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Turkish program wins honor

The State University of New York’s dual-diploma program with Turkey received the prestigious Andrew Heiskell Award for International Exchange Partnerships this week from the Institute of International Education.

“SUNY’s dual-diploma program greatly enhances the nature and quality of the education we are able to offer and the diversity of the student body on our campuses,” SUNY Chancellor John R. Ryan said. “SUNY’s dual-diploma program with Turkey has become a model for how we wish to work with other countries in our effort to globalize our campuses.”

The dual-diploma program won the award for International Exchange Partnerships, which recognizes institutions for developing innovative and effective collaborative programs with counterparts abroad. The International Exchange Partnerships award is new for 2006-07 and SUNY is the inaugural winner.

Binghamton University has played a central role in the dual-diploma program’s success, said H. Stephen Straight, vice provost for undergraduate education and international affairs. The University has enrolled more Turkish students and offers more areas of study to them than any of the other six participating SUNY campuses.

Students typically spend freshman and junior years at their home campus and their sophomore and senior years abroad. The program exposes the students to two cultures and two educational systems.

“The dual-diploma program idea deserves highlighting,” Straight said. “This notion of alternating years of study is, to the best of our knowledge, unique to the Turkey programs that SUNY has developed. We are already seeing other institutions picking up on the idea for their international efforts.”

Students enrolled in the dual-diploma program must fulfill the academic requirements of their SUNY and Turkish institutions and as a result receive a diploma from each school.

The dual-diploma programs were offered through the Turkish Higher Education Council placement exam for the first time in 2003 and the first class will graduate this year. Roughly 300 students are now enrolled at Binghamton, with half on campus at any one time.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08