Community colleges are an integral part of the United States’ broader efforts to support foreign policy goals by expanding access to education and economic opportunity both at home and abroad. The U.S. Department of State announced today that nearly 150 students from 16 countries convened in Mesa, Arizona this week as part of the U.S. Community College Initiative (CCI) Program, which taps into the educational and technical expertise of U.S. community colleges to support international students’ efforts to gain technical skills in high-need industries, including agriculture, applied engineering, business management and administration, early childhood education, information technology, media, public safety, and tourism and hospitality management.
Nine community colleges across the United States host these international students throughout the academic year, including: Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington, Kentucky; College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois; Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin; Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona; Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria and Annandale campuses in Virginia; Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio; and Valencia College in Orlando, Florida.
The international students hail from 16 countries, including Brazil, India, South Africa, and Ukraine.
In addition, the CCI launched a new pilot this week, focused on technical training in support of the semiconductor industry by welcoming 11 participants from Mexico. The pilot program is directly related to the U.S. government’s efforts to strengthen American manufacturing capabilities and leveraging U.S. expertise in the technology sector through the .
The CCI Program recruits participants from select countries worldwide and prepares participants to join their home countries’ workforces by providing opportunities for professional internships, service learning, community engagement, and English language proficiency. Since the program’s start in 2007, there have been over 3,700 alumni from 25 countries placed at 81 U.S. community colleges across 25 states.