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QATAR COMMUNITY COLLEGES
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idaho_potato



Joined: 09 Feb 2012
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Hart -Did HCC lose sight of its mission with Qatar contract?Patricia Kilday Hart, Houston Chronicle Saturday March 17, 2012

The idea began to germinate during a dinner with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and several luminaries in higher education. Conversation centered on "soft power," and how American colleges and universities could further the cause of U.S. foreign policy. Listening to the lofty ideas, Houston Community College Chancellor Mary Spangler says she became convinced her institution had a larger role to play on the global stage."We have so many assets and Houston is an international city. If we don't show leadership and show how to do that, who is going to do it?" she asks. Not long after, HCC was presented with an opportunity to create a community college for the government of Qatar; Spangler leapt at it. Less than two years into the five-year contract, HCC has earned a profit of $1 million from the Persian Gulf nation. That figure could grow to $4.5 million if all goes as planned.

But HCC's hurried 2010 contract has come under the microscope recently with the selection of new trustees to its board. One of them, former City Councilman Caroll Robinson, says he will urge the board- which enthusiastically approved the project in 2010- to cancel it. When I met with her last week, Spangler refuted Robinson’s assertions- sort of. HCC is reimbursed for all its expenses- plus a 10 percent “profit”- on a quarterly basis. But Robinson is correct that HCC entered the contract without seeking a legal review. Spangler suggested that a legal review would have eaten valuable time. They wanted this to open in September,” she said. “Did we want to do this deal or not? Yes, we wanted to do the deal. We stood to make $4.5 million. By all measures, Spangler calls the project an unqualified success. “We won a national award for it. We have made money from it. People ask, ‘What are you doing in Qatar? What is this doing for Houston?’”

HCC's presence in Qatar, she says “has created 73 new jobs for the Houston economy.” Like Robinson, I suspect, HCC's overseas operations were conceived in a hasty manner. Chronicle reporter Jeannie Kever recently wrote that HCC officials struggled with “disagreements over accreditation, high faculty turnover” and other concerns.

Mission gallop’
From Spangler’s own narrative, it is clear that HCC threw enormous leadership energy to meet the demands of the unrelenting partner. “It was a very quick turnaround,” Spangler told me. “They wanted it right then, and of course, they have the money to have whatever they want, whenever they want it.” Given the pressing need in Harris County for workforce training, should HCC be distracted by a complex overseas venture? According to Texas Higher Educational Coordinating Board, the mssion of our public community colleges is “serving local taxing districts and service areas in offering vocational, technical, and academic courses for certification or associates’s degrees.” We’ve all heard of “mission creep”: It’s what happens when an institution gets distracted from its core purpose by peripheral issues. Is that what’s happened here? “This is more like mission gallop,” suggested Bill Hammond, president of Texas Association of Business and a vocal crtiic of Texas community colleges. “At a time when jobs are going begging in Houston, Texas,” Hammond said, HCC should be focusing on workforce training needs locally “rather than traveling the globe doing work for foreign countries.”

http://www.chron.com/news/kilday-hart/article/Hart-Did-HCC-lose-sight-of-its-mission-with-3415418.php


Hmmm


Last edited by idaho_potato on Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:12 pm; edited 5 times in total
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12684
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear idaho_potato,

Hmm, indeed. That Houston Chronicle badly needs a proofreader.

Regards,
John
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idaho_potato



Joined: 09 Feb 2012
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Accreditation a key concern for HCC campus in Qatar
By Jeannie Kever, Houston Chronicle Saturday, February 4, 2012 Houston and Texas

The idea that students at Community College of Qatar would earn American college credits was central to the deal that sent Houston Community College halfway around the world. Officials from HCC and Qatar boasted after the contract was signed in May 2010 that students in Qatar would earn HCC degrees, allowing them to transfer to universities in Qatar, the United States or elsewhere. But the issue almost immediately became a point of contention as Qatari officials resisted the perception that their new college was a satellite of a U.S. educational institution. Belle Wheelan, president of the commission on colleges for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, said the Qatar programs are not accredited by SACS or another U.S. accrediting agency, required for easier transfer to other American-accredited universities.

Transfers approved

International locations of U.S. institutions are generally accredited as branch campuses and must meet the same standards as the home institution, she said. Qatari officials decided in November to seek independent accreditation, and HCC officials said they will assist in the effort. In the meantime, HCC spokesman Dan Arguijo said a handful of Qatari students could qualify for HCC diplomas by submitting transcripts for review. An agreement signed with Qatar University last month allows students to transfer to the four-year university, easing some of the tension. But it remains to be seen whether students will be accepted at any of the U.S. higher education institutions in Doha.

Deputy Chancellor Art Tyler said HCC always wanted the new college to earn its own accreditation. "Initially, I think there was some misunderstanding about how that process would be vetted," he said.Despite his sanguine tone, internal documents show he and Chancellor Mary Spangler were clearly worried about the dispute, especially as stories about student protests over accreditation made the Qatari press.

Tyler met with Education Minister Saad Bin Ibrahim Al-Mahmoud last winter, later providing Spangler with the details:"The Minister was emphatic that CCQ must be a separate independent agency with no hint that it is a HCC satellite," he wrote in an email. "The Minister was somewhat confused by the issues regarding SACS (accreditation) but insistent that CCQ would not offer any accredited classes. I responded by telling him that from the start ... we (together) had promised the students that they would receive HCC credit. He said 'the students are secondary' and this was not something CCQ now wanted."

'A grace concern'

Six weeks later, Spangler sought advice from Mark Weichold, dean and CEO of Texas A&M-Qatar."It is a grave concern that I am trying to get some management over," she wrote in mid-March. "If I'm not successful, I will be forced to withdraw, because I won't risk HCC's accreditation. That is our bottom line."Wheelan said SACS' concerns have not raised questions about HCC's accreditation in Houston.

http://www.chron.com/default/article/Accreditation-a-key-concern-for-HCC-campus-in-3035400.php
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mesquite



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it too risky to work here? Can anyone advise?

Quote:
According to the e-mail, Flores states that Spangler and Tyler created a for-profit business called iCEPS International, which she believes may be profiting from HCC's relationship with Qatar. Earlier this year, HCC signed a $45 million contract with the Qatar government to develop and open the Community College of Qatar. Hair Balls could not find any Website for iCEPS International, but Flores states that she did earlier this month, and that the company "announced on its website, teaching opportunities in ... Qatar as well as the recruitment of students to higher education institutions" in the Persian Gulf country.


http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2010/08/hcc_conflict_of_interest.php
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16063
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Risky? It's the Gulf... one doesn't go there for the spectacular job security. Laughing All of these new places come with some risk... mostly of disorganization.

VS
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landcruzer



Joined: 15 Apr 2012
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.insidehccs.com/qatar_article.htm
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mesquite



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very strange place with very strange people and very strange interviewing techniques. When asked about salary, housing etc. they said they didn't know. They only seem to know the deal for people hired from the US but if you are a potential local or regional hire (they did go to TESOL Arabia after all), they don't seem to know anything. My impression - not worth working at.
I think my plan to return to work in K-tar has been foiled.
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mesquite



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:49 pm    Post subject: A whole college for only 11 graduates???? Reply with quote

Quote:
CCQ’s class of 2012 celebrates graduation


The Community College Qatar (CCQ) yesterday graduated its first class of 2012 during a commencement ceremony held at the Sheraton Doha.The chief guests at the event were Minister of Education and Higher Education and the Supreme Education Council’s secretary general HE Saad bin Ibrahim al-Mahmoud and the Minister of Justice HE Hassan bin Abdullah al-Ghanem.In all, 11 Qatari students comprising both males and females have graduated as eitheran associate of Science or an associate of Arts, after completing a two-year course each.

Two students, Amena al-Mulla and Abdulaziz Mutlaq al-Khater have graduated with an associate of Science while others who received an associate of Arts are Abdulla Rashid R H al-Dosari, Abdulla Mohamed al-Hijji, Latifa Mubarak al-Kuwari, Sultan Salman al-Kuwari, Haifaa Mohamed al-Marri, Sara Ali al-Obaidly, Munira Ali al-Thani, Dana Mansoor al-Thani and Abdulaziz Said M al-Mohannadi.Making the commencement speech, the secretary general of the Supreme Committee for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Hassan Abdullah al-Thawadi, shared the success story of the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid with the audience and urged the graduands to see opportunities in every challenge that they may face, as they forge ahead in life.

“Seeing and grabbing the opportunities in challenges was the spirit that motivated us through the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid, so I will want you to borrow a leaf from this and ensure that you achieve good results despite any challenges that you may face as you proceed in life,” he said.He also asked the graduates to be the best ambassadors for Qatar while encouraging them to believe in a practical life, and to not lose confidence and ensure reaching their goals toward achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030. In the welcome address, the CCQ acting president Dr Ibrahim bin Saleh al-Naimi mentioned that the college aimed to provide students with specialised majors tailored to meet the needs of the labour market aside from partnering with governmental institutions like the Customs for on the job training.

He also mentioned plans to introduce assistant teacher programmes in collaboration with the Qatar University and SEC.CCQ acting dean Dr Edmund “Butch” Herod congratulated the students on the successful completion of their degrees, and on achieving the milestone in their academic careers.“You are to be commended for your hard work and perseverance in obtaining these diplomas. You overcame many obstacles on your pathway to success, and we celebrate that here today by honouring you, the CCQ class of 2012.”

Dr Herod also observed that the first graduation for CCQ, held a special significance for the future of Qatar. “As the first graduating class for CCQ, you represent the fulfillment of the dream for higher education that is shared by many Qataris,” he said.
Munira Ali al-Thani speaking on behalf of other graduates said “education and friendships forged at CCQ were precious gifts that they will keep forever.” CCQ, which is the first and the only community college in Qatar, opened its doors to some 308 Qatari students in September 2010 to provide education and services for students in three main areas, Associate of Arts Degree (AA), Associate of Science Degree (AS) and Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) degrees.Presently, about 611 students have enrolled for the college’s Spring 2012 of which 67% are women and 33% are men including some 65% working adults. About 58% of the students are attending day classes while another 42% attend evening classes.
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=505930&version=1&template_id=36&parent_id=16




Talk about exclusive!!!!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16063
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure why you are being so snarky. This is common for new places and their first graduating classes. They have few majors and it stated that 65% are working adults which delays graduation for many. When I was at HCT, at Abu Dhabi Women's College, the graduating classes of the first years were only in single digits.

Not that this institution isn't making many of the typical mistakes; this wouldn't be a good example of their failure or not...

VS
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yellofello



Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mesquite wrote:
A very strange place with very strange people and very strange interviewing techniques. When asked about salary, housing etc. they said they didn't know. They only seem to know the deal for people hired from the US but if you are a potential local or regional hire (they did go to TESOL Arabia after all), they don't seem to know anything. My impression - not worth working at.
I think my plan to return to work in K-tar has been foiled.


Me too chum. I'd hoped to find a job here to be able to spend more time with my partner who is working at Education City but it looks like I've been foiled, too.

There seems to be a racket of some sort going on. The president or chancellor, a Qatari, requested more regional recruits. These guys interview them (for form's sake) and then say they couldn't find anybody suitable (ha!). They are deliberately vague in the interviews to discourage the applicants, they won't give any solid information on questions about housing or salary etc. to people who interview from this area. A friend says they want to look like they are complying with the instructions but then go ahead and recruit cronies. This seems very plausible - does anybody know of any teacher recruited from the Gulf or KSA? They all come from stateside.
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yellofello



Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
I'm not sure why you are being so snarky. This is common for new places and their first graduating classes. They have few majors and it stated that 65% are working adults which delays graduation for many. When I was at HCT, at Abu Dhabi Women's College, the graduating classes of the first years were only in single digits.

Not that this institution isn't making many of the typical mistakes; this wouldn't be a good example of their failure or not...

VS


I don't think Mesquite is being snarky. He has a very valid point. It is enormously expensive to start a college and after two years have only 11 graduates. You failed to mention that the dropout rate has been close to 50%. You also failed to mention that the original plan was not to have part-time adult students but full time students doing a prep for QU or for a gov't job. The plan for a co-ed foundered when parents realized the college had plans to be co-ed. They had to very quickly find another building to house the male students. The Canadians have a co-ed college and most of their students are recent high-school grads so the problem was the way CCQ was marketed and the grasping nasty self-serving former American director who made major mistakes and gave the place a bad name which it is still trying to deal with.

The bulk of the students are adults who actually work in organizations where there is no or little segregation of the sexes. They two campuses were created as the result of comments from irate parents but at the end of the day, very few high school grads ended up at this place. My partner has a friend who works there and this is basically what she was told.

http://www.chron.com/default/article/Accreditation-a-key-concern-for-HCC-campus-in-3035400.php
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yellofello



Joined: 05 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To Judge International Branch Campuses, We Need to Know Their Goals
Gwenda Kaczor for The Chronicle


By Richard J. Edelstein and John Aubrey Douglass

The international branch campus phenomenon is relatively new, generating much news coverage and capturing the interest of many university presidents. But what is a branch campus? What kind of impact does it have on the home university in terms of its core functions of teaching and learning, research, and service to the larger society and the world? Does it change the campus culture and operations back home? In the case of the United States, thus far, the majority of branch-campus initiatives are conceived of at prestigious private universities—although with a number of important exceptions. Why is that? Just as importantly, how do universities evaluate and decide on a physical presence in some distant global marketplace?Important questions. But the answers are elusive, hampered in part by the lack of research on the topic. Thus far, most studies, like that conducted by the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, are largely scans of activity that lack a more in-depth look at how and why institutions reach for an international presence. We postulate, however, that there are some noticeable trends.

Almost all are small-scale, boutique experiments in a limited set of disciplines—more like outposts than a genuine university campus. They are often limited to one or two fields, often in professional areas with high student demand, like business, engineering, or information systems and computer science. Education City in Qatar, which is often cited in the press, graduated 243 students across all its institutions this past academic year. About 10 universities have branch campuses there.
Branch campuses appear to be only loosely connected to the home campus, with limited impact on the core functions of teaching, learning, scholarship, and scientific research. Because of their small scale, they involve a limited set of students and faculty members on the main campus. In most cases, branch-campus students do not come to the "mother" institution for a period of study and home-campus students do not matriculate at the branch campus.

Undergraduate programs entail greater risk and do not have much of a track record to judge potential success or failure. Liberal-arts or humanities and science curricula are usually undertaken by highly prestigious institutions, like Yale and University College London, or by lower-tier institutions with flexible admission standards, locally hired faculty members on limited contracts, and a clear objective to generate revenue. Some of the most noteworthy failures have been branch campuses that focused on undergraduate degrees, like the University of New South Wales in Singapore and Michigan State in Dubai.
The single most limiting factor for foreign campuses is the scarcity of regular faculty members willing to spend extended periods abroad. Career-advancement issues related to research and publication constrain the ability of junior faculty to go abroad, and considerations such as travel, housing, and family relocation make it costly to maintain a mobile faculty. Employment of adjunct or local faculty risks being seen as damaging to academic quality.

More often than not, the host country's government or local investors underwrite start-up costs, local infrastructure, and some operating costs. Not surprisingly, most branch campuses have emerged in regions and countries sufficiently wealthy to provide financial incentives that attract the interest of foreign universities. Middle Eastern and Asian nations are where most branch campuses are concentrated. Singapore, Malaysia, China, and South Korea are the most common sites in Asia. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar have the majority of activity in the Middle East.
Most branch campuses are exclusively teaching units. The focus seems to be on replicating some curriculum and programs of the home campus and not on extending other functions like research, alumni relations, or curriculum development. This may be a function of the loose connections between the home campus and branch campus, or because the geographic locations of these efforts may not be near key centers of research and business.

It may be not only about the money, but there is some kind of correlation. The financial deals made between governments, private investors, and brand-name universities are rarely open to the public, but there are indicators that large sums are at play. Perhaps this is one reason that most of the branch campus action is being pursued by private universities in the United States that, unlike public universities, can keep their deals in a private black box.
We rarely know what the financial models are, and there are real questions regarding sustainability along with the complexities of maintaining faculty interest at the home campus. Will these branch campuses increasingly morph into more independent institutions with their own faculty, their own peculiar governance and management systems?

To be sure, there are stories of success.

Georgia Tech University has maintained a campus in France since 1991 and has established facilities in Singapore and Ireland. Its degree programs at these sites abroad are in high-demand fields, such as engineering, logistics, and management of technology and have relatively small cohorts of students. Professors from the home campus provide most of the teaching, and the curriculum replicates what is taught in Atlanta. Research activity is a key element on these campuses. In France, the university has developed collaborative research with French universities and the National Center for Scientific Research.

At the same time, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has avoided the branch-campus model while still having significant activities in Singapore. MIT has pursued numerous research projects and partnerships with local institutions to help them create degree programs and even a new university, experimenting with new curricula and pedagogies that might be integrated into home campus programs in Cambridge. This suggests that some brand-name campuses might want to avoid the financial and other risks of the branch campus—at least until more is understood about the long-term benefits and costs.

But our main conclusion is that branch campuses create much noise and attention, but actually may be on average costly appendages.

Until branch campuses are linked to the core activities of the university, they are simply focused on exporting a narrow set of existing degree programs and projecting an image of global engagement for marketing purposes. Only when international programs and networks are integrated into the core functions of the home campus and part of the ethos or culture of faculty, students, alumni, and administrators will cross-border efforts represent a serious move in the direction of becoming a transnational or global university.

We need case studies to look at how major universities come to a decision to open a branch campus or other major international collaborative projects, what their near- and long-term financial models are, how they influence the academic culture at home and abroad, what makes them sustainable, and ultimately what determines success or failure. Yet the deals keep coming.

Richard J. Edelstein is a research associate at the University of California at Berkeley's Center for Studies in Higher Education. John Aubrey Douglass is a senior research fellow in public policy and higher education at the center.

http://chronicle.com/article/To-Judge-International-Branch/130952/
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16063
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yellofello wrote:
I don't think Mesquite is being snarky. He has a very valid point. It is enormously expensive to start a college and after two years have only 11 graduates.

Since CCs normally have 2 year programs, this would be their first graduating class... and to have only 11 graduates is NOT unusual especially as it would be based on first year intake, which is always small and dropouts are normally excessive at the beginning. I expect that this is similar to many of the institutions out in University City.

yellofello wrote:
You failed to mention that the dropout rate has been close to 50%. You also failed to mention that the original plan was not to have part-time adult students but full time students doing a prep for QU or for a gov't job. The plan for a co-ed foundered when parents realized the college had plans to be co-ed. They had to very quickly find another building to house the male students. The Canadians have a co-ed college and most of their students are recent high-school grads so the problem was the way CCQ was marketed and the grasping nasty self-serving former American director who made major mistakes and gave the place a bad name which it is still trying to deal with.

Yup... they have made a number of the usual newbie mistakes... sadly typical. But CCs in the US are always maintly part-time adult students, so I would expect that this was in the original plan despite your not being privy to it.

VS
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Chuma



Joined: 21 May 2013
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Community College of Qatar is interviewing applicants at TESOL Arabia. Does anyone have updated information on working there?

Thanks.

Smile


Last edited by Chuma on Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you read the more current threads from this year? There have been some hiccups with housing problems. But, since we aren't hearing any more about it, I assume they have been addressed. It is a place with the usual collection of pros and cons in Gulf education... but still one of the better choices for teaching in Qatar.

They are certainly worth applying to at the job fair and networking with any current teachers who attend to get their views.

VS
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