Studying and working abroad adds a unique layer to one's life experience and allows one to broaden their perspectives, learn new languages, and familiarize themselves with other cultures. But not everyone has the same opportunity, or at least, they think they don't. Therefore, we need to use as many channels as possible to communicate enrollment options at a particular educational institution.
In this episode of Global Engagement Insights, we are joined by Jim Ketterer, the dean of the School of Continuing Education, The American University in Cairo. Jim discusses what makes an educational institution international, the challenges they faced during the pandemic, and the impact of digital transformation. He also touches upon the importance of mentorships and how global experiences are not about changing your location; they are about changing your mindset.
Name: Jim Ketterer
What he does: Jim is the dean of the School of Continuing Education.
Company: The American University in Cairo
Noteworthy: Jim also worked at the State University of New York (SUNY) and Bard College.
Where to find Jim: LinkedIn
“My current institution is the American University in Cairo, and as the name says, we have a foot in at least two places. We're an American university, both in the style of our education and in that we offer a truly liberal arts and sciences approach to undergraduate and graduate education.
But also, we are accredited in the United States and Egypt; so, we're in both places and of both places. And by definition, the legalistic regulatory definition makes us global.
We’re also global because we have people from all over the world who come to study at the university. And we also send our students all over the world to study. We also have faculty who, in one way or another, are doing collaborative research projects with scholars from around the world and spend sabbatical years in other parts of the world.
So, like many universities, we have a global reach. We also have this magnetizing global effect, and we bring people to the region.”
“[But] there has been an opportunity during the difficulties of the pandemic for people to realize this non-traditional education that meets people where they are and finds ways to deliver education to them at various points in their lives.
It's not a nice ancillary thing to do, but it is one component of the core mission of any serious university. And so there has been an important moment in the last few years to realize this is true. It has always been true but hasn't always been recognized in its value.”
“We had developed a cadre of instructors who were well-trained and highly motivated to teach online. And we started having more and more students interested in doing it. It allows us to get beyond the limits of the city of Cairo and our neighboring city across the river of Giza and reach out to other constituencies across Egypt and the region.
It also allows us to develop new courses with a global audience in mind and things we can offer a global audience that leverages our position as an American institution in Egypt. [...]
We never will stop developing new ways of doing this and thinking about this. So it's not like, now that we're back face-to-face, we'll say, 'Well, we're finished with that online thing.' That is part and parcel of what we're going to do in perpetuity. [...]
And it's the beginning for us. It's an exciting moment for us and anybody interested in this kind of education — and a sense of what's accessible and acceptable in ways that just a few years ago would not have been at all.”