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5 WKU students accepted into Chinese Flagship Capstone Year

A record five students at WKU have been accepted into the Chinese Flagship Overseas Capstone Year Program. The WKU Chinese Flagship Program, one of 12 Chinese Flagship programs in the country, maintains a 100 percent student acceptance rate to the Overseas Capstone Year Program.

The students selected for the Fall 2015 cohort are:

  • Joanna Chang of Owensboro, who is studying psychology
  • Laurel Clutts of Brandenburg, who is studying Asian religions and cultures and Spanish
  • Hannah Garland of Somerset, who is studying international affairs and Asian religions and cultures
  • Kelli Hogue of Burlington, who is studying international affairs and Asian religions and cultures
  • Tyler Prochazka of Newton, Kansas, who is studying international affairs and Asian religions and cultures

Dr. Yufen Chang, Chinese Flagship Associate Professor, describes the capstone year as “an exceptional opportunity for Flagship students to be immersed in a Chinese-speaking environment and culture.” Capstone students take courses related to their major at either Nanjing University or Tianjin Normal University side-by-side with local university students. They are paired with a local student as their roommate.

After finishing their coursework in the host university, students undertake an internship in China, where they get to not only hone their Chinese language skills, but also gain valuable professional experience in their field. Through the internship, students have the opportunity to experience the Chinese work culture and to explore career opportunities with a global perspective.

All five students have been studying intensive Chinese at WKU for four years in order to qualify for the Capstone Year. In addition to their academic year study of Chinese, all have participated in at least two summer intensive language immersion programs to continue studying Chinese year-round.

“Each of these students has excelled in the language as well as in their majors. All have actively participated in other university activities and clubs such as the Forensics Team and WKU Student Government Association,” Melinda Edgerton, Assistant Director, said. “They will soon join our alumni in pursuing career opportunities or further graduate study which incorporate their language and cultural knowledge, the goal of this initiative.”

Upon completion of the capstone year and demonstrated Superior level Chinese language proficiency, students are awarded national Flagship Certification from the National Security Education Program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Defense.

About the Chinese Flagship Program: An initiative of the National Security Education Program, the Chinese Flagship Program at WKU is actively redefining the paradigm in language education. The program is designed to bring talented undergraduates who often start with no knowledge of Chinese up to the Superior level (ACTFL scale) of proficiency by the time they graduate by integrating Chinese language instruction at every stage of the undergraduate educational path, culminating in a capstone year abroad.

Contact: Sara Moody, (270) 745-5043

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