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Lebanon Valley College Collaborates with Prestigious High School in China
09.02.14 |
Principal Chuck Yang, director of the international division of Tianjin Yaohua High School in Tianjin, China, visited Lebanon Valley College to meet with students, faculty members in the College’s Education Department, and President Lewis E. Thayne. Dr. Thayne toured China on an 11-day business trip in March, where he extended the invitation to Principal Yang to visit LVC.

Tianjin Yaohua, with more than 5,000 students, is one of the most prestigious high schools in China with students from all over the country vying for admission each year. Almost 100 percent of the school’s graduates attend the top colleges and universities in the country and worldwide. Their alumni have achieved prominence in national and international science, engineering, politics, academia, literature, and the arts.

To further enhance the international prestige of Tianjin Yaohua, Principal was recently charged with establishing an exclusive program—the Yaohua International High School—within Yaohua. Principal Yang, who has a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication from SUNY Albany, selects the top students from Tianjin Yaohua High School and throughout China to prepare them to attend Western colleges and universities, primarily in the United States.

Principal Yang has created an educational environment that departs visibly from the traditional Chinese school. Classroom interaction is more informal with an emphasis on collaboration and individuality. Faculty use intentional learning about Western leadership styles and Principal Yang has created a network of affiliations with private schools in the United States, including Admiral Farragut in New Jersey and The George School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Principal Yang has already begun to achieve recognition for the Yaohua International High School, which has more than 40 students and an entire building devoted to the project. He has plans to expand the International Education Center to 400+ students and include some Western exchange students, who choose to study in China because of a deep interest in the language and culture. This aspect will add to the truly unique and diverse international classroom setting.

“It was my great honor to visit Lebanon Valley College and learn about its grand traditions,” Principal Yang said. “Being a historic liberal arts college, LVC is one of its kind. I truly believe that our students will get the quality higher education they have always wanted if they choose to attend this school. I believe that young people are the best ambassadors and that’s why I am very excited to see the possibility of having some of the outstanding LVC graduates teach at Yaohua.”

The Yaohua International High School and Lebanon Valley College have signed a memorandum of understanding that may send LVC education majors to serve one-year teaching appointments at Yaohua. Conversely, the partnership allows qualified Yaohua graduates from Principal Yang’s newly created international program to enroll as freshmen at Lebanon Valley College.

“I would be delighted to have Yaohua students attend Lebanon Valley College and equally delighted to see one of our students teaching at such a prestigious school,” Dr. Thayne said. “I was honored to visit the Yaohua International High School and see the path-breaking work that Principal Yang has embarked on. What he is accomplishing is truly inspirational.”

Sam Calabria ’15, a biology major and president of Student Government at LVC, was among the group of students who met Principal Yang during his visit. Calabria is excited about the new partnership, particularly after having been a roommate and becoming good friends with Shen Lu ’15 (actuarial science and economics), who is from Xuanhua, Hebei, China.

“Living with an international student, Shen, during my freshman year exposed me and my classmates to a new culture. This experience helped us grow personally and mature,” Calabria said. “It was almost a brotherly role as we taught each other about our cultures.”

Sara Stauffer ’14 (early childhood education) met with Principal Yang to talk about the possibility of serving a one-year, post-graduate teaching appointment at Yaohua. “I studied abroad with the Education Department in England and really fell in love with different cultures,” Stauffer said. “Though nothing is formal yet, it was interesting to speak with Principal Yang about ideas he has for bringing education majors from the U.S. to Yaohua to teach. His concern about assuring that it is a positive experience for both parties was also impressive.”

“International students bring a wealth of cross-cultural benefits and opportunities to our campus,” Dr. Thayne said. 


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