|I will describe a dual degree program initiated in Fall 2016 between Ain Shams University, Ocean County College, and Kean University. Our immediate goal was to introduce the American Community College into the Egyptian educational system. Because OCC has an extensive catalog of online courses, we were able to supply Ain Shams students with the coursework necessary to achieve an Associate’s degree from OCC. We deliver these web enhanced courses to students working in a laboratory context. This allows us to provide Egyptian Professors courses that help bridge the gap between the students’ previous training and the expectations for critical and independent thinking that mark the American curriculum. This is termed a “hybrid model” of educational delivery, combining features of face-to-face and online instruction. Students simultaneously take coursework from Ain Shams and eventually web enhanced coursework from Kean University. Upon completion of the four-year program, students will be awarded an Associate’s degree from OCC, a Bachelor’s degree from Ain Shams, and a Bachelor’s degree from Kean. So rather than a “joint degree” program, this is a dual (or triple) degree program.|
Logistically there have been a number of hurdles to overcome. A fair amount of planning is required to ensure that students take courses appropriate to their degrees. The willingness of all three universities to work together was essential. Offering online courses required us to provide training for the staff at Ain Shams, for the facilitators who work with the students, and for the students themselves. The students needed orientation not only in terms of the technology of online coursework but also in what the American professoriate expects of students. The American professors also underwent a learning curve to discover the best ways to help their Ain Shams students. Providing students with textbooks was an issue; online textbooks provide a solution. Finding a way for students to pay for the program in dollars also required planning. Underlying this whole process has been our keen awareness of the need to maintain high standards and to work within the accreditation expectations of Middle States. At each step of the way we have sought to guarantee that our Ain Shams students are taught the same material as their American colleagues and are held accountable to exactly the same evaluation processes.