Pierce, Japanese colleges will sign agreement

Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire will witness the signing of an educational agreement between Osaka College of Foreign Languages (OCFL) and Pierce College on Sept. 21, at 8 a.m. at the Shin Kobe Oriental Hotel, Japan. The event coincides with the gubernatorial and economic trade mission to Japan and China. Senator Jim Kastama who represents much of the eastern region of the Pierce College District will participate in the signing ceremony. The OCFL President Naoomi Kuratani and Pierce College Trustee Beth Willis will be the signatories of the agreement.

Pierce College and Osaka College of Foreign Languages have been partners in international education for ten years. During that time, dozens of Japanese students have articulated to the two-year public community college to pursue coursework for an associate’s degree, to improve English skills and to transfer to a four-year American university.

The agreement reflects both schools’ value that international education is an important endeavor to nurture and to strengthen. The agreement outlines the two colleges commitment “to continue to work on the successful transfer of students from the Osaka College of Foreign Languages to Pierce College.” In addition, the agreement stipulates “Pierce College will continue to assist Osaka College of Foreign Languages students in reaching their educational goals, especially transfer onwards to American universities.” The principals also agreed to “discuss educational subjects of mutual interest such as, but not limited to, group programs and faculty exchanges.”

“Today’s agreement celebrates ten years of collaboration and represents a decision to continue to develop our educational relationship. It is a demonstration that Pierce College is committed to serving international students and that we are a community of learners open to all,” said Pierce College District Chancellor Michele Johnson, Ph.D.

“It is a real benefit to our students to successfully complete a university education in both countries and to return to Japan well prepared to begin their chosen careers in this new era of internationalization,” said Naoomi Kuratani, OCFL president.