Atsuko Muraki, Japan’s vice minister of health, labor and welfare, visited Northern Virginia Community College’s Medical Education Campus (MEC) on Thursday to learn about the American community college system, workforce development and health education.
Muraki arrived at the Springfield campus with a delegation of four other Japanese government and embassy representatives. An interpreter accompanying Muraki helped with English to Japanese translation.
Brian Foley, the MEC’s provost, welcomed the delegation with a luncheon, gave the officials a presentation on American community colleges and explained how the MEC campus meets regional workforce needs through allied health education.
Foley also highlighted the NoVa HealthFORCE coalition, which includes representatives in education, government, private business and healthcare with an aim to help shape educational offerings and address the training needs of area workers.
“We don’t work alone, we work with the healthcare organizations,” Foley said of the collaborative effort. He noted that the coalition is a national model for workforce development.
Following Foley’s presentation the delegation toured the MEC facility, which includes a dental hygiene clinic, physical and occupational therapy facilities and an emergency medical technician (EMT) training lab.
The purpose of the delegation’s visit was to seek insight into topics such as how the college recruits students and instructors, curriculum development and employment opportunities for MEC graduates.
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.