2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
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TC Partners with Private Women's College in Saudi Arabia

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Teachers College has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Dar Al-Hekma College, a private women's college in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The agreement was formally signed by TC President Susan Fuhrman and Dar Al Hekma Dean Suhair Al-Qurashi at a ceremony at Teachers College in late November.

Teachers College has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Dar Al Hekma College, a private women’s college in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The agreement was formally signed by TC President Susan Fuhrman and Dar Al Hekma Dean Suhair Al-Qurashi at a ceremony at Teachers College in late November.

Two TC faculty members will serve as key players in the new partnership -- the latest of several new international collaborative initiatives by Teachers College, including in India, Jordan, Bhutan and the Dominican Republic.

Linda Hickson, Professor of Education in TC’s Department of Health and Behavior Studies and Director of the Center for Opportunities and Outcomes for People with Disabilities, will work with Dar Al Hekma faculty to build a Master’s program in Special Education, with concentrations in Learning Disabilities, Autism, School Supervision, and Assessment of Exceptional Children. Hickson’s former student, TC alumna Mervat Tashkandi, is now Dean of Special Education at Dar Al Hekma.

 John Saxman, chair of the Biobehavioral Sciences Department, will collaborate with his former research associate, TC alumna Reem Khamis Dakwar, now on the faculty of Adelphi University, as well as with Dar Al Hekma faculty, to jointly conduct research in developing and standardizing a tool for Arabic speech and language development in Saudi Arabia children ages birth to seven.

“I want to use this occasion to acknowledge TC’s commitment to collaborating with and learning from people all over the world,” Fuhrman said at the signing event. “We have a long and distinguished history of doing that. In fact, if you step into my office, you can see the desk of our first dean, James Russell, who founded the field of comparative and international education.”

For her part, Al-Qurashi said that Dar Al Hekma seeks “a relationship between east and west – and Middle East, where we come from.”

Since the creation of Dar Al Hekma less than 10 years ago, she said, the college has created eight major partnerships with institutions in other countries, including with the business and engineering schools of the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Colorado (for design and architecture), the Sketcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and the Graduate School of Education at Harvard.

“When we embarked on this journey, we looked for the best – and in terms of special education, no one is better than Teachers College,” she said.

 

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