to serving all students who come looking for education and training.
SCC/Jim Hills
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