Niagara University and SuOn College agreed to a memorandum of understanding on academic exchange during a signing ceremony held in Toronto May 23.
The MOU was signed by the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University; Gary Chen, president of SuOn College; Dr. Xiaobo Yang, SuOn's vice president; and Dr. Xiaochang Ding, deputy director of the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education.
Aimed at improving the level of educational collaboration between NU and SuOn College - a high school based in Ontario, Canada - the document outlines strategies to promote academic studies among students and training of teachers.
Specific areas of cooperation include:
•Recruitment of SuOn students to attend Niagara University, where they will be able to complete baccalaureate degree programs in the U.S.
•Identification of educational professionals in providing academic trainings for SuOn's international educators.
•Development of an English as a Second Language summer camp program for overseas students.
•SuOn seniors are permitted, if qualified, to register for summer classes at Niagara University, with the benefit of earning college credits.
•NU's College of Education may offer collaborative research and/or teaching opportunities, as well as study abroad programs.
SuOn College was established in 2007, the outcome of an accord between the Province of Ontario and the Jiangsu Province in the People's Republic of China. The intended purpose of SuOn College, which was substantially supported by the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education, is to focus on programming for teachers going abroad and education-related overseas training projects. The Jiangsu Department of Education envisioned an exemplary institution located in Toronto that would expand the scope of its education-related services throughout North America, and actively promote international cooperation and exchanges with different institutions at all levels of teaching, learning and training. As an educational training institute, SuOn promotes Chinese culture and enthusiastically supports international academic cooperation and cross-cultural programming.
"The mission of SuOn is to provide its program participants with the best possible learning experiences, an understanding and appreciation of different cultural values, and to create a bridge for international exchanges between China and North America," Chen said. "I believe the further collaboration between SuOn and Niagara University will build up better understanding among educators and students from China, Canada and the United States."
Niagara University and SuOn College have previously collaborated on executive training opportunities. In November, NU provided a training program to 24 university administrators, deans and vice presidents of teacher certification programs in China's Jiangsu province. The well-received, 10-day program, presented by NU professors and Ontario school district and ministry officials, offered participants an overview of Ontario's educational system.
"Niagara University looks forward to further collaboration with SuOn College," Maher said. "These types of relationships foster a global understanding and perspective for our students, which will better prepare them to meet the demands of their respective professions."
The Ontario division of Niagara University's College of Education operates under the consent of the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. It offers an accredited bachelor's degree program to prepare teachers for Ontario certification, a master's degree in educational leadership and Additional Qualification courses.
To learn more about SuOn College, go to www.suon.org/en.
For more information on Niagara University, visit www.niagara.edu.