By Nina Huang
Northwest Asian Weekly
This fall, students at Bellevue College will welcome Chinese students into their business program, as Bellevue College (BC) and the University of Washington Bothell (UW Bothell) campus begin their joint business degree pilot program.
On Jan. 19, about 40 people attended the signing ceremony with BC President Jean Floten and UW Bothell Chancellor Kenyon Chan at the Board Room at the Bellevue College campus.
Leslie Lum, a faculty member at Bellevue College, said that the program will be recruiting Chinese students with high potential to study in Washington state. The school is working with a consultant in China to recruit students.
“This is a pretty exciting initiative to recruit Chinese students jointly for UW Bothell and BC, especially since the latest scores show that Chinese students are on top. The students in this program will be matched with American students. We have designed an intensive program that will give them all kinds of experiences that would help them get on par with American students in business schools,” Lum said.
Students will complete two years at Bellevue College, earning a two-year business degree before transferring to the UW Bothell Business Program, provided that the grade point average and other requirements are met.
“This initiative is the only one of its kind and speaks to the excellent relationship between BC’s Business Administration Transfer (BAT) program and the UWB Business Program,” Lum said.
Marketing for this program is expected to reach 2,500 Chinese students. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ron Sims, and Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire have all given commendations to BC to promote it.
Recruiting began this month for BC’s first entering class, which is scheduled for fall 2012. This class would enter UW Bothell in fall 2014 and graduate in 2016.
“The goal of this program is to create the synergy that comes out of this relationship and foster good things between the two cultures,” Lum said. She also added that this is a great opportunity for the Chinese students to gain exposure to the business world to get them up to speed as American students.
Margaret Lu, guest speaker who attended both Bellevue Community College (BC was formerly known as Bellevue Community College) and the UW, states that her college experience gave her that crucial start to her career.
Andrew Elder, BC student and project manager of the Business Leadership Club (BLC), described the club as a great group that plans business events that helps solidify students’ interest in business. “It’s also a great meeting place for alumni and a place to make connections to network,” he said.
Business student and member of the BLC Johnny Wong is excited to help the Chinese students by hosting and showing them around.
Sandeep Krishnamurthy, director of the business program at UW Bothell, said, “We want it to be a cool place where students can be challenged and thrive in a business environment.”
Guest speaker, Margaret Lu, said she was elated to hear that there was a combined program between BC and UW Bothell because this program did not exist when she was enrolled. Lu said that this exchange of educational resources could teach the Chinese students about independent thinking.
“The biggest challenge is to instill in them (Chinese students) the concept of analysis because it’s a strange concept to them,” Lu added.
“We are tremendously excited to get the first cohort of Chinese students, and we are particularly proud of this association with the UW. Because of this, we benefit every day,” said Floten.
In preparation for the Lunar New Year, the signing ceremony ended with a cultural lion dance performance. ♦
Nina Huang can be reached at email@example.com.