Wheelock Welcomes Singapore Students

July 12, 2012

Singapore early education students visit Wheelock for a summer intensive program

The 5th cohort of students from Wheelock's Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Educational Studies and Leadership  in Singapore are on the Wheelock campus for a five-week Summer Immersion Program from June 16 - July 20, 2012. The students become active members of the Wheelock Community by interacting with Wheelock students, enrolling in three classes, conducting site visits to educational environments, and exploring Boston.

Student Deborah Ng spoke to this transformative experience by describing how the Wheelock faculty have exposed her to "fresh perspectives on different issues such as visual arts and special needs" allowing her to "think broader" as the professors bring both U.S and global experience to the classroom. Additionally, the students will meet with six future leaders from South Africa visiting Wheelock through its partnership with the Impacting Young Lives Foundation.

Visits to the Brookline Public Schools, child care centers and in-home sessions, have offered the students the opportunity to "observe the American context of education" said student Fathiah Osman. By examining cultural differences, student Saida Omar feels "we are exposed to other ways of learning that have more of a focus on social and emotional elements" which have broadened her knowledge beyond the classroom in Singapore.

Highlights of the Boston tour include trips to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Harvard Square and Boston Children's Museum and a field trip to the Blue Hills for the 'Field Studies in Environmental Studies' class.  The immersion program offers the Singapore students interaction with Wheelock students, faculty, and staff. They will also attend a reception at the home of Wheelock President Jackie Jenkins-Scott. 

In its ongoing mission to improve the lives of children and families globally, Wheelock College launched the joint degree program with Ngee Ann Polytechnic and SEED Institute to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Educational Studies and Leadership in 2007. It was the first Singapore program linking a Foreign Specialized Institution with a Singapore polytechnic to offer a baccalaureate degree in a "niche" field.  As of June 2012, Wheelock has graduated 305 students from this program, part of a total of more than 2,600 students who have graduated from Wheelock College programs in Singapore.  The highly successful full-time degree program will continue on the campus of Ngee Ann Polytechnic under a new ten-year agreement to offer the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).

Relationships built in the early years of Wheelock College's presence in Singapore have led to a deep understanding of the social, political, and cultural factors that influence the design of early education in diverse settings. The rapid and continuous expansion of the need for high-quality child care centers has afforded Wheelock the opportunity to design and deliver innovative programs to meet the changing needs for professional development in the early childhood field in Singapore and in other parts of the world, as well as to infuse its locally offered programs with rich international perspectives - all a part of the Wheelock commitment to internationalization.

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