Meridian International Center will offer a paid summer enrichment and mentorship program in 2023 in an effort to expand access to global education opportunities and international affairs careers to community college, transfer, and non-traditional students.
The Community College Global Affairs Fellowship (CCGAF) is a brand-new initiative held in partnership with Global Community College Transfers and Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) through the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The CCGAF is the only program of its kind and will achieve a sustained multiplier effect, as students who engage in the program will present their experiences at their home campuses and return to the program as mentors for cohorts to follow. It will provide evidence-based skill-building, mentorship, one-on-one coaching, and ongoing access to networks and support that these students and professionals need to grow in their work, advance to higher levels of leadership, and become decision-makers on the world stage. Additionally, CCGAF will build upon the success of Global Community College Transfers’ community college and transfer student mentorship program, advance CCID’s work-building pathways to global careers at community colleges, and leverage Meridian’s experience developing leadership and diplomatic training for emerging leaders around the world.
Background: Research shows that despite many community colleges having the capacity to deliver high-quality training for students and employers, the schools and their students face unique systemic and institutional barriers to equipping students for their careers. Targeted and intensive support programs tailored to community college students’ specific needs will improve educational and employment outcomes (Advising Student Supports at Community Colleges, Teacher’s College Columbia University, April 2021).
Yet, no national mentorship and experiential education programs are currently dedicated to community college, transfer, and non-traditional students pursuing global education and foreign affairs careers. Furthermore, the consensus among diplomatic leaders is that future foreign policymaking decisions will be more effective through a concentrated effort to invest in and strengthen the American international affairs workforce to better reflect American society’s diversity. America’s community colleges are a tremendous source to build this talent ecosystem.
This announcement was launched during the 11th Annual Meridian Global Leadership Summit on October 21, 2022. For event updates, visit summit.meridian.org or follow #MeridianSummit on social media.
For more information about the Community College Global Affairs Fellowship and the application process, please contact Meridian’s Vice President of Diplomatic Engagement Frank Justice at [email protected] and Meridian’s Diplomatic Engagement Associate Vishva Bhatt at [email protected].