2 + 2 Program Connects India with Penn State
Through a recently signed agreement between Penn State and Vidyalankar School of Information Technology in India, students from India will take part in a program that combines their first two years of university education in India with their final two years at Penn State York. This new 2 + 2 program is a historic first step in preparing students to work in an international marketplace. The agreement signing took place at University Park on Sept. 20. A variety of University officials from both institutions were present.
"This program will not only increase the number of international students at Penn State York, it will give our students the opportunity to work alongside future colleagues in the fields of information sciences and technology and to prepare themselves for careers in the global economy of the 21st century," said Joel M. Rodney, chancellor of Penn State York. "I'm looking forward to developing similar programs with universities in other countries."
The Vidyalankar School of Information Technology is affiliated with The University of Mumbai in India. Students will enroll at Vidyalankar in a pre-approved series of courses which parallel Penn State's information sciences and technology curriculum. Satisfactory completion of this specific program will enable students to apply, transfer to, and enroll at Penn State York for the completion of their bachelor of science degree in information sciences and technology (IST). The agreement states that once a candidate has completed the required course work in India, an academic record will be sent to the Chancellor's Office at Penn State York by Jan. 15 of each year. Candidates will then complete the Penn State application online and meet the other requirements just as any other international student. Once their course work at Penn State York is complete, students receive a Penn State degree.
The first students are expected at Penn State York in the fall of 2008. A maximum of 10 students will be accepted the first year with a maximum of 25 students in future years.
The agreement was signed by Penn State officials Robert N. Pangborn, vice president and dean for undergraduate education; John J. Romano, vice president for commonwealth campuses; Joel M. Rodney, chancellor of Penn State York; Henry C. Foley, interim dean of the college of information sciences and technology; Joseph J. Doncsecz, assistant treasurer. Officials from India signing the agreement were Sanjeewani Deshpande, chairperson, Vidyalankar Dnyanapeeth Trust; Vishwas Deshpande, managing trustee, the Vidyalankar Dnyanapeeth Trust; and Ravindra Nadkarni, dean of academic instruction, Vidyalankar Dnyanapeeth Trust.
This is not Penn State York's first connection with India. Penn State York students, faculty, and staff traveled to India in May. The India trip was an outgrowth of an Information Sciences and Technology course (IST 440W) taught by Samir Shah, instructor in information sciences and technology at Penn State York. This collaborative class project conducted between Penn State York students and The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, India, (M.S. University) students. The project was sponsored by Unisys - a worldwide information technology consulting services and solutions company. Although 9,000 miles apart, students from both universities completed real world projects for the company. In addition to the classroom work, students enjoyed many cultural experiences and became more familiar with customs and life in India. The plan is to continue these experiences in the future.