Among the students returning to classes this fall at Troy University is a record number of participants in the 1+2+1 Sino-American Dual Degree Program.
Nearly 180 students from 15 Chinese universities are enrolled at TROY this fall as a part of the dual-degree program. The students arrived a few weeks ahead of their American classmates to receive additional orientation, become acclimated to the campus and community, take placement tests and register for classes.
The 1+2+1 program, a partnership between the China Center for International Educational Exchange and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, allows students at select Chinese universities to complete their first year of study in China, two years of study at an American partner institution and then their final year back in China. Graduates then receive degrees from both institutions.
The program traces its roots to TROY, which saw the first 1+2+1 students arrive in 2001. AASCU adopted TROY’s program as a model and invited the participation of other American universities. Today, the program has grown to include nearly 130 Chinese universities, 39 U.S. universities, and more than 3,000 Chinese students have participated.
“We are very proud that Troy University is the American home of the 1+2+1 program,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. “We share a great partnership with the universities that students in this 1+2+1 class represent. We are excited that they are here, and we want them to get to know the faculty, get to know other students, become involved in campus organizations and activities, and make the most of this experience while they are here.”
Sohail Agboatwala, Associate Vice Chancellor for International Affairs, attributed the back-to-back record setting years for 1+2+1 students to the University’s experimental class initiative.
“The Experimental Class, where we send our teachers over to Chinese partner institutions to teach English in the fall and to introduce the students to their chosen disciplines of study in the spring, has provided Troy University stakeholders an opportunity to present our programs and campus in person over the last two years,” Agboatwala said. “We feel this has provided students the opportunity to get to know us and develop a level of comfort and confidence, resulting in their ultimate decision to attend Troy University.”
Dr. Hawkins agreed that the project has had a tremendous impact on the numbers of 1+2+1 students that have chosen to study at TROY.
“I truly appreciate those faculty members who went and had great influence on many of these students who are here today,” Dr. Hawkins said. “That is another way of demonstrating to these students that our relationship with them is very important, and I know that it has had an impact on them.”
The program has been a major catalyst in leading to greater internationalization at TROY, a move that Dr. Hawkins says is beneficial to all students. Today the University enrolls students from more than 70 nations. As many as 75 different languages can be heard on campus on any given day.
“At Troy University, we are totally committed to graduating students that are globally competitive, and I believe that you cannot be globally competitive unless you first become globally aware,” Dr. Hawkins said.