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RCBC offers West African study abroad opportunity and faculty exchange program

Rowan College at Burlington County’s (RCBC) Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) division is becoming global thanks to a new a 10-day West African study abroad opportunity and a faculty exchange program with the University of Cape Coast in Ghana.  

“This summer, Rowan College at Burlington County is bringing an incredibly enriching global experience to our students that will help them compete in the global marketplace,” said RCBC President Paul Drayton. “The study abroad opportunity will focus on the effects of technology, or lack thereof, on society in Ghana and the STEM faculty exchange program will bring an African scholar from a higher education institution in Africa to RCBC to teach two courses.”

The study abroad program, “Technology, Society & Development,” will be led by RCBC STEM Dean Dr. Edem Tetteh, who is originally from Togo (a neighboring country to Ghana), in conjunction with SECCOM International Foundation, Inc. SECCOM is a New Jersey non-profit organization that is focused on establishing cultural and educational opportunities to further development in various African countries, through travel, cultural exchange, and in-country networks.

“The lack of technology has major impacts on everyday life in West Africa. From the internet to medical equipment to traffic, we will look at the technological evolvements in the context of a developing nation,” said Dr. Tetteh, who travels to Togo every summer to lecture at The University of Lomé. “Students and community members will examine how technology plays a role in global moral, political, economic and social choices.”

SECOMM has worked with other colleges and universities to arrange similar study abroad opportunities and is designing the itinerary that will take students to the most modern city to poor villages, and everywhere in between.

“The students will find it very rewarding and exciting to see and experience different cultures from Ghana. They will learn so much when they interact with other people and cultures,” said Samuel T. Blango, CEO of SECCOM International Foundation, Inc. “Our intent is to expand the global community and promote harmony between countries.”

From Friday, Aug. 4 through Monday, Aug. 14, students will enjoy an itinerary that includes tours of major cities like Accra, the capital of Ghana located on the Atlantic coast, Kumasi, Cape Coast, and Obuasi, home to Ghana’s largest gold mine. During the trip, participants will experience botanical gardens, craft villages, cultural centers and museums, Africa’s famous rainforest canopy walkways, and more. The trip also includes volunteer work in the villages of Yamoransa and Simew to examine educational access, youth development, and generational poverty.

Students are able to earn three academic credits, but also have the option to take the trip without credit. Community members are welcome to register for the non-credit trip as well. RCBC's Summer Personal and Professional Development (non-credit) registration opens on Monday, April 17. The course is listed in rcbc.edu/webadvisor under course number: SPT 970 50, and course name: Technology, Society & Development.  

The entire program, which includes lodging and meals, academic excursions and transportation abroad, airfare and VISA, is $3,962 for non-credit and $4,368.50 for academic credit (includes tuition and fees). Eligible students may be able to apply their financial aid if they register for academic credit.

Prior to registering, students and community members interested in the study abroad program to Ghana need to contact the RCBC STEM division at STEM@rcbc.edu or 856-222-9311, ext. 1402. Participants will need to get a vaccination for yellow fever prior to departing the United States.

The faculty exchange program will also launch this August. The African scholar will need to meet the same standards as RCBC adjunct faculty, possess a master’s degree, and have experience in his or her field. Selected faculty will teach two STEM courses for the fall 2017 semester at RCBC and volunteer in the Burlington County community. RCBC faculty interested in teaching in Ghana will meet the same requirements.