Saudi Arabia Faculty Visit GPC

Contact: Rebecca Rakoczy
Phone: 678-891-2691
Fax: 678-891-2966
Author: Rebecca Rakoczy


Faculty members from universities across Saudi Arabia visited Georgia Perimeter College Feb. 8 on a nationwide fact-finding mission to better understand the United States higher education system. The group visited colleges and universities in Washington, D.C.; Rochester, N.Y; and Salt Lake City, Utah. GPC was the only Georgia—and the only U.S. community college—the group visited on their 20-day, four-city tour, and represented their final stop. Their trip was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and was hosted by GPC’s Center for International Education.

Using two interpreters and a translator system comparable to the United Nations’ earphone translation system, 10 professors directed questions about the organization and structure of the community college to Ernie Guyton, CIE director; Phil Smith, former dean of business; and Bob King, political science professor.

The visitors were interested in finding out how the two-year college fits into the wider scope of the U.S. system of higher education, as well as about programs available at GPC. The Saudi professors represented the humanities, history and religious studies disciplines. During the two-hour session, they learned about GPC’s open access mission, its transfer admission guarantee program, the more than 9,400 students enrolled in the college’s online program, and the program’s large English as a Second Language program.

“We are very interested in GPC, and we are interested in sending some of our students here,” one Saudi faculty member said in English after the session was over.

“It was a good day for Saudi/U.S. relations,” said Guyton.