Pasadena City College is partnering with USC to create a new Chinese language learning program that will incorporate heritage and culture and make it easier for students to transfer to universities.
“This provides a very good program for our students to be able to prepare their portfolio to eventually transfer to USC mainly,” said Cathy J. Wei, a professor of languages at PCC. “USC would like to provide this program for our students who would like more exposure of Chinese studies [and also have] more opportunities to communicate with their students at USC and they can [collaborate].”
The program is geared toward two major groups of students for next year. Wei hopes to encourage both Chinese and non-Chinese students alike to join, whether they plan on becoming Chinese teachers or major in international education, medical or hospitality studies.
“The Global Study Club will work with the students at USC to provide a lot of workshops for them to come from USC here [and] interact with our students, give them mentors, and [teach them] how to prepare themselves for transfer,” Wei said.
Some students have already chosen to become teachers from studying Chinese at PCC and through the Global Study Club.
“I was majoring in nursing before, my father wanted me to major in nursing but I didn’t like it, so I tried [different] clubs to find what I am interested in. I joined the Global Club and I volunteered in an elementary school and I felt ‘Oh my gosh, this is really what I want. I want to be a teacher. I love kids.’” said Amelia Chao, president of the Global Study Club.
The workshops currently under way include inviting a journalist who recently spent five years in China to speak about his experiences as well as film reviews from both Taiwan and mainland China.
While workshops are great opportunities for the students interested in this program, the main focus is for the students to gain a better understanding of what they will need in order to become teachers or utilize their skills in language for whatever career they may choose.
“We have a lot of native [Chinese] speakers. Many of them are interested in becoming English translating teachers because that way they can fully utilize their background,” Wei said. “To have the chance to start getting familiar with teaching and they will have more opportunity to actually work in the school environment. They can get interested in this, learn the teaching methodology, and eventually will provide them the resource to transfer to USC or become a teacher in the future.”
The faculty will have to make changes to the curriculum, Wei said, in order to emphasize that Chinese is used for career purposes. They also plan on offering an online hybrid curriculum so that students have access to learning materials both in and outside of the classroom.
“[We want] for our students to not only have learning in the classroom, but to also have resources outside,” Wei said. “They will also have the opportunity to interact with students from China. That’s part of the curriculum we are going to develop over the next two years.”
The school is expecting to receive an influx of students with this new program.
“We expect to see increases in the number of students studying Chinese at PCC, majoring in EA fields, and transferring to UCLA and USC, and through the mentorship program” according to a press release from the East Asian Studies Center.
Pasadena City College is changing, and growing, and with that comes the change in studies. Wei has noticed this and the language department along with the Global Study Club are taking measures to ensure that the language program is on top of its game.
“We noticed that PCC has changed,” Wei said. “We say this is a ‘Global Community College’, we want to actually provide global perspectives for our students.”