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UMC Faculty in China to Continue Work on Educational Partnership with Zhejiang Economic and Trade Polytechnic
August 7, 2006

Contact: Don Sargeant, faculty advisor for international programs and study abroad, 218-281-8442 (;Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (

CROOKSTON, MN (August 7, 2006) – A partnership between Zhejiang Economic and Trade Polytechnic (ZJETP) and the University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) has taken four faculty members from Crookston, Minn., to Hangzhou, China, to work with ZJETP faculty and staff. Over two weeks, UMC staff will support coursework development for programs in agriculture business management and computer software engineering and information technology management.

Christo Robberts, Ph.D., program manager for the bachelor of manufacturing management program, and Eric Burgess, an instructor in business management, are helping adapt UMC’s courses in global food systems and introduction to entrepreneurship for instruction by ZJETP faculty this fall. UMC’s Jingpeng Tang, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Math, Science, and Technology Dept., will gather information for spring semester courses and the details on the computer software technology degree being offered to ZJETP students. Steve Hannah, a technology consultant and instructor at UMC, is providing training in the use of Moodle, a course management system, along with other courseware.

 “UMC offers a wide array of courses that fit the interests and requirements of Zhejiang students, and our students will have greater opportunities for international experiences and connections,” UMC Director of Communications Krista Lemos said. “Strengthening UMC faculty and student international experiences and increasing our international student enrollment are part of our strategic planning effort. This initiative advances that goal.”

In late 2005, UMC established an international partnership with ZJETP to enhance opportunities for students to study and faculty to work collaboratively. Students will begin their studies in China, complete coursework in the areas of international business management and computer software and then travel to UMC to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

Funding for the travel to China and course administration is paid by ZJETP, along with on-site housing and meals. As a result of the partnership, one student from ZJETP will be attending UMC this fall with the number expected to increase to 30 students over the next three years. The trip will help foster and strengthen methods of collaboration as well as provide an opportunity to review student assessment instruments to identify ways to improve instruction. Robberts and Burgess will return to China near the end of fall semester to continue this collaborative work at ZJETP.

The University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) delivers more than 24 different undergraduate degree programs in agriculture; arts, humanities, and social sciences; business; math, science, and technology; and natural resources. UMC is dedicated to helping students and the region aim higher, reach further, and dream big dreams. To learn more, visit
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