COD CCI participants and their social hosts enjoying the outdoors
Bunker Hill Community College's 2014-2015 CCIP participants celebrating the successful completion of their program
CCI students at SCC attend Educational Endeavors high ropes leadership course
The College of DuPage CCI students enjoy a day of in-service at Starved Rock State Park
MDC Kendall CCI Participants exploring their campus
CCI Program participants at MDC Kendall celebrated the spirit of Christmas with a secret Santa gift exchange in December 2015
2015-2016 CCI Wide Conference - Assistant Secretary, Evan Ryan and CCI Group
CCI NOVA at Sky Meadows State Park
The College of DuPage CCI students enjoy a day of in-service at Starved Rock State Park
South African students proudly cheering for the COD football team during the Homecoming game. #CODPride
International Students Inc Welcome Party - International Students from across the globe - including CCI - unite with Social Hosts
Find Your Park 911 Day of Service NOVA 2015-2016
The 2015-2016 MDC Wolfson CCI Program group at the 2015-16 Pathways to Success Program
Bunker Hill Community College's 2014-2015 CCIP participants visiting the US Mint
NCC students on the first day of their CCI Pathways to Success Program

Community College Initiative Program

Providing opportunities for individuals from other countries to develop leadership, professional skills and English language proficiency, while studying at a community college in the United States

News & Highlights

The 2015-2016 Pathways to Success Program
A Year of Firsts and Unforgettable Experiences!

October 5, 2015

It has been a busy first month of 2016 for the 2015-16 CCI participants! After a much needed winter break, all 147 students representing 12 countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey), embarked on a tristate journey for the annual Pathways to Success Program (PSP) which took place in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City from January 10th to January 17th.

Assistant Secretary, Evan Ryan poses for a selfie with the CCI students. Image courtesy of ECA and the US Department of State

This ‘Year of Firsts’ boasted an exciting schedule. For the first time in CCI history, all three consortia met under one roof, hosted by NOVA’s beautiful Schlesinger center. The goals of this event were connecting, networking, learning and collaborating. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Assistant Secretary Evan Ryan, who offered words of wisdom and motivation to the group of nearly 250 students and took the time to sit in for some candid photographs. This was followed by a panel of experts on the topics of entrepreneurship, innovation and global change and concluded with a lively Networking discussion.

CCI students connecting topics and discussing possibilities

The theme of the PSP was Connectivity – allowing students to connect to their own experiences and strengths and also to one another in an effort to plan for their future. Students presented on important global topics – including research presentations and moving presentational acting. Numerous connectivity workshops were provided that allowed students to reflect on their experience in the United States, refocus on their upcoming semester and on their return, Action Plan for the upcoming future and understanding their own leadership abilities. A favorite amongst the students was the String Activity workshop which shows how we are all interconnected in this world even if not immediately apparent.

For more detail on the Peacebuilding workshop and David J. Smith please visit:

The connectivity theme continued with an engaging and interactive discussion by Mr. David J. Smith on peacebuilding and tolerance. Mr. Smith, the President of the Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education and former senior manager at the U.S. Institute of Peace is a leading authority on peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and civic and global education. In a very dynamic session, Mr. Smith and the CCI participants explored the current state of challenges and discussed tangible means by which each CCI participant could promote peacebuilding across borders via “Peacebuilding Action Plans”. The impact of the workshop was palpable as CCI students are still discussing how they can make these action plans a reality.

The CCI group visiting the White House

The CCC CCI participants made CCI history once again by being the first group to collectively visit the White House!

CCI participants group pictute in Philidelphia.

After exploring historic Philadelphia, and getting the first ever CCI group photo on the legendary Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the CCC group made its way to New York City.

The 2015-16 students had not time to slow down while in New York City – a combination of cultural and educational exploration kept them very busy. Students toured the UN, met with two United States diplomats at the United States Mission to the UN, visited Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, saw the city from the top of the Empire State Building and cheered each other on during the farewell celebration and awards ceremony – where exemplary academic and leadership achievements were recognized.

A CCI participant and 9/11 Tribute Center Volunteer

Students were also able to tour Ground Zero with survivors and families of the 9/11 tragedy who now volunteer with the 9/11 Tribute Center. The students were awestricken with the first account stories. The CCI participants made quite an impact on some of the volunteers at the Tribute Center: The following is from the 9/11 Tribute Center Facebook Page:

Many thanks to everyone that made this event possible and so very unforgettable. What a great way to start the New Year 2016.

MLK Day of Service 2016

2/5/2016 by: Leeza Fernand in Program Highlight

The PSP was a great success! And if the eventful week wasn’t enough, after returning on Sunday evening, our determined CCI students got up early the following day to show their support for the Martin Luther King Day of Service. The following are a few examples of our student’s exemplary service! The following are a few examples of the CCI students' noble work:

The 2015-2016, NOVA Annandale and Alexandria campuses participated in the George Washington University’s MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 18th. Throughout the day, the students worked alongside students from GW and members of the community. They were able to share their experiences and culture, while volunteering their time to help sick children. Additionally, they learned more about Dr. King and his legacy.

Dedication: the NOVA group preparing for their day of service at the George Washington University

The event started with a welcome from GW’s President, Steven Knapp, and a keynote address by Stacey Stewart, the U.S. president of United Way Worldwide. Following the opening addresses, the participants were dismissed by project groups for lunch. After lunch we went to our service project, which was to assemble craft packets for children in the hospital. The sponsoring organization is called Caitlin’s Smiles. We assembled packets for children to make bookmarks and friendship bracelets. From there we moved onto a workshop entitled “Realizing King’s Dream with the Principles of Kwanzaa” given by Sam P.K. Collins. Mr. Collins is a grassroots journalist and founder of AllEyesonDC, a news organization that focuses on issues that affect people of African descent in the D.C. metropolitan region through words and film. During the workshop the students learned about the origins and principles of Kwanzaa and Mr. Collins talk about the need for African self-determination and economic empowerment within the black community, a philosophy that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. embraced toward the end of his life. The workshop was very interactive and the students were very engaged in the conversation and shared their own experiences and views. After the workshop, Sifiso Ngobeni, journalism and media student from South Africa, exchanged contact information and set up a meeting for some time in the next week. Mr. Collins was very impressed with Sifiso and excited to hear that he is studying journalism.

The students were featured in the GW Blog

The MDC group sorting groceries for Feeding South Florida

The participants of the Miami Dade College - Wolfson campus took part in a large MLK Speaking event that is the biggest in the county. It addressed leadership, celebrating and embracing diversity as well as volunteerism in the community. The following link has more information:

A BHCC group at Boston Latin School with Vanessa Welch, an anchor of Fox News Boston

The CCI students of BHCC went to several different locations to conduct their day of service for MLK. The Early Childhood Education students went with their internship site – Jumpstart, and other students went individually to other site. Several participated with Boston Cares MLK Day of Service held at the Boston Latin School. They made literacy games and reading journals that were donated to three elementary schools across the city. The event involved 650 volunteers total and was attended by the Superintendent of BPS, Dr. Tommy Chang, as well as Mayor Walsh.

One student, spent his day volunteering at the Women’s Lunch Place, washing dishes and serving lunch.

And lastly, several others volunteered as ushers for the tribute to MLK Jr. at the Boston Children Chorus.

Students from Scottsdale Community College carry timber to staging area

The entire CCI 2015-16 cohort at Scottsdale Community College volunteered to rebuild a wildlife water tank at the 51 Ranch in Yavapai County, Arizona. The group partnered with Arizona Game & Fish Department, and the Mule Deer Foundation to make this one-day project happen. The 50,000 gallon water tank and rain catchment was originally built in the 1970s. Rotting wood from age and forest fires needed to be replaced as well as a new wildlife water drinker installed. Students helped to replace posts, attach catchment sheeting, and replace the old drinker. This catchment and drinker will serve to help deer, elk, bobcat, bear, mountain lions, as well as cattle during long dry summer months. The Mule Deer Foundation provided a nice presentation about the importance of public-private partnerships in the conservation of native species in Arizona. Water resources like this are critical to creating sustainable habitats.

The CCI students of Houston Community College volunteered for the 22nd Annual MLK Grande-Parade in Houston. As a collaborative group effort, all fourteen were active and contributed over five hours of community service that day. Students had fun, learned about the importance of Martin Luther King, and why we celebrate this day in the USA.

Thank you 2015-16 CCI participants for your dedication to service learning in the United States!

CCC is in the Spotlight!

October 5, 2015

This article was originally posted on Community College Daily by Ellie Ashford

State Dept.-sponsored program promotes global understanding

CCIP students posing for a photograph
The Community College Initiative cohort at Bunker Hill Community College in Massachusetts

Young people from developing countries spend a year at an American community college, where they gain career skills, engage in the community, learn about U.S. culture and get inspired to make a positive impact when they return home.

That’s the concept behind the Community College Initiative (CCI) sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) on behalf of the Community College Consortium (CCC).

The CCC promotes collegial cooperation among geographically diverse community colleges that have significant international exchange experience.

Read More

International Education Week Success

CCI students from all CCC campuses shared their culture during International Education Week. Click on the school below to learn more.

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC)
Students at Bunker Hill Community College pose for a group photo durin education week.

For International Education Week, the 2015-2016 BHCC/CCIP students performed a cultural presentation for the school. This presentation included: videos, power points, dance, games etc. It was a well-attended event and th e crowd seemed to appreciate learning about the different cultures. It was very creative – the students tied the presentation together by having the audience feel as though they were on the “CCIP Flight” visiting each of the countries with one student acting as the flight attendant.

College of DuPage (COD)
College of Dupage students work an information table.

At College of DuPage, the CCI students were essentially the highlights for our Monday, Kick-Off event. They did a mix of fashion show, poetry, patriotic readings and more. It was well received by our administration who was there as well as the domestic students. I attached a few pictures highlighting the event and can send more if necessary. I saved the pictures with “Monday” in the title.

On Wednesday, we had our biggest event – the Global Ed Fair. The students were divided up into different shifts throughout the duration of the fair. They had the opportunity to interact with the campus community and share their culture with others. Many created posters, played language games, and more! The students loved it – so much so that they often stayed longer than their scheduled shifts and even came early. For the first time, we were even asked if we could hold the fair an additional hour longer, because the students found it to be so enjoyable!

On Thursday night, for the first time ever – the Board of Trustee’s invited us to speak and present on CCI. We were able to highlight the program and I selected one of our high achieving students, Minhaj of Bangladesh to address the board. He did wonderful! Also, all of the other CCI students (except two due to class) were in attendance to show support of the program and were acknowledged at the end of the program. Our presentation begins at roughly 35 minutes for the video.

Kirkwood Community College (KCC)
Book signed by author Zohra Sarwari for Kirkwook Community College student.

The CCI students have been busy with International Education Week activities at KCC. The students participated in the International Programs Open House on Monday, November 16 by greeting guests and introducing themselves, inviting students and staff to the event and directing guests at the event. The students shared their culture at the International Showcase Day on Tuesday, November 17 on campus. Traditional dress, country flag, items from home, music, photos and maps were displayed and students had the opportunity to tell about their country and answer questions from visitors.

On Thursday, November 19, Zohra Sawari, International Muslim author and motivational speaker was a guest at Kirkwood. The students enjoyed her presentation on diversity and how the press can be influential in creating opinions of differences by dress or religion. Zohra spoke of overcoming differences, communication and education. Please see attached photos of Nagina Kulsoom from Pakistan with Zohra and her signed book.

Miami Dade Community College (MDC)
Miami Dade enjoyed a fantastic turn out for International Education Week

On Wednesday, November 04th, our students, along with MDC Wolfson - International Student Services, the Confucius Institute, World Languages and MDC Study Abroad, celebrated International Education Week with the Global Exposition. The students provided traditional cuisine, an exhibit and some artifacts from their home countries, performed several exceptional dances and poems and presented a talented show. The girls from Pakistan and India did some henna tattoos for female students. The event had a humongous turnout with MDC faculty, staff, students and people from the local community.

Northampton Community College (NCC)
A Northampton Community College student speaks to participants from behind a podium.

Northampton Community College’s international week was organized by our International student organization, which the students all participate in. The main event for our international week was help on Thursday Nov. 19th. Our students all dressed in their cultural attire and prepared presentations on each of their home countries. The students began the ceremony by processing onto our auditorium stage with a flag from each country represented on campus at NCC. The students posed on stage with the flags while the French national anthem was played in honor of the lives lost in the events in Paris. They also took a moment of silence for all of the lives lost throughout the world this past week. Our CCI students were the first of many to present on each of their countries, Pakistan, Indonesia and India. Along with their presentations the students also put on a cultural dance from each of their home countries. The local television station was on hand to record for the evening news, where almost all of our students can be seen on the 5 o’clock news. Following the ceremonies, the students had prepared food from their culture for all of the visitors to appreciate. It was a very successful day and the students did an amazing job.

Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC)
Students at Northern Virginia Community College have fun on stage during an open mic session.

CCI Students at Northern Virginia Community College Annandale & Alexandria were able to participate in events for NOVA’s 2015 International Education Week. Throughout the week there were many activities and opportunity to participate in conversation at the Alexandria campus. Each day there was an “International Market” from 11am – 7pm and CCI student’s cultural presentations were displayed there. Activities throughout the week that students participated in are as follows:

Monday 11/16:

Parade of Cultures and Open Mic

Tuesday 11/17:

Ted Talk – The Importance of Educating Women & Travel and Tourism

Wednesday 11/18:

View of the film “The First Grader” and discussion

Thursday 11/19:

Brown Bag discussion: Think Globally, Act Locally Native American Voices – Piscataway Conoy Nation

CCI Students were the largest turnout for the Parade of Cultures and Open Mic. They wore culturally significant dress from their respective countries and performed dances and song during the open mic.

Scottsdale Community College (SCC)
Two students enjoy live music outside on campus.

SCC promoted the annual International Education Week (Nov. 16 - 21) with activities both on and off campus. The entire CCIP cohort at SCC participated in at least one event each, helping American students and faculty to become more globally aware. CCI students Tahira Bano of Pakistan, Irene Kibe of Kenya and Sophia Shaikh of India were invited to participate in a panel discussion. This event was a highlight of the week, with several teachers in training attending the event, as well as other SCC students, and the public. Students participated in the Learn a Language fair, helping to teach useful phrases and promote language learning in American students. A few students chose to participate by attending or presenting at the school's weekly coffee house, which chose an "international theme" to accompany the week's festivities. There were songs, dancing and poetry from Pakistan and in many other languages. Additionally, the CCIP students will be hosting an off-campus community potluck with an international theme. More than 30 community members have RSVP-ed to join this dinner and educational presentation by CCIP students on Saturday, November 21.

Mesa Community College (MCC)
Students and participants attend a luncheon held at Mesa Community College.
Students browse display tables located at the center of campus.

The CCI students partnered with the International Education department in celebrating International Education week and making the most of this opportunity to share their native cultures and engage the domestic student population at MCC.

On Wednesday, November 18th, the CCI students were active participants in the MCC INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL held in the center of campus. This event included a free lunch of multi-ethnic origin, a live band, games, international dancing exhibitions and display tables. Participants received a “passport” upon entry and they received a “visa stamp” for each country display they visited. The CCI students had cultural display tables for all 7 of the countries they represent. They dressed in their native attire and introduced visitors to an array of cultural attractions (in the theme of being a travel agent promoting visits to their country). The event was extraordinarily well attended. On Wednesday evening, the CCI students gave the same exhibition plus power point presentations to the students and parents at Rhodes Middle School in Mesa for their annual “Geography and Culture” exposition.

On Friday, November 20, the CCI students again set up their exhibits and dressed in their native attire in the student lounge, engaging more students as well as campus visitors from the community who were on site for a seminar.

Houston Community College (HCC)
Participants pose for a quick picture before the openeing ceremony.

CCI students participated in International Education Week at HCC. They hosted the opening ceremony for the college. Patience Akonnor (Ghana); Kafil Khan (India); Joseph Kunnel (India); Paromita Basak (Bangladesh); Ayub Imanullah (Indonesia); and Heriansyah (Indonesia) Ayub Imanullah participated in International Talent at HCC sponsored by the International Office. Student got 4th place with a great performance.

2015-2016 CCIP Group Photos
149 students representing 12 countries

8/31/2015 by: Leeza Fernand in Program Highlight

  • Bunker Hill Community College Cohort
  • Houston Community College Cohort
  • Northern Virginia Community College – Alexandria and Annandale Cohort
  • Miami Dade College Kendall Campus Cohort
  • Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus Cohort
  • Northampton Community College Cohort
  • Kirkwood Community College Cohort
  • College of DuPage Cohort
  • Mesa Community College Cohort
  • Scottsdale Community College Cohort.

Climate Change Research Paper
2014-2015 CCIP Cohort Group Project

8/31/2015 by: Leeza Fernand in Program Highlight

The 2014-2015 CCI Cohort addressed the importance of Climate Change as part of a group effort in which participants worked together as teams to complete research papers on mutually agreed upon subtopics. The groups then presented their findings to the CCI cohort, the CCC staff, members of the US Department of State, and renowned experts in the field, during their midyear program in Washington DC. What follows is a compilation of the groups combined efforts in what turned out to be a very informative and well-researched account of the many aspects of Climate Change affecting the global environment. The topics include; Ocean Acidification And Dimming Effects Of Global Warming, Scarcity Of Fresh Water In 21st Century, Climate Change And Migration, Climate Change And Urbanization, The Effects Of Industrial Emissions On Health, Green Energy (Past, Present And Future), “It’s A Small World After All”: The Roles That The Walt Disney Company Plays On Climate Change, Role Of Renewable Energy Resources On Climate Change In Boston, and Sustainability Initiatives: The Effects Of Maricopa Community Colleges’ Initiatives Towards The Climate Change Issue.

Read the report

C.C.I.P. Logo
C.C.I.P. Logo

Community College Consortium Logo Origins

Our logo is the culmination of CCIP participants coming together to design a logo that represents their program. A competition was held, and the insignia you see above, won the prize! The focal point of the design are the three C’s intertwined with one another – and stand for Community College Consortium. Within each ‘C’ a primary element of the program is represented = Education, Community and Understanding – three pillars of CCIP intertwined with one another to create an enriching, once-in-a-lifetime experience for the participants. And lastly, the color selected, represent the most dominant common flag color in the represented countries.