Liaison for UNT-Jalisco Collaboration

Liaison SigningFor over a decade and a half, the University of North Texas (UNT) has had a productive relationship with the Secretariat of Education in the State of Jalisco, Mexico. In 2001 UNT and the Jalisco Secretariat established a collaborative agreement, and in December 2014 the agreement was renewed and signed by the Secretary of Education of Jalisco and the UNT President. Current projects include research projects, joint conferences, and faculty and student visits.

With its large organizational structure, the Jalisco Secretariat oversees more than 2,250,000 students and more than 118,000 teachers. Among all the Mexican states, the state of Jalisco stands out in its efforts to accomplish a global presence and establish international relations.

UNT and Jalisco partners present at NABE conference

UNT College of Education faculty members continue their partnership with educators and administrators from the state of Jalisco, Mexico. In spring 2017, scholars from both countries collaborated to present papers about critical issues facing students and their teachers at the annual conference of the National Association for Bilingual Education in Dallas.

COE faculty, students make special trip to Mexico

Jalisco conference

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."

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

Consulate General of Mexico in Dallas
Window to Educational Opportunities/Ventanilla de oportunidades educativas

The University of North Texas and the Consulate General of Mexico in Dallas co-hosted an educational fair, "Logra tus suenos con UNT/Follow Your Dreams with UNT," for school students and their parents at the consulate in Dallas on May 2, 2015. UNT presenters were faculty, students, and administrators from the College of Education, UNT-International, the College of Engineering, the College of Public Affairs and Community Service, the College of Music, and Innovation Greenhouse. Assistance for the event was provided by members of the UNT Bilingual and ESL Education Organization (BESO) and the UNT Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Participants came from the north Texas community served by the consulate.

Organizers of the event from UNT included Nancy Nelson, Meadows Chair for Excellence in Education; Rossana Ramírez Boyd, Director of Bilingual and ESL Education Programs; Yilmin Koo, Meadows Chair Affiliated Scholar; Gabriel Carranza, Assistant Vice Provost for Global Engagement; Manuel Goel, Director, Mexican Liaisons for UNT-International; and Amanda White Bennett, Director of Global Partnerships and Research Engagement for UNT-International. Workshop sessions focused on such topics as "Experiencing Engineering," "Are You a Hero?" and "It’s Great to Be Bilingual."

VOE Participants