COE faculty, students make special trip to Mexico

Faculty and doctoral students from the University of North Texas traveled to Guadalajara recently to solidify a partnership between the university and the Secretariat of Education for the State of Jalisco, Mexico.

According to Nancy Nelson, professor of education and Meadows Chair for Excellence in Education at UNT, the partnership is more than 15 years old and has significant benefits for both the university and the secretariat.

"The benefits are largely intercultural," Nelson said. "Being involved with people who are from a different culture and speak a different language is a great learning experience. It also enriches our programs. We have this relationship with a whole state, which means all of their educational programs – the ones for school-aged students, higher education, their normal schools and their research institutions."

The Secretariat of Education supervises early childhood education, elementary and secondary schools and higher education, which includes a number of universities, colleges and research centers. The state of Jalisco includes Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city.

Rossana Boyd, a principal lecturer in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration at UNT, said the partnership helps future teachers become better educators. Experiencing new cultures shows how different students can learn in different ways – and that benefits teachers on both sides of the border.

"The partnership is important to teachers in Jalisco and to the students participating here at UNT," Boyd said. "There's a significant impact on the students who travel to Jalisco with us and on the state we're visiting."

Above, faculty and students visit the "Process of Education" mural in Guadalajara, Mexico.