May 5, 2021

Goucher College develops new virtual exchange opportunities

Through Stevens Initiative Connected Classrooms, selected faculty members will connect students in Morocco and the United States through virtual exchange.

Goucher College Study AbroadThe Stevens Initiative announced its second cohort of faculty scholars and university leadership teams participating in Stevens Initiative Connected Classrooms, a program for a select group of institutions dedicated to expanding global education opportunities through virtual exchange. Goucher College will partner with faculty members at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, National School of Business and Management in Dakhla, Ibn Zohr University and Sultan Moulay Slimane University to plan virtual exchanges that they will implement in classrooms for the next two years.

Stevens Initiative Connected Classrooms brings virtual exchange experiences to students across Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. It supports faculty and postsecondary institution leaders to implement, grow, and sustain these experiences by offering faculty capacity building and coaching, providing institutional strategic support and mentoring, and creating a global virtual exchange community for collaboration and best practices.

At Goucher College, faculty will be paired with peers from three different institutions in Morocco. The faculty abroad specialize in business, biostatistics, and English-language learning.

“The hope is that from these collaborations global virtual exchange can be incorporated into future sections of Goucher courses across the curriculum, both during and after the pandemic,” says Mark Bladel, assistant director of global education at Goucher College. “This would serve to further internationalize the Goucher curriculum for students across their four years here.”

In addition to Goucher College, the following institutions are participating in Stevens Initiative Connected Classrooms:

  • Agnes Scott College
  • Ajman University
  • American University of Dubai
  • Green River College
  • Mohammed First University
  • Mohammed VI Polytechnic University
  • Mohammed VI University for Health Sciences
  • Morgan State University
  • National School of Business and Management in Dakhla, Ibn Zohr University
  • Portland State University
  • Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University
  • Sultan Moulay Slimane University
  • University of New Mexico
  • Zayed University

Over two years, 1,500 students across all 15 institutions in Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, including at Goucher College, will participate in a virtual exchange supported by the Initiative under Connected Classrooms.

“At the core of Connected Classrooms is a desire to forge meaningful, equitable partnerships between institutions in Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States through virtual exchange. While the Stevens Initiative provides the support and framework to make virtual exchange sustained on their campuses, these new institutions – including their faculty, administrators, and students – are collectively championing this effort. They are the true leaders and we’re humbled to partner with them,” said Christine Shiau, Managing Director, the Stevens Initiative at the Aspen Institute.

The Stevens Initiative is an international effort to build global competence and career readiness skills for young people in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa by growing and enhancing the field of virtual exchange. Created in 2015 as a lasting tribute to Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the Initiative is committed to helping to expand the virtual exchange field through three pillars of work: investing in promising programs, sharing knowledge and resources, and advocating for virtual exchange adoption.