The Program

In addition to a one-year, non-degree academic program at a U.S. community college, the Community College Initiative Program provides participants with service learning, internships, cultural exchange, leadership programs, and special projects opportunities to build participants’ technical skills in applied fields, enhance their leadership capabilities, and strengthen their English language proficiency.


CCI participants complete academic coursework at their U.S. host community college in select CCI Program fields of study and, when possible, pursue professional certificates. Current fields of study include: agriculture, applied engineering, business management and administration, early childhood education, information technology, media, public safety, and tourism and hospitality management.

Service Learning

Service learning is a key component of the CCI Program that helps participants integrate into their campus and local communities. CCI students participate in local community service activities with nonprofit organizations, join student groups to practice leadership skills and promote causes they care about, and contribute to large-scale national service events such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Since the inception of the CCI Program with CCC in 2010, participants have contributed over 73,000 volunteer hours.


CCI participants build hands-on professional experience through internships in local businesses and organizations. Through the application, interview, and participation phases of their internships, participants build their professional skill sets in resume writing, networking, interviewing, and working in the context of U.S. business culture. These experiences help CCI participants explore their academic fields of study and plan for their future careers.

Cultural Exchange

CCI participants learn about American culture and share their cultures with the people they meet through formal and informal activities. Students participate in a weekly “Culture, Society and Institutions” course that includes organized excursions which introduces them to people and organizations in their local U.S. communities. CCI participants also attend local arts and culture events, tour historical sites, visit local schools, and join student and community clubs.

Leadership Program

The mid-year Pathways to Success Program is a consortia-wide leadership program designed to build participant skills in leadership, reflection, and goal setting. During the leadership program, participants also develop the CCI alumni network and enjoy excursions to key U.S. historical and cultural sites.

Action Plan and Other Special Projects

The NOVA-led Community College Consortium strongly encourages its CCI participants to develop an Action Plan before returning home. The Action Plan is a product that would be used by the student, upon their return home, to provide a comprehensive picture of the sum total of the student’s experience while in the CCI. Other special projects may include a portfolio of work, a paper on skills acquired, a training manual, or a community outreach plan.