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Exchange students build workforce and leadership skills at community colleges

Aug 16, 2016

Exchange student participants are arriving at Houston Community College, one of 14 colleges across 11 states, to begin the 2016-2017 Community College Initiative (CCI) Program. The CCI Program is a program of the U.S. State Department that provides participants with quality educational study at community colleges and is designed to build technical skills, enhance leadership capabilities, and strengthen English language proficiency.

Participants pursue educational study focused on one-year certificate programs in workforce development fields. The CCI program also provides opportunities for professional internships, service learning, and community engagement activities. After completing the program, participants return home with a deeper understanding of U.S. culture and new skills to help them contribute to the economic growth and development of their countries.

CCI participants also contribute to their U.S. host communities by helping community colleges to internationalize their campuses. According to the 2015 Open Doors Report, less than 2 percent of U.S. community college students will gain 21st century international experience and workforce skills through study abroad. CCI exchange participants engage community college students with international cultures and diverse perspectives in their U.S. classrooms and on their home campuses. CCI participants will study in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Since 2007, the CCI Program has hosted more than 2,600 participants from 20 countries. This year, CCI participants are from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa, and Turkey. The CCI Program recruits participants from underserved and unrepresented communities, particularly women.

For further information, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at

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