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Howard Community College’s Global Distinction Program Wins 2012 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education

January 27, 2012

Only 9 Colleges/Universities in the U.S. & Australia Recognized For Outstanding International Initiatives

(Columbia, MD) Howard Community College’s (HCC) Global Distinction Program has been named a winner by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in the 11th annual IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education. The award honors the most outstanding initiatives in international higher education created and conducted by universities and colleges in IIE’s membership network of over 1,100 higher education institutions. Selected colleges and universities emerge as Heiskell winners for developing highly unusual initiatives that are specifically designed to remove institutional barriers and broaden participation in international teaching and learning on campus. Howard Community College is sharing the Heiskell Award with the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), its partner in the Global Distinction Program initiative. IIE will present the award during a ceremony in New York on March 9, 2012 as part of its 7th annual Best Practices in Internationalization Conference, which draws over 200 campus leaders from the U.S. and around the world.

As a winner of the Heiskell Award, the Global Distinction Program has been designated as a “Best Practice” program that makes global education and experiences accessible to community college students. The distinctive program will be featured in the IIENetworker magazine, as well as IIE’s “Best Practices” Web site ( Additionally, Howard Community College has been invited with CCBC to highlight a conference panel discussion on “Strategic Planning for Comprehensive Internationalization: Best Practices for Internationalizing the Campus,” as part of the awards ceremony.

About the Global Distinction Program 

The product of a joint effort, the Global Distinction Program began in July 2010 as a coordinated and purposeful effort to move the act of “internationalizing one’s campus” away from merely a celebration of food, festivals and fairs. To date, 24 students have enrolled in the program since its inception. As an academic enrichment program offered at both HCC and CCBC, the Global Distinction Program provides a holistic approach to providing stimulating international/intercultural educational opportunities for students through an array of curriculum offerings that are specifically designed to prepare students to be globally competent citizens, both academically and professionally. Some of the many globalized courses include College Algebra, History of Western Architecture, College Composition, Contemporary American Foreign Policy, Introduction to Japanese Zen Buddhism, and more.

To earn Global Distinction, students must:

  • take 15 credits of globally-intense coursework (including a foreign language),
  • attend campus events once per semester,
  • participate in study abroad or an equivalent domestic intercultural experience, and
  • present their work in an e-portfolio prior to graduation or transfer.

“We are delighted to be recognized for how well we prepare students to be globally-ready to live, work and thrive in a multicultural, multilingual world,” says Dr. Kathleen Hetherington, president of HCC. “The Global Distinction Program ensures that students who have pursued a globally-intensive curriculum will receive recognition, thus improving their transferability and employability. This program meets the critical challenge of preparing students for the interconnected and interdependent world they will enter regardless of their field of study.”

About HCC

Howard Community College (HCC) is a publicly funded two-year community college serving the educational needs of the citizens and employers in Howard County, Maryland since 1970. With its slogan, “You Can Get There from Here,” the college has forged a variety of partnerships to offer career and transfer programs to nearly 29,000 students annually at its main campus in Columbia, the Ecker Business Training Center, and Laurel College Center. Located midway between two major metropolitan areas, Washington DC and Baltimore, MD, Howard Community College is an affordable, community-based institution that has long been recognized for its ability to inspire learning, and the lifelong pursuit of personal and professional goals. Among its many awards is the prestigious U.S. Senate Productivity Award for organizational performance excellence.