UISFL 2016-2019 Enhancing Undergraduate Chinese Language and Culture Studies:  Integrating Faculty and Curriculum Development
Hosted by Asian Studies Development Program
The China Project

Enhancing Undergraduate Chinese Language and Culture Studies:
Integrating Faculty and Curriculum Development

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Kirkwood Community College

Established in 1966, Kirkwood Community College (KCC) is a two-year comprehensive community college with eight campuses serving seven counties in Iowa, with the main campus in Cedar Rapids. The college offers 115 degrees in Associate of Arts, Science, and Applied Science, as well as certificates and diplomas, and its study abroad programs send students to 14 different parts of the world. Of the 1,200 community colleges nationwide, KCC is one of only 18 on Board of Directors of the League for Innovation.


With its newly-revised mission statement focused on being the leader in regional, national, and global education and its recognition from the Institute of International Educational as “one of the best colleges and universities” for promoting international studies, KCC is positioned to foster Asian Studies as part of its larger commitment to international studies and international relations. In 2013-2014, KCC study abroad was ranked #4 nationally for number of students studying abroad in associate degree institutions, and has forged a wide array of international studies partnerships. Through participation in the Community College Initiatives program and as a founding member of the Global Education Network, KCC provides students with quality educational opportunities, including 15 short-term study abroad programs to 13 countries, KCC has taken a decisive leadership role in encouraging students, faculty, and staff to study abroad countries, and 5 semester-long programs.


Developing an emphasis on Asian Studies is particularly appropriate given the trend for international students with Asian origins to attend KCC. In 2015, roughly 70% of international students enrolled at KCC came from Asia, with 210 from China. At present, KCC offers several curricular options in Chinese culture and language studies, including Elementary Chinese language courses, a Chinese Philosophy course, an Eastern Religions course, and a history course focusing on 19th and 20th China. By participating in the grant, KCC hopes to increase collaboration among the faculty teaching these courses, add more course content on China, promote an interdisciplinary approach to the curriculum, and substantially expand enrollment in Chinese area studies and language courses.