CCE students may study abroad under January term

Guilford CCE student Eric Plummer spent years scrimping and saving to help pay for his two children to study overseas – one in London, the other in Paris. Now that it’s his turn, the thought of studying abroad seems as remote as the Louvre itself.”I wouldn’t want to leave my wife for a whole semester,” said Plummer, a psychology major, who expects to graduate in May. “I wouldn’t even know how to pay for everything and still pay all my bills – the house, the cable bill, everything – which I’d still have here.”

But a proposal discussed by the CCE Student Government Association (SGA) on Sept. 12 may offer a truncated solution for students like Plummer: a short trip overseas wedged between Guilford’s fall and spring semesters.

The idea of a January term – a three to four week academic session that would make this possible – was one of several ideas SGA leaders debated that would benefit Guilford’s growing CCE student population.

Dean of Continuing Education Rita Serotkin said students would spend a week to 10 days in another country living and learning with other students during this January term.

“It’s exciting to think that all of our students – not just one segment – might have the chance to study abroad,” said Serotkin. “The development of a January term would allow more students to get exposure to other cultures even if it’s only for a short period of time.”

A January term would benefit more than just CCE students. Serotkin said the proposed addition of three to four weeks in the academic calendar would enable all students to enhance their academic interests through a variety of tools ranging from internships to community and service learning.

“(A January term) isn’t directed at CCE students only,” Serotkin said. “Everyone would be able to take advantage of some sort of short-term focus.”

According to Jeff Favolise, assistant to the president for planning and management, the proposal is still very much in the discussion stages. The idea, however, makes sense to Plummer, who would jump at the chance to spend a week overseas.

“Just to experience what I’ve studied and actually see it first-hand and not filtered through textbooks or the internet would be wonderful,” said Plummer. “It doesn’t sound like it will happen for me before I graduate, but I’d love to see it happen for others.”

The January term was one of several ideas the CCE SGA discussed that could affect CCE students. Among other proposals the association debated was the proposal to obtain additional scholarship money for CCE students.
Victor Vincent, president of the CCE SGA, wants the school to look at scholarships for all CCE students – not just the academically gifted.

“A lot of times there are (CCE) students here at all hours, trying just as hard as everyone else, but also having to deal with family or their job,” said Vincent. “They should be recognized for what they’re doing too.”

SGA leaders would also like to buy two or three laptops that CCE students can check out while in Hendricks Hall. Space restrictions limit Hendricks Hall, home to the CCE department, to just five desktop computers.

“This would give students a lot more flexibility and hopefully keep them from having to head over to Bauman,” said Vincent.

The SGA is also interested in paying approximately $1,600 for the warranty that covers Guilford’s campus-wide internet wireless system. Vincent called the payment a good-will gesture since many CCE students take advantage of the system.

All that’s keeping these proposals from becoming a reality is the not-so-trivial matter of money. Vincent said the association asked school officials to determine if the there is money in the group’s budget to cover the costs.

“We think they’re important enough to find the money for them,” said Vincent.