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NWNU Visit

SIUE Faculty Visit NWNU

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) and the SIUE School of Education signed a letter of engagement with Northwest Normal University (NWNU), China, on March 30, 2012. With Dean Bette Bergeron’s approval and under the leadership of Dr. Mary Weishaar, Dr. Yuliang Liu, Dr. Huaibo Xin, and Ms. Gretchen Fricke, a pilot project for the International Training Program in Pedagogy was implemented. This Program brought four faculty members from NWNU to the SIUE School of Education during fall 2012 semester. Evaluation data indicated that the program was very successful.

As a result of this success, the President from NWNU invited Leadership Team Members and the Dean to visit NWNU. Chancellor Furst-Bowe was also invited, but was unable to travel with the group because of other commitments. With support from SIUE Chancellor Furst-Bowe, Leadership Team Members Weishaar, Liu, Xin, and Fricke, and Dean Bergeron visited NWNU from May 5-14, 2013. In addition, one of our SIUE host faculty members for the International Training Program in Pedagogy, Dr. Phillip Weishaar, was invited to present a lecture on special education to a group of students from NWNU. He traveled with the group at his own expense.

The trip included travel to Lanzhou, in Gansu Province, China. Please see Appendix B for a general description of Gansu Province and Northwest Normal University. Discussions were held with hosts from Northwest Normal University and administrators from Gansu Province. Goals for the trip included the following.

  •  Provide a knowledge base of SIUE and School of Education programs for NWNU students;
  • Discuss and determine mutual academic needs and interests for NWNU, Gansu Province and SIUE;
  • Define general parameters of a potential Memorandum of Understanding between NWNU and SIUE;
  • Orient new visiting faculty from NWNU for their upcoming participation in the International Training Program in Pedagogy for fall 2013 semester; and
  •  Develop first-hand understanding of the culture of northwest China and potential living conditions for prospective SIUE students and faculty.
Travel included three official meetings with university administrators and provincial ministers, six official meals with faculty and administrators, three meetings with groups of students, one meeting with identified expert teachers from across Gansu Province, one meeting with former and prospective scholars for our International Training Program in Pedagogy, one meeting with NWNU affiliated high school administrators, a tour of Lanzhou University campus (a well-known university in China), and several cultural events. Official meetings included discussions with the following administrators.
  • Wang Jiayi, Director-General, Education Department of Gansu Provincial Government
  • Zhang Xiaodong, Director, Division for International Cooperation and Exchanges, Gansu Province
  • Wang Ping, Deputy Director-General Professor, Gansu Provincial Education Department
  • Liu Zhongkui, NWNU President
  • Wan Minggang , NWNU Vice President and Professor
  • Li Jinyu, Education Dean
  • Zhao Mingren, Vice Dean of Education
  • Zhang Zhitian, NWNU High School Vice Director
  • Bai Zhongxin, Nolan, International Office
  • Wang Jinyuan, International Training Program in Pedagogy Contact person in Human Resources Department
Provincial Director Wang proposed to expand SIUE’s collaboration to all other 42 colleges and universities in Gansu province, not limited to NWNU only. There are several areas of interest which will be explored.

We also met with over 100 students to provide information about SIUE and the School of Education programs and 26 highly selected Gansu Longyuan Expert teachers to provide information and answer questions about the American education system. We observed one class at the NWNU affiliated Primary School and one at the NWNU affiliated High School. In addition, Dr. Phillip Weishaar met with one of our former visiting scholars in special education, Mr. Zhao Guojun, and provided a lecture on special education to 70 students, including several special education faculty members. Dr. Weishaar also observed Mr. Zhao Guojun teach a class.