Marriott Alumni Magazine

Fall 1999 Exchange

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International Service and Learning: Everyone W ins Dean Ned C. Hill In our continuing effort to internationalize the Marriott School's programs and firmly establish us as a major force in global management, a new initiative may bring our objectives closer to fruition and lead BYU to a completely new role in edu- cation. This may be a unique opportunity for our students that could not be duplicated by any other university and that will serve the youth of the entire Church-international service and learning. Consider the need. President Bateman often talks of the nearly two hundred thousand youth in the Church reaching eighteen each year. Unfortunately, only about ten thousand can ever hope to attend a Church school (BYU, BYU-Hawaii, Ricks College, or LDS Business College). What of the other 95 percent? Is there a way to utilize the resources of BYU and the other schools to help these young people with their educational needs? In many countries outside North America, only about 50 percent of our returning missionaries have completed high school. Lacking educational opportunities, they are often con- signed to day-labor jobs that require long hours and offer little compensation. They can hardly find time for family development and Church service. Our research shows that training in English, computer skills, and management concepts would help significantly in finding more rewarding employment. In the summer of 1998, BYU and the Church Educational System began two pilot programs: one in Monterrey, Mexico, and the other in Sao Paulo, Brazil (see story p. 25). Both offer courses through the Institute of Religion program in English as a foreign language, basic computer skills (word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation graphics), and leadership skills. Computer technology is used as a teaching mechanism for the first two courses. Both local members and BYU students (including some Marriott School students) served as instructors this summer. Over the first year, interest in the programs more than tripled. Many students reportedly found better jobs as a result of their participation. The waiting list to get into the courses is very long, even though the computers are being used from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. It is still too early to determine long-term impact of this preparation, but all indications are positive.

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