After one year, Global Academy at Eastern closes

Changes in the Dominican Republic affect USU Eastern
Posted Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 4:54pm

Global Academy, a program that was new to USU Eastern last summer won’t be returning a second time to USU’s Price campus. The program was an English-immersion program for students from the Dominican Republic to come to the United States to be fully immersed in the language and culture of America. The program was part of the country’s push for furthering the education of its citizens.

In addition to Global Academy, part of that focus on education was a group of 14 students called a cohort. The cohort came to Price for Fall semester 2013 to study for two years and then move on to Logan to finish their degrees.

Because of changes in the country’s government, both these programs will no longer be coming to Price.

In regard to the reasons why these two programs have been cancelled at Eastern, Kristian Olsen, director of enrollment services at Eastern confessed that, “we don’t know a lot.”

We do know however that the president of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina was recently elected to office in 2012. As part of his platform, Medina urges his administration to be more fiscally conservative.

“The two big things we have been told are that the Dominican Republic has a new president, and he is trying to do what is economically smart for his country,” says Olsen, “And so he is really pushing for fiscally prudent decisions. That includes education. As part of that, and the second thing is that they are no longer going to send undergraduate students to USU – to Logan or Price campuses. Logan will still be receiving graduate students.”

The end of incoming students from the DR affects everyone, Olsen said, “we really value the DR students. They add a lot to our campus.”

But one person in particular who will be affected is Kimberly Pratt, former director of Global Academy.

Though there will not be a new influx of students, Pratt will continue to provide specific advising to the Dominican students who are already on campus.

In addition, she will receive a new position at Eastern. She is to be an assistant to Evette Allen, the new director of student life, involvement and leadership. She will also be taking over building management.

Pratt expressed gratitude to be given the position, but says that she will miss working with the Dominican students in the years to come.

“I’m sorry that we could not have any more cohorts or Global Academy students from the Dominican Republic. The community, as well as the staff, really enjoy the students being here,” she said.

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