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COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University now has a China pipeline for enrolling computer science students in an exclusive accelerated graduate program.
Part of a new, faculty-student exchange agreement between Columbus State and Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology, Columbus State’s TSYS School of Computer Science will begin next fall to enroll BIPT students in CSU’s master’s degree program in Applied Computer Science.
The initiative is designed to raise the level of computer science expertise of potential educators in China, while exposing CSU faculty and students to some of that country’s top students.
Signed Thursday by CSU President Tim Mescon and BIPT Provost Zhansheng Han, The renewable, five-year agreement extends to other disciplines through faculty and student exchanges, study abroad, intensive language programs, collaborative research programs, seminars and workshops, and service programs.
“Today is a very special day for both of our universities,” Han said through an interpreter.
Columbus State enjoys partnerships with 18 other schools around the world, but the new accelerated degree agreement is unique, said Neal McCrillis, executive director of CSU’s Center for International Education
“This agreement is a first of its type for us,” said McCrillis, who will oversee CSU’s role in the partnership. “The aim is to recruit students into the master’s program by making the application process very simple and the transition easy.”
CSU’s program corresponds to China’s “3+2 Accelerated Degree Program” – a fast-track, government initiative to bolster the professional level of future Chinese educators, especially college professors, through advanced study at international universities.
Accordingly, BIPT students completing 3-and-a-half years of undergraduate computer science coursework can complete their bachelor’s and master’s degrees at CSU over the following two years. The top five students admitted each year will be charged the in-state tuition rate and can keep the benefit by maintaining a 3.0 or higher GPA.
However, the advantage is not one-sided. “This gives our computer science students and faculty opportunities to interact with students and faculty from China in a variety of contexts,” said professor Wayne Summers, CSU’s computer science chair. “Anytime U.S. students can interact with students from another country and culture, everyone benefits.”
Founded in 1978 as a specialty school serving China’s petrochemical industry, BIPT has evolved into a multi-disciplinary university with 11 colleges and departments.
“With BIPT, CSU is expanding its global reach by partnering with a prestigious institute of higher learning in the world’s most populous country,” said Greg Domin, CSU interim associate vice president for academic affairs. “Doing so provides us with an opportunity to recruit students from that part of the world, as we look to enhance our prestige by reaching out to the world’s best and brightest students.”