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Egyptian faculty visit Penn State to learn about outreach|
By Deborah A. Benedetti
| Penn State Outreach and Cooperative Extension faculty and staff shared the Universitys outreach model with 10 faculty members from two higher education institutions in Egypt. The groups visit was part of a three-week Observational Study Tour with U.S. faculty members from a variety of disciplines, including marketing, accounting, economics and public policy.|
The Observational Study Tour is part of the U.S. Agency for International Development-funded International Management and Marketing Improvement Program, administered by the Institute of International Education. Two groups of Egyptian faculty members visited the United States one at Penn State and the other at Harvard University.
The intent of the program is to develop the capacity of Egyptian Management Training Institutes to provide training and development programming for private-sector businesses in their market areas, John W. McKissick, instructor with Penn State Management Development Programs and Services, said.
Dr. Wesley E. Donahue, director of Management Development Programs and Services, added, We welcomed the opportunity to assist our Egyptian colleagues in gaining a better understanding of the outreach function and the infrastructure needed to support an effective outreach mission.
According to McKissick, Penn State was selected to participate in this program because of its ability to deliver educational programs anywhere in the world through a variety of outreach delivery systems, including Management Development Programs and Services and the Penn State World Campus. He is the lead faculty member and coordinator of the Universitys participation in the study tour.
We provided the Egyptian faculty members with information about the components of our outreach operation, which include Cooperative Extension, Continuing Education, Distance Education/World Campus and Public Broadcasting, and explained how each unit functions. And we demonstrated and discussed the infrastructure that supports the Universitys outreach mission, he said.
I hope they have learned some skills that will help them present programs of benefit to their business clients, and I hope their Penn State experiences benefit their own professional development, he added. Management Developments programs are interactive. Instructors and participants discuss information, ask questions and share related professional practices. This is a more effective way of learning than the lecture format.
The group also toured a company that works with Management Development Programs and Services. The tour showed the visitors how Management Development delivers education and training programs and how these programs benefit employees.
Outreach is a new concept for Egyptian universities, McKissick said. With the dramatic changes taking place in the global economy, Egypt recognizes its companies must make changes to compete effectively. To address these economic development needs, Egypt is working with the Institute of International Education and funding support from the U.S. Agency for International Development to adopt newer business practices.
He noted that many companies in Egypt are small and family owned. Some have been in business for hundreds of years. Educating managers about the latest business methods will help improve the viability of many of these companies and enable them to compete more successfully in local and global markets.
Penn State Management Development Programs and Services partnered with the Institute of International Education, the U.S. Agency for International Development and America-Mideast Educational and Training Services Inc. in Cairo to present the program. The initial phase of the program began a year ago. Groups of Egyptian faculty members attended sessions conducted by America-Mideast Educational and Training Services to prepare them to identify a customer base, start to develop customer relationships, conduct needs assessments and make preliminary plans for developing their own programs.
After conducting needs assessments, the faculty members selected courses from Management Development Programs and Services public program portfolio. McKissick and Dr. Donald W. Turner, assistant professor with Management Development, taught courses for local businesspeople in Egypt on Customer Service and Team Development. The Egyptian faculty members served as discussion group leaders for the courses.
The final phase of the program was the visit to the United States. At Penn State, they observed firsthand how U.S. universities organize their outreach units to deliver continuing education and other educational and training programs to a diverse range of audiences, from adult workers to children and youth.
Participants in the Observational Study Tour from the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport in Alexandria, Egypt, were Dr. Asaad Elnidani, Khaled Hanafy, Mohamed El Baradie, Khaled Gad, Magdy Farag and Dalia Farrag. Participants from Sadat Academy for Management Sciences in Cairo were Dr. Nahed Mohamed Matareid, Dr. Mervat Mostafa Alkallawy, Amal Mahmoud Ali and Ahmed Mahmoud Nouman.
The Penn State part of the Observational Study Tour consisted of a series of presentations by Penn State faculty and staff members.
Dr. Patricia A. Book, associate vice president for outreach and executive director, Division of Continuing Education, welcomed the Egyptian faculty members. She presented an overview of the Outreach and Cooperative Extension organization and described the Universitys land-grant status. The session was held in the Management Development Technology Center at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.
Our land-grant role is a very important part of our history, tradition and culture, Book said. It is the foundation of our outreach mission of reaching out to and engaging with the people of Pennsylvania, the nation and the world. Over 100 years ago, we began our commitment to outreach delivering education to rural farmers by horse and buggy. Today, 20,000 people around the world enroll in distance education courses, and more than 5,000 are studying at Penn State through the World Campus.
Other faculty and staff members also made presentations:
Dr. Wesley E. Donahue, director, Management Development Programs and Services, outlined Management Developments programming; Jack Sinclair, director of continuing education, Penn State Altoona, talked about the Commonwealth Educational System; Karen Wagner, program manager, Penn State World Campus, gave an overview of distance education and World Campus programs; Nirmal Pal, executive director, eBusiness Research Center, The Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Administration, discussed e-business at Penn State.
Dr. Lawrence C. Ragan, director, Instructional Design and Development, Distance Education/World Campus, presented an overview of his unit; Dr. John E. Park, associate director, Management Development Programs and Services, discussed Management Developments programs and World Campus course; Jack Gido, director, Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program, described the activities of this program for small businesses; Elizabeth A. Bechtel, associate director, Office of Outreach Marketing Communications, presented an overview of her unit.
Dr. Armando Villarroel, executive director, CREAD, discussed the Inter-American Distance Education Consortium; Karen Dickinson, director, Innovation Park, talked about Penn States research park; and Charles Gudeman, client services manager, Penn State Public Broadcasting, presented an overview of public TV station WPSX-TV. In addition, John W. McKissick, Management Development instructor, presented a seminar on change management.