Coastal Carolina University President Ronald R. Ingle recently signed agreements with three universities in Moscow, Russia, initiating the development of a number of academic and cultural exchange programs. These agreements mark the first such association between Coastal and institutions of higher education in Russia.
The three universities with which Coastal has established relationships are Moscow State Open Pedagogical University, Moscow State Social University, and the Institute of Market Infrastructure of the Plekhanov State Academy of Economics.
Dennis Wiseman, associate provost for academics at Coastal, and Darla Domke-Damonte, director of international programs for Coastal's E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration, met in Moscow with representatives of each institution in January 2003 to outline the goals of the respective programs.
"These educational institutions in Russia are very interested in partnerships with Western universities," says Wiseman. "Each of the three universities has a different academic focus, and we found several areas of mutual interest that will benefit Coastal and help the Russian universities further their goals."
"Russia has entered a new phase of social and economic development, and these three academic institutions are each taking very proactive approaches to broaden the depth and reach of their educational initiatives in response to market realities," says Domke-Damonte. "It will be both a privilege and a challenge for Coastal to be a part of this dynamic process."
Coastal and Moscow State Open Pedagogical University are looking into developing a program allowing Russian students to complete a bachelor's degree in Moscow and then build on that degree to complete a second bachelor's degree at Coastal. Tentative plans call for a Coastal faculty member (or members) to travel to Moscow each May to lead a summer program designed to help orient the Russian students in American education methods and language. The first such program will probably be held in May 2004, with Russian students arriving at Coastal for the fall 2004 semester.
Moscow State Social University is interested in developing exchange programs focusing on aging and gender studies, cooperative research in social education, and preparing managers for employment in the social sector, including tourism. These are natural areas for collaboration with Coastal, with its baccalaureate degree in resort tourism management and its gerontology certificate. Additional programs are sponsored through Coastal's Center for the Study of Aging and Active Retirement and Clay D. Brittain Center for Resort Tourism.
Coastal will work with the Institute of Market Infrastructure of the Plekhanov State Academy of Economics to create an advanced training program in appraising that will apply to real estate as well as intellectual property.
These programs will provide numerous opportunities for student/faculty exchanges, creating new cross-cultural advantages for Coastal and the Russian institutions, according to Wiseman.