Globalising Community College Experience : John Halder, Community Colleges for International Development

Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) was established in 1976 to strengthen the community college system worldwide by partnering with education ministries and higher education organisations in various countries. It also conducts professional development and special training programmes to member colleges. At present it has the membership of 170 colleges, of which 31 are located outside the US.

CCID President John Halder in conversation with the Digital Learning.

In India, the community college movement needs to be integrated more fully into the higher education structure, rather than being stand-alone. Any efforts in that direction would greatly benefit students

Please tell us about the mission behind the establishment of Community Colleges for International Development (CCID).

CCID was established 33 years ago by a group of visionary community college presidents.  In 1976, when most community colleges in the United States were less than ten years old, to have a global vision and reach was extremely unusual.  Dr. Maxwell King, President of Brevard Community College, Florida understood the potential for community colleges in this regard, and established CCID.

In the early days CCID undertook some development work in Suriname and Taiwan. Over the years a conference was added, and then a summer meeting and the board of directors was expanded. Today CCID comprises almost 170 colleges of which 31 are located outside the United States.  It is governed by a board of 25, who are college presidents.

`The mission of CCID is to provide opportunities for building global relationships that strengthen educational programmes, and promote economic development.` We undertake this by continuing to work with Ministries of Education and Higher Education organisations world-wide. CCID also manages study abroad programmes, professional development activities, special training programmes on international topics, conferences and meetings, all with the goal of globalising the member colleges and their students, teachers and staff.

What kind of involvement has CCID had in the Asian region, particularly India?

CCID has been engaged with India since our earliest days.  A Brevard Community College teacher, Dr. Seymour Fersh had been the Director of the Asia Society prior to going to India as a Fulbright Scholar in the 1970`s. Following this CCID hosted Indian education delegations sponsored by the World Bank, the University Grants Commission and the Archbishop of Madras. The latter led to a longer  relationship with Tamil Nadu and a number of colleges and organisations there. CCID colleges such as Eastern Iowa Community College District and Sinclair Community College, Ohio, have engaged in long and fulfilling projects, and through CCID have linked those projects to other CCID colleges.  Through these initiatives Sinclair assisted with establishing the Center for Vocational Education in Madras, which later became the Madras Community College

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