Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 28, 2003 - A Southeast Missouri State University faculty member recently took part in a four-member team from the American Council on Education (ACE) that toured The Bahamas to examine its educational system and its government ministries that impact the quality of life for students.

Dr. Nancy Blattner, academic associate in the Office of the Provost and associate dean in the School of University Studies at Southeast, participated in the project as part of her year-long ACE Fellowship. The ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising faculty and senior administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. The ACE Fellows Program is the only national, individualized, long-term professional development program in higher education that provides on-the-job experience to benefit participating institutions.

Thirty-five individuals are participating in ACE Fellowships this year. Blattner is completing her fellowship at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.

While in The Bahamas, the ACE group met with the Governor General, the liaison to the British government; the Deputy Prime Minister; the Minister of Education, Alfred Sears; the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports, Neville Wisdom; representatives from the Ministry of Housing and National Insurance; the staff at the Ministry of Health; and the Minister of Social Services and Community Development, Melanie Griffin. The group also toured the Elizabeth Estates Children's Home; the Child Care Development Centre; the Princess Margaret Hospital and the South Beach Clinic. The group also was scheduled to visit The College of The Bahamas, The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute, St. Anne's, St. Augustine's, and C.C. Sweeting and the H.O. Nash schools.

Blattner said The Bahamas share many of the same challenges and initiatives facing higher education in America. She said distance education and serving people geographically separated on islands is similar to the need to reach students in geographically isolated rural areas here. Blattner was quick to add, however, that solutions in both countries are comparable. By reaching students via interactive television courses and other means of higher education delivery, access to higher education is being opened to many, she said.

Other members of the ACE Fellowship team who were guests of the Bahamian government, were Dr. Beverly Downing of St. Augustine's College, Dr. Dorothy Ige of Indiana University Northwest and Dr. G. Christine Taylor of Ohio University. The visit to The Bahamas was part of on an international course of study in which the Fellows were encouraged to participate and was one of three weeks of intense ACE Fellow training. After returning from The Bahamas, the group is participating in conferences.


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