Freeman Foundation Awards Grant for International Language Study

$1.2 million grant establishes study abroad program for UH community college students

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Sep 2, 2003

Recognizing Kapiʻolani Community College (KCC) for its commitment to excellence in international education, the Freeman Foundation has awarded a two-year $1.2 million grant to establish an intensive second language learning and study abroad program for full-time students attending the seven community colleges in the University of Hawaiʻi system.

The program, entitled "Integrating International Language Study and Service Learning in Asia," will begin in fall 2004. It will establish an intensive curriculum for UH community college students to develop their second-language skills, and enhance their understanding of cultures in East Asia through academic study enriched by community service activities.

"The Freeman Foundation grant will strengthen our leadership in Asian language and cultural studies and represents a major milestone for our program," said KCC Senior Academic Dean Leon Richards. "This program is unique because students at community colleges in the United States generally do not have opportunities for second language learning in conjunction with study abroad."

KCC will use the grant to develop semester-long intensive courses in Japanese, Chinese and Korean as Second Languages and related culture courses. This will be followed by a semester-long field study program at partner institutions in Japan, China and Korea, which will include opportunities to engage in community service activities designed to improve understanding of various cultures and societies in East Asia. Each year, 30 UH community college students will be selected on a competitive basis to participate in this program. They will receive financial support for tuition, room and board, books and travel.

UH President Evan S. Dobelle acknowledged the support of the Freeman Foundation noting that "During the last two years, the Freeman Foundation has given the university more than $3 million to support exchange programs throughout Asia. We are grateful for their generosity as it validates our determination to make the UH system a truly global institution."

"The Freeman Foundation project will serve as a catalyst to enhance international language and cultural programs in our community colleges," said UH Foundation President Elizabeth Sloane. "This program will provide students, who might otherwise not have the means, an excellent opportunity to learn a second language and travel and study abroad. Programs like these are possible only through the generous support of organizations like the Freeman Foundation."

For more information about the program, contact Dr. Joe Overton at KCC at (808) 734-9832.