MOSES LAKE — On Friday, while on a visit to Gunpo, South Korea, Big Bend Community College Vice President of Learning & Student Success Bryce Humpherys and representatives from Sanbon Technical High School and Cheongju University each signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreeing to cooperate with one another in pursuing educational exchanges.
Earlier this year, a delegation from Gunpo spent nearly a week in Moses Lake and considerable time on the Big Bend campus. The delegation visited many of the college’s Workforce Education programs, attended a basketball game, and got a look at the new, soon-to-open Workforce Education Center.
The Gunpo delegation was particularly interested in Big Bend programs related to the aviation industry, and with a focus on increasing the BBCC international student population, the MOU between Sanbon Technical High School and the college was a natural partnership. The college and high school are currently planning jointly to offer an opportunity for Sanbon high school seniors to spend a few months studying at BBCC.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the great people at Sanbon Technical High School to offer a wonderful international learning experience for their students,” Humpherys said. “I would also like to thank and recognize the City of Gunpo and the Port of Moses Lake for their work to connect BBCC with Sanbon Technical High School. We wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for their support and leadership.”
The MOU with Cheongju University states that Cheongju and Big Bend will explore ways to collaborate — including the exchange of information and students.
The South Korean university, located in Cheongju City, the capital on the North Chungcheong province, is also interested in establishing a partnership centered around BBCC’s aviation-related programs.
Big Bend has a rich history of international education that includes the JATP program, which is more than 52 years old. Through these new partnerships, Big Bend is building on its prior work to serve international students while strengthening existing BBCC academic programs and creating a diverse and engaging campus environment for all students.
“These MOUs formalize our respective organization’s interests in exploring partnerships that will lead to an expansion of international education at Big Bend,” Big Bend Community College President Terry Leas said. “International education is an element of Big Bend’s enrollment-management strategy to provide students with enhanced learning opportunities, ensure stable enrollment revenues, and support the Port of Moses Lake’s economic development efforts in Asia.”
The city of Gunpo has had a “sister city” relationship with Grant County since 2003.