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GoingGlobal: The Middle East Initiative


Grant received to develop Middle East Studies

In later September 2014 West received a three-year grant award to develop the Middle East Studies portion of the college’s International Area/Global Studies initiative.  The project, called GoingGlobal, is funded by the US Department of Education’s Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) program.  In the 2014  round of funding, USIFL awards went to  7 community colleges and 21 four-year institutions across the nation.

Community Colleges

  1. West Los Angeles College
  2. Valencia College, FL
  3. Ocean County College, NJ
  4. Northampton Community College, PA
  5. Jamestown Community College, NY
  6. Community College of Philadelphia
  7. Everett Community College, WA


Four-year institutions

  1. University of Illinois
  2. University of St. Thomas, Houston
  3. Florida International University
  4. Rochester Institute of Technology
  5. Bard College
  6. School for International Training, Brattleboro VT
  7. John Jay
  8. CSU San Bernardino
  9. Auburn
  10. Portland State
  11. CSU Northridge
  12. Appa
  13. CSU Long Beach
  14. Nazareth College, Rochester, NY
  15. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  16. Jackson State, Mississippi
  17. North Central College, Illinois
  18. Eastern Michigan
  19. Cleveland State University
  20. University of Central Florida
  21. John Carroll University, Cleveland


The project abstract is:

GoingGlobal Middle Eastern Studies and Study Abroad Collaboration Across California Project is a collaborative proposal led by West Los Angeles College, a minority-serving community college, in partnership with several departments and centers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and two non-profit agencies, the California Colleges for International Education and the Southern California Consortium on International Studies.

GoingGlobal consortium will develop, implement, and evaluate a national model for engagement across the spectrum of higher education that creates opportunities for underrepresented minority students by developing (i) the Middle East Studies program at West Los Angeles College as the first in a projected series of four (Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa studies) community college degree/certificate/transfer programs, open to any community college student in California (ii) a foreign language program (one + one in Arabic and a two year program in Persian), and (iii) study abroad programs implemented by West LA College as well as opportunities for study abroad through the University of California, California State Universities, and private colleges and universities in California. This project primarily targets the third of the authorized activities: (3) development of an area studies program and its languages.  The design of the area studies program focuses on creating a new program that is connected through consortial efforts to colleges and universities across California.

GoingGlobal meets (i) Competitive Preference Priority #1—West is an MSI, (ii) Competitive Preference Priority #2—as a community college, West will offer two years of postsecondary credit in 2 foreign languages—Persian and Arabic, and (iii) Invitational Priority 1—Middle East Studies to include language instruction in Arabic and Persian).

GoingGlobal’s broader impacts are to: (i) promote faculty and student discovery and understanding of the cultures and peoples of the Middle East, (ii) promote excellence in faculty/faculty and student/faculty relationships, (iii) broaden student knowledge that contributes in significant ways to their lives and careers, (iv) develop a variety of study abroad opportunities, and (v) create new transfer pathway options in Middle East Studies for West’s community college students to UCLA, and (vi) to enhance these opportunities for community colleges connecting to UC, CSU, and private colleges and universities across California.

GoingGlobal will create professional development activities for (i) project faculty by linking them with UCLA faculty and researchers to explore the rich tapestry of Middle Eastern cultures, (ii) faculty in general by hosting annual Middle East Studies days active consultation with UCLA faculty and researchers on course content, current and emerging research, and andragogy, (iii) students by bringing discussion of current Middle East events to campus through presentations and documentaries, (iv) the wider community through arts, film, music, and discussion of history and current events, and (v) and connect to other opportunities through consortial collaboration across California.

GoingGlobal will engage with the local Persian and wider Middle Eastern community in Los Angeles, and will use technology to engage with colleagues and academics in Middle Eastern countries. This will prepare faculty and students for a successful experience in the Middle East Studies program.

This web page will be updated as the project comes on line and starts its activities.


The project’s measureable objectives include:

  1. develop a middle east studies degree and certificate
  2. strengthen the current Arabic language program
  3. develop a Persian language program
  4. develop a study abroad program focused on the Middle East
  5. create professional development activities for faculty and students and increase community engagement
  6. use technology effectively for instruction and communication