Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
January 22, 1999

College of Education expands South African program

by Kevin Brown

The College of Education will expand its South Africa student exchange program to include broader partnerships with South Africa. Joining the effort will be the colleges of Agriculture, Engineering and Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Karen Donaldson, assistant professor in the curriculum and instruction department, said the unusualness of the program and the strategic importance of South Africa to the social, political and economic framework of the African continent, are two reasons for the growth of the endeavor.

"This program is unique for two basic educational reasons -- it was the first international exchange of students to include a student-teaching component in Africa and to focus the work on multicultural, anti-racist education," Donaldson said.

The program now will include contact with more South African education institutions and agencies, she said. While originally only involving the University of Pretoria, the new program will expand existing work with the University of Cape Town.

The University of Pretoria is interested in developing arts and cultural programs taught from an international and multicultural perspective, Donaldson said. The University of Cape Town wants to establish faculty exchanges, share information on ISU's multicultural programming on Donaldson and collegue Carlie Tartakov's Kuumba multicultural educational research project, and collaborate on other endeavors.

Donaldson said program officials are seeking a number of funding sources in South Africa, in particular the United Negro College Fund/TELP (Tertiary Education Linkage Project).

The purpose of the project is to give "historically disadvantaged institutions" (HDIs) more advantages by exchanging information between U.S. universities and 15 HDIs," she said. "ISU has a lot to offer those institutions."

Eight of the 15 eligible HDIs submitted proposals, Donaldson said. ISU will apply to work with two with which the university has built especially strong contacts.

In February, ISU will send a team of representatives from each of the participating colleges to South Africa. Eventually, program officials hope to involve the entire university, she said.

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