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Campus career and technical programs impress Ukrainian visitors

Ukrainian faculty and staff studied UCC programs.
Photo provided by Susan Rochester
Ukrainian faculty and staff studied UCC programs.

UCC faculty and staff hosted five delegates from two major universities in Ukraine when they visited Oregon Nov. 8 to 17 as part of an Open World Program. The purpose was to exchange ideas regarding higher education and learn about the American culture.

The delegates explored the automotive, nursing and the wine programs to gain insight on the way career training is financed and administered in America, said delegate Alexandr Dubiv, the head of information technology at Uzhhord Technical University.

The delegates are professors or administrators from Kremenchuk and Uzghhord universities in Ukraine.

Dubiv was impressed by the amount of hands-on training UCC students can get in school before entering the workplace.

“At UCC, you can be proud of the quality of equipment and mechanisms. You deal with real work experiences. You get to feel, to touch and to work with technology. If you want to go into automotive, you work in a shop [to learn skills needed to be employable],” Dubiv said.

Delegates also spoke at Charles Young’s political science class. Young believes the exchange was beneficial both to his students and the delegates.

“In the question and answer exchange between my students and the visiting Ukrainians delegation, I saw an immediate broadening of understanding as to how our governments and politics operate. We shared our hopes and cooperative effort towards better democratic government in the future benefiting our families and peoples,” Young said.

Another highlight for Dubiv was the UCC November board meeting. “The board meeting was a good example of democracy. It was a community meeting, like a court. That is uncommon in Ukraine,” Dubiv said.

Ukraine is a relativity new democracy. Its constitution was adopted June 1996. 

Besides visiting UCC, delegates took a day trip to Corvallis to attend meetings at Oregon State University. Members had lunch with Corvallis-Uzhhorod Sister Cities Association, an organization which offers additional support to Uzhhorod.

Delegates spent an afternoon at the Oregon coast, toured the Douglas County Museum, met with members of the Cow Creek Indian tribe and enjoyed time with their Roseburg host families. 

“It was not like TV or Internet. For these 10 days, we see real American life, culture and education,” said Volodymyr Bala, an economics instructor at Kremenchuk University.

The exchanges began in 2007 due to the efforts of Pete Bober, former director of Workplace and Community Education. Ukrainian delegates have visited UCC annually for the last seven years, according to Jason Aase, Dean of Arts and Sciences.

A team of three administrators and two faculty members visited Ukraine in spring 2013 including  Bober and Aase, along with Roxanne Kelly, vice president of Instruction; Susan Rochester, chairperson of Fine and Performing Arts; and Martha Joyce, Business Department chairperson.

Aase hopes a team will be able to return for another visit in spring 2014.

The visit will depend on budgeting and funding available from the Open World Program, a congressionally funded program where leaders from countries within the former Soviet bloc are given opportunities to interact with American leaders in a variety of fields, according to the Open World Program website.

Aase hopes these visits will increase the number of international students coming to UCC and provide and opportunities for students travel.