Topics: Teachers College, International Education

June 18, 2010

Ball State University will receive $1 million from the U.S. Department of State to help transform an Iraqi university's curriculum and its faculty members' teaching style.

The three-year grant is part of the U.S. Department of State's Iraqi university linkage program, which provides technical and curriculum assistance to Iraqi institutions — in this case, Tikrit University.

Ball State faculty members will work closely with Tikrit University to review its current curriculum and teaching style, which is more of a traditional lecture method, and help it develop a more student-centered, interactive pedagogy.

Ball State professors will also teach courses in English, accounting and computer science via the Web and videoconferencing to 25 of Tikrit's top sophomore students from each of the three academic areas.

Additionally, the grant will afford some Tikrit University faculty members the opportunity to visit Ball State and receive professional development.

"Having been given this opportunity and responsibility by the U.S. Department of State to help with its outreach programs in developing countries speaks volumes about Ball State's commitment to international students and its ability to produce high-achieving students," said Ken Holland, dean of the Rinker Center for International Programs.

To kick off this newly formed partnership, a small group of faculty members and administrators, including Holland, will spend a few days with their counterparts from Tikrit at a Baghdad conference coordinated by the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, starting June 24.

Four additional U.S. universities were awarded $1 million grants to partner with other Iraqi universities. They include the University of Kentucky, University of Cincinnati, Cleveland State University and Oklahoma State University.