Building China's Future, at TC | Teachers College Columbia University

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Building China's Future, at TC

TC's first foray into pre-collegiate preparation welcomes nineteen of China's most promising high school students

Nineteen of China's most promising high school students arrived at TC in late May to begin intense preparation for enrollment in top American universities. Called the Pre-College Program at Teachers College, the initiative is TC's first foray into pre-collegiate preparation. The Chinese students will be based here for seven months, practicing for the SAT, developing their English language skills and taking advanced courses in math, physics, chemistry and American history. The program also educates the students about the U.S. college admissions process and the vast range of institutions they will be choosing from.

The Pre-College Program is a joint effort between TC, the China Center for International Educational Exchange and the University of International Relations in Beijing. It runs for a full year, with students attending five months of training classes at the University of International Relations prior to their arrival at TC. 

The TC portion of the program is designed to provide a taste of undergraduate life. Students live in TC dorms and, starting in the fall, audit undergraduate courses at Columbia. During this past summer, they honed their English, took writing courses and met in groups with guidance counselors. Several of the students' courses, including American Language and Culture, were provided by current and recent TC students.

"It's not just about getting them into the school of their choice," says Portia Williams, TC's Director of International Relations. "We're prepping them to succeed."

To that end, the students will meet one-on-one with guidance counselors this fall to figure out which colleges suit their interests and to begin making college visits. 

"This provides a very important opportunity for TC students to work in a program that allows them to experience a different culture and to work with some of the best students in China," says Williams. "This is a nation with which we have had and will continue to have a long-term relationship, so it's especially gratifying that we can help prepare its future leaders." 

Published Wednesday, Sep. 1, 2010