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MC Approves Education Agreement With University in China


Mississippi College leaders recently signed an education partnership with Hainan Normal University.

Mississippi College leaders recently signed an education partnership with a leading university in China. Under terms of the agreement, Hainan Normal University students will enroll on the Clinton campus beginning in 2023.

Students from China would pursue dual degrees in elementary education under the proposal. It enables them to receive bachelor’s degrees in the field from their home institution and at Mississippi College.

President Blake Thompson and his administrative counterpart at Hainan Normal University signed the agreement in January.

The proposal now goes to China’s Ministry of Education for approval in March.

“At the same time, a faculty and staff exchange will be promoted,” says Mei-Chi Piletz, director of MC’s Office of Global Education.

Officials at both institutions, Piletz said, will encourage student and teacher activities to enhance learning experiences on their campuses. That can run the gamut from summer camps to teacher professional development programs.

The collaborative effort would last nine years.

To help get the initiative established, Piletz and MC School of Education Dean Cindy Melton visited Hainan Normal University in December 2019. They met with the dean of its College of Elementary Education to discuss the idea of a dual degree.

The MC administrators also visited with students, observed classes, and toured the university.

“I was very impressed with the exciting things HNNU had going on in their education programs,” Melton said Thursday. “We are honored to have been selected by Hainan for a partnership. We consider this a wonderful opportunity to welcome students to our campus, to share our Mississippi culture, and learn from our partners in Hainan.”

President Thompson, Dr. Melton, Vice President for Advancement Bill Townsend, and Dr. Keith Elder, provost and executive vice president, are among the MC leaders Piletz thanks for making the partnership happen.

Hainan Normal University is located in Haikou, China. Established in 1949, the university is the province’s oldest institution of higher learning. About 20,000 students are enrolled.

Marking its 195th anniversary, MC is the state’s oldest institution of higher learning. Over the years, MC has enrolled many students from China.

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