Indiana University of
Pennsylvania has secured an $185,000 grant from the Department of State’s
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for the International Leaders in
Education Program (ILEP).
As a recipient of the
funds, IUP will serve as a host institution for 16 international secondary teachers
(Fellows) for an immersive professional development experience.
The ILEP Fellows also
will be on site to learn from teachers at Indiana Area High School and Brashear
High School in Pittsburgh to gain different contexts and perspectives on the
American educational system.
The focus of the program
is to promote and develop teacher leadership, technology integration skills and
intercultural exchange. The ILEP Fellows are from Bangladesh, India, Kenya,
Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, Tanzania and Uganda.
The ILEP Fellows will participate
in two academic courses as well as two semester-long workshops delivered by
faculty members in the IUP College of Education and Educational Technology;
Educational Seminar (taught by Dr. Sue Reig and Dr. Shirley Johnson) and
Technology Workshop (led by Dr. George Beiger and Dr. Susan Sibert).
From January 15 to March
4, the ILEP Fellows will spend Fridays at Indiana Senior High School with
selected peer teachers, and at Brashear High School in Pittsburgh from March 18
to May 6.
Dr. Lara Luetkehans, dean
of IUP’s College of Education and Educational Technology, and Dr. Michele
Petrucci, associate vice president for the IUP Office of International
Education, co-authored the grant application.
“The ILEP Fellows program
is a unique opportunity for the 16 selected Fellows as well as the host
university and partner high schools,” Dr. Michele Petrucci, associate vice
president for International Education and Global Engagement and executive
director of the American Language Institute.
“It’s a chance for
students, parents, teachers, professors, staff, and administrators to learn
from each other and to share different aspects of our countries, including language,
culture, politics, education, gender roles and more. The ILEP Fellows will most
definitely learn about America but we, in turn, will also learn more about
Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, Tanzania and Uganda.
“It truly is an honor for
IUP to be selected to host the ILEP Fellows and through this grassroots,
people-to-people diplomacy effort, it is one small step towards increasing
awareness and making the world more tolerant,” she said.
and seminars offered by IUP faculty is intended to enhance the ILEP Fellows’ expertise
in their teaching disciplines and equip them with a deeper understanding of
best practices in teaching methodologies, lesson planning, and the use of
technology in education, Luetkehans said.
“One of the elements of
IUP’s proposal that IREX rated highly toward becoming an ILEP Host University
is our engaging the Fellows in both Indiana and Pittsburgh public schools,”
Luetkehans said. “The two school districts provide the ILEP Fellows with both a
rural and with an urban American school experience. Overall, the program is
designed to provide teaching fellows with a broader understanding of the
American educational system.
“Not only will this
benefit the ILEP Teaching Fellows, the ripple effects are broad,” Luetkehans
aid. “Teachers from the United States and and administrators in both settings will
have the opportunity to learn from teacher-leaders in like content areas and
roles about other educational systems and cultures. It will also be a rich
experience for the students in both of these schools, learning from these teachers
and building personal relationships that promote better understanding of
different cultures. And, of course, the faculty and students at IUP are
enriched through having the Fellows in the courses and sharing their
The program is implemented
by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). IUP is only one of
four institutions selected as a host university. The other host universities
for spring 2016 are Arizona State University, Kent State University and James
recognizes the “transformative power of an effective teacher,” IREX officials
note. The International Leaders in Education Program is designed to offer
teaching fellows with enhanced teaching methodologies, lesson planning
techniques, teaching strategies for their home environments, leadership
abilities, and technology skills through targeted coursework, intensive
training, and collaboration with colleagues from around the globe.
at a secondary school complements the coursework and actively engages teaching
fellows with American teachers and students. Upon successful completion of the
program, eligible alumni may compete for small grants to implement
self-designed projects that benefit and empower their home schools and
communities, program officials said.