Date: June 5, 2007
This May, students came to Andrews University from as far away as St. Lucia and South Africa for a three-week intensive in the Masters of Science in Administration program in International Development. A total of seventeen students attended three week-long classes in Developmental Anthropology, Concepts of Communication, and Research Methods and Applied Statistics.
In attendance were students from the on-campus program based in the Behavioral Sciences department at Andrews, as well as those from the international off-campus program. Each year, students in the off-campus program attend three-week intensives at various international venues--including Italy, Kenya and Bolivia--completing their degrees over the course of four years.
Oystein LaBianca, coordinator of graduate programs in the Behavioral Sciences department says, "Our main targets are people who already have a steady job who have a longing to get involved in community development work here at home or abroad. It allows them to re-invent themselves without having to return to full-time schooling."
This year, ADRA South Africa sent three development workers to Andrews for the MSA intensive. One of them was Derek Glass, who after several years of working in development entered the MSA program looking to increase his effectiveness. He says, "I'm taking this intensive so that I can do my job in a more professional way--so that I can better help the world."
Fellow South African, Randall Gelderbloem added that "The International Development program taught grant writing and other skills which are very relevant and will be a big help in Africa."
LaBianca, who has seen the May program develop since its inception three years ago, attributes much of its rapid growth to diversity. He says, "The success of the intensive is in no small part due to the exciting mix of students--those from North America with a passion to enter the development field, those from overseas already full-time employed in community development work, and our on-campus students. The latter group seems also to be especially pleased with the intensive as they, too, are finding the mix of students to be very enriching."
And LaBianca sees only more growth and improvement ahead. He says, "I believe as word of this exciting program keeps spreading, our enrollment will keep growing, and Andrews in May will become the place to be in the spring for a lot of people from all around the world."