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College of Education Ewha Womans University: Collaboration & Partnership with USC

The most prestigious university in Korea is discussing potential collaboration and partnership with USC's College of Education. Ewha Womens University holds the reputation of being the largest and oldest university college in the world committed to educating female teachers and educational experts.

Ewha has twelve academic departments accommodating nineteen academic major programs, four research centers, four affiliated schools, and teacher training centers for both pre-service and in-service teachers. Founded as Korea's first educational institution for women in 1886, Ewha Womans University College of Education inaugurated its mission as a two-year Early Childhood Education program in 1915 then developed into a four-year college in 1951.

The mission of Ewha's College of Education is to prepare leaders in education and also to create a hub for a network of global researchers, educational professionals, and practitioners. According to the Korean Council for University Education and National Consumer Satisfaction Index, Ewha is ranked the top university in Korea with a total enrollment over 24,000 students.

In November of 2012, Dean Lemuel Watson accepted an invitation from Assistant Professor of Insoo Oh to come to Ewah and meet Dr. Noh Sun-Sook, dean of Ewah's College of Education. The two deans learned about each other's education curricula and how a partnership between their colleges could mutually benefit from the exchange of knowledge and clinical experiences to produce more globally-oriented teachers.

Today that dialogue continued. Dean Watson invited Ewah's Dr. Oh and Dean Sun-Sook to visit USC for an informal round table discussion with education faculty, staff and students regarding curriculum, clinical experiences, and expectations of each.

Ewah offers at least 30% of major courses taught in English with some of the strongest fields at Ewha in International Studies, Information Technology, Design Technology, Women's Studies, Korean Studies, North Korean Studies, and Asian Studies.

In Korea, teachers are highly regarded professionals with tenure practically guaranteed from the outset of their teaching contract. Due to the high unemployment in Korea, only 40% of their graduates obtain a teaching position in private or public schools; whereas, graduates from the USC's College of Education have 2-3 job offers upon graduation.

Once Korean teachers have completed four years of coursework leading to a bachelor's degree, they are eligible to apply for a teacher certificate. Currently there is no clinical educational teaching component offered at Ewah. Dean Watson is proposing a student exchange program with Ewah where Ewah students could attend USC's College of Education. Ewha students would then return to Korea to finish their classes and graduate. Upon graduation from Ewha Woman's University, those graduates could choose to continue their graduate studies at USC's College of Education and then apply to teach in the United States. Likewise, USC's College of Education students could benefit culturally by experiencing study abroad courses in the Ewha Teacher Education Center (ETEC), Gifted Education Center, Institute for Teaching & Learning, Ewha Institute for Leadership Development, Gifted Education Center, Children's Center for Developmental Support, or within the Office of Teaching Profession.

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