I ate dinner with a teacher from China who spent a year living with my parents during an exchange program. He took a break from his usual job of teaching English in China to come here and teach Mandarin to Americans (while improving his English skills by immersion). That was 4 years ago, and I hadn’t seen him since.
As I learned over dinner, he had arranged this summer to be a chaperone for a group of students from his school in China, who were all coming to the summer program in intensive English at Green River Community College.
The college advertises its programs via partnering high schools in China, in order to attract hundreds of new Chinese student each academic year. According to the website, most students in the language program subsequently matriculate into an Associates degree program, many planning to follow the international student University Transfer Pathway program, which provides them a conditional guarantee of acceptance to a 4-year university upon completion. Thus GRCC acts as a complete pipeline from zero English literacy to a bachelor’s degree from a major university … for anyone who can afford the tuition.
Anecdotally, at Green River and similar institutions across the country, that means a mostly Asian and largely Chinese student population, acquiring skills and credentials that they hope will do them well when they return home … and escaping a system where education supply has not kept up with demand.
On the scale of college education, it’s not even really about money. I hope these students are getting their time‘s worth.