While UW-Parkside is known for its large number of "first generation" students.--students who are the first in their families to graduate from college--another group of students celebrated an important "first" at commencement. During the May 18 program, a contingent of students from two Chinese universities were the first to graduate as part of the "3+1+1 Program."
Created by former business dean and current provost Fred Ebeid, UW-Parkside Global Education Center Director Dr. Zhemin Wang and representatives from Beijing Technology and Business University (BTBU) and Beijing Information Science and Technology University (BISTU), "3+1+1" completes students' undergraduate degrees in China and allows them to earn their master of business administration (MBA) degree here.
"Their first year at UW-Parkside is the last year of their undergraduate program. Undergraduate credits completed at UW-Parkside are transferred to BTBU or BISTU, so their respective universities grant an undergraduate degree," explained Dirk Baldwin, dean of UW-Parkside's College of Business, Economics, and Computing. "In their second year here, the Beijing students are enrolled in our MBA program. Upon completion of that program, the students earn a UW-Parkside MBA degree."
Baldwin said U.S. degrees are highly valued globally and UW-Parkside's Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)-International accredited business program helps students obtain excellent starting positions in China.
He noted that two students, one each from BTBU and BISTU, were inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, the highest business academic honor students can receive in a program accredited by AACSB-International.
Not all the knowledge acquired by the Chinese students was obtained in classrooms. UW-Parkside Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Programs Dr. Michele Gee said the students also learned through interaction in residence halls, at social events, and throughout the local communities. And every student, she said, benefited.
"This cross-cultural interaction is beneficial for all involved, and results in a greater appreciation of different cultures and multiple perspectives," Dr. Gee stated. "Also, UW-Parkside's expanded global education agreements have provided opportunities for dozens of American students to travel abroad and participate in China study tours that include visiting our partner universities in Beijing."
Dr. Gee went on to say UW-Parkside's global connections continue to expand as employers and students seek international business skills and knowledge.
The university's Director of International Education Dr. Consuelo Clemens said in addition to being good scholastically, the Chinese students were wonderful guests.
"They worked very hard to learn the language and our culture, and they all did well academically. We are all very proud to see them graduate and adjust to living and learning in the U.S.A.," Clemens said.
Dean Baldwin said it was his understanding that the Chinese students enjoyed their UW-Parkside experience.
"I believe the group was extremely excited to be here," said Baldwin. "We have received excellent feedback from the students and the administration in Beijing about the quality of the program and the educational environment at UW-Parkside. We receive many compliments about the friendliness of the staff, UW-Parkside students, and the community."Pictured in the photo, front row, from left, are Chancellor Debbie Ford, students Zhe Wang and Xinyi Jiang, and UW-Parkside's Consuelo Clemens. In the back row, from left, are students Xu Guo, Xiaomao Mao, Qi Zou, Yi Wang, Dr. Gee, Xiaxi Wei, Dean Baldwin, Ya Meng, UW-Parkside Professor Abey Kuruvilla, Fupeng Song, Tianyi Chen, and Jiarui Li.