Dr. Kevin Demmitt, Clayton State University associate vice president for extended programs, and Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Victoria Foster recently returned from a trip to South Korea, where they continued work on the University’s partnership with DaejeonHealthSciencesCollege.
Clayton State and Daejeon Health Sciences College originally signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in March 2013. The MOU was designed to serve as a general framework for inter-institutional cooperation between the College of Health at Clayton State and Daejeon Health Sciences College. This coming summer, Daejeon will be sending 15 students to Clayton State for a four-week course in medical terminology. According to Demmitt, Daejeon also hopes that Clayton State can send a faculty member to Daejeon to teach during the summer term.
In addition to those plans, there is a lot of excitement on both sides of the agreement.
“Dr. Victoria Foster and I received an overwhelming welcome when we visited Daejeon Health Sciences College,” says Demmitt. “Their excitement over our working together was evident by the ClaytonState welcome banners displayed all over campus.
“I believe this has the opportunity to be a very fruitful partnership with a college that is clearly on the rise in South Korea. They were recently named as a World Class College by the Korean government – a distinction held by only 11 of the more than 400 colleges in the country. They also were selected to build a second campus in the city where the national government is preparing to move most of their headquarters. This new campus will be 10 times larger than their current location and will allow them to add even more majors and their status will be upgraded from college to university.”
Foster was also impressed with the welcome they received from Daejeon, and the college itself.
“Riding up to the campus, a huge banner was flying with the words, `Welcome the Delegation of Clayton State University, USA,’” she recalls. “The (Clayton State) banner was also flying alongside their school banner all over the campus. Upon arriving and getting out of the car, the university president, vice president, and other officials were standing at the door clapping. They treated us like rock stars.
“I was very impressed with their campus, as they are a bit more technologically-savvy than we are and just have more of what we have. The hospital facility had technology that I haven't seen used here in the States, so I think that our nursing students would benefit from going to South Korea as well.”
Demmitt agrees that the Daejeon nursing program is state of the art.
“They have more simulation labs than we do, and they emphasize hands-on, problem based learning. The new hospital where they send most of their interns was the most impressive I have ever visited,” he comments.
In addition to the obvious technological advantages of the MOU, Demmitt points out that there are a number of other factors that make this a good match.
“Like (ClaytonState), the college is relatively young and still establishing new programs,” he says. “They started as a nursing technical college, but have had their status upgraded and are adding other bachelor degree programs to meet economic needs. In addition to nursing, (Clayton State and Daejeon) both have bachelor degree programs in dental hygiene, business, teacher education, and liberal arts.
“They also have a similar size student body and are just beginning to build international partnerships.”
Demmitt also notes that there are other programs where the two institutions can benefit each other, including film and television production.
“We can explore exchanges in these other areas once the nursing exchange is up and running,” he adds.
For more information about Daejeon Health Sciences College, go to http://www.hit.ac.kr/foreign/english/sub01/sub01_01.html