IIE Networker - Fall 2006 - (Page 45)

Knowledge Network Branch Campus Lakeland College in Japan By Alan Brender When Masaki Fukano entered junior high school, his future seemed assured. He was admitted to a university “escalator” school. In the Japanese system, many schools are connected to universities, and students can smoothly float through junior high and high school and enter the university without taking an entrance exam. Since Mr. Fukano’s school was connected to the prestigious Meiji University, he would have had no trouble finding a good job in corporate Japan. The problem for Mr. Fukano was that his parents had made all the decisions for his future for him. He rebelled in the only way he knew. He didn’t perform. “I didn’t study. I didn’t try,” he explained. His parents were frequently called to his junior high and high school, but he didn’t change. Finally, in desperation, his parents asked him what he wanted to do. He said he wanted to study at an American university. So Mr. Fukano researched possibilities and decided to enter Lakeland College Japan (LCJ). He didn’t want to go to an American university in the United States because he was worried about making friends, encountering problems with English and adjusting to a new culture. He believed he needed a transition place. After two terms in LCJ’s intensive language program, Mr. Fukano started taking courses for academic credit. In his first term, he earned a 3.8 GPA and is currently vice-president of the student government. Asked why he has changed so much, Mr. Fukano explained, “It was my choice to come here, so I have to excel. I have to show my parents I can make the right decisions.” Many of the students who attend LCJ are similar to Mr. Fukano. They aren’t quite ready to leave their country completely. They want to be able to enjoy two worlds—the world of American higher education, which encourages them to ask questions and to explore new subjects, and still remain in the familiar world of Japan. Establishing Lakeland College in Japan LCJ has been offering Japanese students an alternative education for more than 15 years. When LCJ was established, there were dozens of American branch campuses. Now there are only two offering undergraduate education: Lakeland College Japan and Temple University Japan. LCJ is located in Tokyo’s modern Shinjuku district, the largest business, shopping and entertainment district in the city, and the seat of the Tokyo city government. The administrators of Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wiscon- sin, decided early on to make a long-term commitment to its branch campus and Japanese educational partners with whom it works. Lakeland’s current president, Dr. Stephen Gould, headed LCJ in its initial years and established its strong curriculum replicated from the main campus. General management of LCJ, including academic oversight continues to be the purview of Lakeland College in Wisconsin. LCJ is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; consequently students can easily transfer credits to other U.S. colleges and universities. Last December the Japanese education ministry officially recognized LCJ as a “Foreign University, Japan Campus.” LCJ was the first American private college to receive such recognition for an undergraduate program. As result of the recognition, students can now transfer credits earned at LCJ to Japanese universities, and enjoy a variety of special benefits otherwise afforded only to students of recognized Japanese universities. “The recognition speaks highly of Lakeland College Japan as an institution of higher education,” said U.S. Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer. “The ministry’s decision demonstrates the Japanese Government’s recognition of the quality of U.S. higher education and the benefits it offers to Japanese students.” They want to be able to enjoy two worlds—the world of American higher education, which encourages them to ask questions and to explore new subjects, and still remain in the familiar world of Japan.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2006

IIE Networker - Fall 2006
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
Leading the Way Toward True Global Engagement: A Challenge to American Colleges and Universities
The Lincoln Commission and the Future of Study Abroad
Destination India: Opportunities and Challenges for Expanding Study Abroad in a Nontraditional Location
Heritage-Seeking and Study Abroad: A Case Study
State Department Resources
Short-Term Programming
Community College
GLBT Issues
Branch Campus
Central and Eastern Europe
Freshmen Study Abroad
The Browser: Index of Advertisers

IIE Networker - Fall 2006