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Agreement Signed with Shandong Normal University

By: Kevin Spensley

Shandong Normal University's Prof. Ma Maoxiang with Dean Jeffrey Trumbower, Dr. Elizabeth O'Dowd, Dr. Karen Talentino, Dr. Mahmoud Arani, Kevin Spensley, Dr. Benjamin White, and Dr. Juefei Wang.

Saint Michael’s College recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Shandong Normal University (SDNU) of Shandong Province, China.

According to the terms of the memorandum, SDNU graduate students will complete one year of study in China before transferring to the MATESOL Program at Saint Michael’s College, where they will complete their degree. They will earn two Master’s degrees: one from Saint Michael’s College and one from Shandong Normal University.

“The agreement is intended to initiate a program of collaboration in the planning, development, and implementation of a joint Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages between Saint Michael’s College and the Chinese university,” said Mahmoud Arani, Chair of the Applied Linguistics Department at Saint Michael’s College.

According to Juefei Wang, a Professor Emeritus in Education of the University of Vermont, the demand for specialists in TESOL is growing in China, as more Chinese students are enrolling in English programs, and institutions are trying to meet that increasing demand.  “St. Michael’s College enjoys a high international reputation in training of TESOL specialists, and it is an ideal institution for Chinese students to pursue professional knowledge and skills in that field,” Prof. Wang indicated.  

The partnership was agreed upon following a visit to Shandong Province in August 2017 by Dr. Arani and a visit by SDNU's Dr. Ma Mao Xiang to Saint Michael’s College in the fall of 2017.

“This partnership with Shandong Normal University represents an important part of Saint Michael’s College’s strategy of engaging with institutions outside the United States and providing a truly world-class education. I’m very excited about this initiative and look forward to the growth and evolution of the partnership,” said Karen Talentino, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Saint Michael’s College.

Shandong Normal University is the leading teacher training institution in Shandong Province (2010 population 95.7 million). The university's history can be traced back to 1902 when it was founded out of the Department of Education of Shandong University. Today, 37,000 students  are enrolled in undergraduate, Master's and Doctoral programs across 25 colleges. SDNU students will be sent to Saint Michael's College MATESOL Program by its College of Foreign Languages, which offers programs in seven languages.

Saint Michael’s College and the Applied Linguistics Department have been welcoming international students since 1954, when Hungarian freedom fighters immigrated to the United States, stopping first at Saint Michaels’s College to learn English. Since then our Applied Linguistics Department has trained more than 20,000 students from over 120 countries in English, and is internationally renowned in English-language training and TESOL.

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