A grant will soon allow teachers at Ball State University to use video conferencing to teach students at Iraq's Tikrit University and work to redesign the school's educational curriculum over the next three years.
Ball State professors will teach classes in English, accounting and computer science for 25 of Tikrit University's top-performing sophomores using online and video conferencing technology. Administrators will also work to revamp the school's lecture-based academic curriculum into a more interactive program.
To help start the program this week, several Ball State faculty members are visiting with their counterparts during a conference at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. During the school year, several Tikrit faculty members will also visit the Muncie, Indiana-based school for professional development.
The program is funded by a $1-million grant from the U.S. State Department and the nonprofit Academy for Educational Development.
Other schools are also joining the program. Four other schools - the University of Kentucky, the University of Cincinnati, Cleveland State University and Oklahoma State University - were each awarded grants and will create similar programs with other Iraqi schools.
The Indiana Star-Press reports that Ball State was chosen in part due to its staff's experience in the region. Ken Holland, the school's dean of international programs, has been to Afghanistan 18 times in the past four years while working at Kansas State University.