The Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA), a consortium of American colleges and universities that offers study abroad programs and internships in English-speaking regions, has selected WKU to serve as the new host institution. The Division of Extended Learning and Outreach will serve as the liaison between CCSA and WKU through the Study Away office.
CCSA is a not-for-profit organization led by a volunteer board of trustees representing 23 member institutions in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee.
The organization began in 1982 after Kentucky institutions of higher education formed a partnership to share their resources and services. Initially called the Cooperative Center for Study in Britain, WKU served as the organization’s first headquarters. CCSB successfully expanded its programs to destinations beyond Great Britain, including Australia and Ireland and eventually changed its name to the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad.
Northern Kentucky University and Belmont University in Nashville have also served as host institutions. CCSA will official begin operations at WKU on August 1.
Executive Committee Chair of CCSA Board of Trustees and Director for Education Abroad at Murray State University Melanie McCallon said that CCSA is ready for regeneration.
“Structural ideas, program planning in innovative ways, continuous faculty support – these are a major undertaking that I believe WKU is equipped to handle,” said McCallon. “WKU’s structural support and accomplishments in faculty-led opportunities and study abroad program building put it in a position to contribute to the successes of the next CCSA.”
According to Craig T. Cobane, Ph.D., WKU’s Chief International Officer, “CCSA decision to move to our campus, thus joining the Kentucky Institute of International Studies (KIIS), who moved to Western Kentucky University in 2009, furthers demonstrates that WKU’s vision of being a leading American university with international reach is being realized.”
Faculty members from consortium-member schools teach CCSA classes. The consortium offers internships in Dublin, Ireland, as well as semester programs at University of East Anglia and University of Manchester in England. Special non-credit programs including choir tours and alumni trips are also planned in English-speaking regions as requested.
Cynthia Williams Resor from Eastern Kentucky University taught medieval history in London during the recent winter term.
“It was a great experience for me and my students,” said Resor. “History in a regular university classroom is often very distant and remote. In the travel abroad experience, we were able to visit the places described in the texts and imagine that we were walking in the shoes of medieval people.”
WKU Associate Vice President of Extended Learning and Outreach Dr. Beth Laves said, “We are very excited to host CCSA since this will allow us to serve more students and faculty, build successful collaborative partnerships with other universities and, through scale, provide richer opportunities for studying and learning abroad.”
Contact: Jerry Barnaby, (270) 745-2231.