Campus News

CGTC’s Computer Technology Faculty Travel to Azerbaijan for Curriculum Development

Warner Robins, Ga. - Central Georgia Technical College’s (CGTC) Computer Technology program division head, Bridget Willis, instructor, Felicia Everidge, and executive vice president Jeff Scruggs, recently traveled to Baku, Azerbaijan, to work face-to-face with Kabul Polytechnic University (KPU) of Kabul, Afghanistan and its faculty on curriculum for a two-year Internet Technology (IT) degree.

Their trip came as a part of CGTC’s selection in a highly-competitive bidding process two years ago, which led to the College becoming one of only two two-year colleges in the United States to serve as a sub-contractor for the University of Massachusetts’ multi-million dollar United States Agency for International Development grant to re-build the educational system in war-torn Afghanistan.

“We are establishing a two-year IT degree and leading the faculty at Kabul Polytechnic University to create and deliver curriculum that will be of maximum benefit to their students and to Afghanistan’s employers,” said Rick Hutto, the director for Global Initiatives at CGTC.

Hutto said faculty from both institutions met in Azerbaijan as a mutually accepted training location. In the two years between CGTC’s selection and this trip, groundwork has been laid to asses technologies at KPU. After an initial on-site technology inventory in Kabul more than a year ago, CGTC has been mentoring faculty and delivering videotaped classroom presentations for KPU review and utilization.

While in Azerbaijan, CGTC faculty were able to further their mentoring and demonstrate their instructional techniques.

“In our training I met with the Afghanistan faculty and we discussed teaching methodologies amongst both colleges and strategies of improvement,” said Willis. “We discussed policies and procedures that help colleges be successful and possible changes that can be implemented.”

All training sessions with KPU faculty took place at Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy University where, through class observations, the group was able to experience teaching styles and student experience in Eastern culture.

During their time in the country, they also toured a non-profit private higher education institution, Xezer University, offering bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.

The face-to-face instruction of the trip allowed for the development of curriculum and practice of instructional methods to be used once KPU faculty members are back in their classrooms.

Everidge, who teaches Cisco Networking classes, said they are interested in implementing that curriculum, the accompanying software, and teaching methodologies.

“We were able to set up Cisco Instructor training for one of the instructors through an Academy in Pakistan before we left,” she said. “We are currently putting them in touch with book publishers so they can have access to instructor books and materials for the courses they have implemented and are going to implement.”

Moving forward, there will now be an extensive evaluation of the process to refine what practices work at KPU and communication efforts to see them through. CGTC will continue its mentoring process and will maintain instruction via telepresence.

The trip was one of several coordinated through the Office of Global Initiatives at CGTC.

For more information on the Office of Global Initiatives and the Azerbaijan trip, contact Rick Hutto at rhutto@centralgatech.edu.

About the Office of Global Initiatives

The Office of Global Initiatives directs the development and implementation of new educational and training partnership opportunities beyond the border of the United States. Created in 2013, the program follows the Technical College System of Georgia’s lead to expand the educational reach of technical colleges beyond Georgia.

Central Georgia Technical College's Computer Technology program facutly visit in Azerbaijan with faculty from Kabul Polytechnic University of Afghanistan.

Submitted by JoBen Rivera-Thompson
April 4, 2017

 

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