International Educator - November/December 2014 - 53

placement rates, ITE has made its case to
parents and high school graduates: it provides a first-rate educational experience and
puts graduates to work.
The TVET sector in the United States,
which can be found embedded in community colleges, suffers from the same stigma.
The trend toward focusing so heavily on a
community college's transfer mission and
degree completion rather than skill attainment has shifted resources and attention
even further away from workforce education. Leaders from other countries'
governments and institutions seeking to
strengthen and globalize their TVET programs are turning to partnerships with
Germany, Canada, Australia, and Scandinavia. For such assistance, the United States is
only an occasional partner of choice. As a result, the United States misses opportunities
to bring new practices back home. Whether
U.S. community colleges will be considered

"top tier" in 10 or 20 years is yet to be determined, particularly if more governments
invest, as Singapore has, in facilities, marketing, and global partnerships.

Embracing
Economic Impact
In February 2013, a notable observation
occurred in a session for college presidents
and trustees at the annual conference for
Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) held in Atlanta, Georgia.
As U.S. community college presidents discussed the challenge of getting local support
for internationalization efforts, John Maddock, CCID board member from Box Hill
Institute in Australia, was surprised to hear
many had not been able to broach this topic
with their boards. Maddock's sentiments
were echoed by our members from Europe and Canada, whose systems accepted
twenty-first century, or global, definitions

of "local" and "community" long ago. Opponents might argue that taxpayer money
shouldn't be spent on activities with other
countries-which would include sending
students abroad or letting international
students attend without paying inflated
tuition-but this statement shows a major
gap in the work we need to do to show how
globalization impacts every U.S. citizen's
local community. The largest economic
growth the United States has seen over the
past few years is in sectors that depend on
foreign markets. These are countries and
regions that comprise 86 percent of the
world's consumer markets1, markets with
which our youth have little familiarity. If a
community college is not acknowledging
this and acting upon it, it is not serving its
students or its local business and industry.
It seems that in the United States there has
been either an avoidance of-or simply a
lack of recognition for-embracing the eco-

N O V + D E C .14 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

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