Professional Development for Community College Administrators from Pakistan (2015-2017)

As part of the Center for International Education (CIE)’s mission to help develop capacity in countries where higher education has been underdeveloped and has the opportunity to make a significant impact, Shane Hammond and Joe Berger from CIE along with Benita Barnes from the College of Education, have been part of a team providing training for community college administrators from Pakistan.


Four stateside programs are being conducted over 2 years, each serving government officials and 20 higher education administrators from vocational and technical institutions throughout Pakistan. The program is part of a partnership with the Institute for Training and Development Amherst and Holyoke Community College.


In March 2017, UMass Amherst welcomed the 4th and final cohort of this project. This group was unique in that the cohort was entirely female. This was a wonderful opportunity to work with Pakistani woman leaders, through interactive workshops and mentor relationships. The cohort also participated in new sessions, including leadership and sustainable development in higher education led by Dr Berger and a presentation on the history and contemporary challenges for women in higher education led by Dr Barnes. The group also met with UMass Amherst provost Katherine Newman (above).


Last fall, the 3rd delegation of administrators arrived in September 2016 for a six-week immersion program. While in the U.S., Pakistani participants developed “action plan projects”, which they would implement when they returned to their home institutions. Ongoing activities throughout the program included lectures by UMass faculty and senior leaders, mentorships, classroom observations, Massachusetts community college site visits and cultural activities.


Naeem Yaqoob, one of the trainees, developed an action plan to create a new community college system in Islamabad. To support this initiative, arrangements were made for Naeem to meet with both President Bob Pura of Greenfield Community College (right) and the current Massachusetts Senate President, Stan Rosenberg (below) to discuss the plan. Both also pledged their support for the plan moving forward.


The goals of the Community College Administrator Project are to develop participant understanding and knowledge about the U.S. community college model, to facilitate educational development in Pakistan, and to foster sustained engagement between U.S. and Pakistani counterparts and institutions. Holyoke Community College is a partner along with CIE and the College of Education at UMass. The Institute for Training and Development (ITD) Amherst is the lead contractor for the project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.