21, No. 11, Dec. 6, 2001
initiative to foster high school students knowledge of other nations
News Bureau Staff Writer
(217) 333-5491; firstname.lastname@example.org
Educators at the UI believe that now, more than ever before, there is
a critical need for Americans to have a deeper knowledge and understanding
of international issues. And one way to accomplish that in Illinois
is through the new International High School Program.
The program, announced last month by Illinois Gov. George H. Ryan, is
funded by a $500,000 appropriation from the state to the Illinois Consortium
for International Education and the UI, and will be administered by
the UIs International Programs and Studies.
"The goal of this program is to better prepare tomorrows
leaders and business people for a world that is more and more culturally
diverse," Ryan said in a recent news release.
UI Chancellor Nancy Cantor said the program will be "another way
in which our university engages with the people of Illinois and students
in Illinois high schools. With this new knowledge about the world, our
high school students will be more informed citizens and leaders for
the future for our state, nation and the world."
IPS program director Madeleine Jaehne, a member of Ryans task
force that developed the IHS initiative, said the programs goals
include improving teaching and learning by reaching students and teachers
at all Illinois high schools, regardless of enrollment figures or on-site
"The initiative is unique in that it will affect schools across
the state instead of offering many programs that are wonderful, but
affect only one or two schools, and are in effect Band-Aid solutions,"
Jaehne said. "This program will provide a base standard upon which
schools can then build.
And, she said, "it is not elitist the program and the governors
vision was to enable every future citizen and every high school, no
matter its resources, the opportunity to participate in the program."
Through the IHS program, schools will be able to identify and strengthen
existing courses with content that focuses on other countries and cultures.
Students at small schools lacking foreign-language courses will be able
to plug into such programs online through the Illinois Virtual High
School and the Illinois Virtual Campus.
Another component of the program is the International Career Academy,
a global summer immersion experience. A subset of students enrolled
in the international track at an IHS will be selected to participate
in the academy.
"The program is very unusual or perhaps, unique among
the states in the U.S., therefore Illinois is a leader in all of this,"
said Earl Kellogg, UI associate provost for international affairs, IPS
director and interim director of the IHS initiative. The UI was chosen
to administer the grant, he said, "because we have the largest,
strongest international program in the state of Illinois and the largest
number of academic units that have materials that can contribute to
the development of the curriculum, as well as much experience in assisting
people studying abroad."
The programs benefits ultimately will be visible in more ways
than one, according to Kellogg.
"Those of us in higher education think about preparing students
to continue their education in institutions of higher education, and
those students who participate in the IHS program will be better prepared
in languages, better prepared to study abroad and to study international
issues. But there are many high school graduates who dont go on
to college; they, too, need to become more aware of whats going
on in the world because they are important citizens of our state and
nation, and will be leaders as well in industry, as local mayors
and city council people. Its just as important that they understand
this complex world and the issues involved."