Riverside City College Dean Presents Innovative Approach to Equity in Study Abroad Programs

Apr 11

Herbert English, Dean of Counseling and Specially Funded Programs at Riverside City College, recently showcased an innovative approach to enhancing equity in study abroad programs at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) annual conference. Held from April 5-9 in Louisville, Kentucky, the conference is renowned as a premier professional development event for leaders in community colleges and the two-year college sector.

English's session, titled "Increasing Participation of Black Students in Study Abroad," introduced a comprehensive model aimed at boosting Black students' involvement in international education experiences. Drawing from research findings, English emphasized the benefits of study abroad programs, particularly for African American students.

Key points highlighted in English's presentation included the advantages of studying abroad in Africa for African American students, such as fostering pride in discovering ancestral roots, facilitating personal growth, nurturing intercultural competence, and encouraging spiritual development. English also reinforced the concept of "Sankofa," a term from the Akan Tribe of Ghana, which emphasizes learning from the past to inform the future and reclaiming identity.

English's presentation resonated with conference attendees, garnering attention for its innovative approach to promoting equity and diversity in study abroad initiatives. By addressing the unique needs and aspirations of Black students, English's model offers a promising avenue for fostering inclusivity and broadening access to life-changing educational experiences.

As Riverside City College continues to prioritize equity and access in its Strategic Plan, English's efforts exemplify the college's commitment to empowering all students to thrive in a globalized world.