California State University, Dominguez Hills President Mildred García was one of seven university and community college presidents and vice presidents from the United States selected to participate in a first-time project of the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program focused on higher education in the U.S. and the Arab world.
García spent spring break in the countries of Jordan and Oman, where she and her U.S. colleagues exchanged experiences and discussed best practices with higher education leaders there. Oman is located in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula on the Arabian Sea bordered by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen; Jordan is in the northern region, bordered by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and Israel.
“Participating in the Fulbright Seminars Abroad Program in Oman and Jordan was an enlightening experience, and I am so grateful to have been given such a wonderful opportunity,” García said. “The exposure to the different models for higher education will help me better serve my campus and region. The experience also reminded me of the importance of travel in gaining a broader knowledge of our global society and the value of study abroad programs for our students, faculty and staff.”
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and co-led by AMIDEAST and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Higher Education in Transition project of the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Aboard Program was organized to provide leaders of U.S. universities an opportunity to examine the higher education systems in Oman and Jordan, both countries that over the past decade have undertaken educational reforms and development projects that have led to significant progress. This was the first such seminar specifically organized for college presidents and chief academic officers.
The two-week trip included visits to colleges and universities, meetings with campus leaders to discuss mission, resources, challenges, and opportunities to work with American partners, as well as daily seminars that explored such broad topics as strategic planning, higher education and employment linkage, internationalization of higher education, and accreditation and quality assurance.