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News Releases @ TCC


Peace Corps Dep. Director launches International Education Week with speech at TCC

Peace Corps Signing ~ Streaming Video Clips

NORFOLK, Va. – (Nov. 17, 2003) – An event of national note took place at Tidewater Community College on Nov. 17. Recognizing TCC’s in-depth practices and model for international education at the community college level, the Peace Corps signed a declaration with the college. The declaration cites TCC’s leadership and a partnership to deepen international education in community colleges through joint Peace Corps and TCC mentorship.

Peace Corps Deputy Director Jody Olsen commended TCC’s success and years of leadership with international education in the community-college arena. “TCC has laid incredible groundwork for students to gain global awareness through a community-college experience and has extended its efforts into the wider community. We hope this declaration will serve as a model for future community-college partnerships as we strive to promote a better understanding of other peoples and their cultures through education and volunteer service.” Olsen followed the signing and news event with a talk and question-and-answer session to the TCC community.

“This opportunity to solidify our working partnership with the Peace Corps and, by extension, to dozens of nations around the globe, enlarges TCC’s opportunities in the crucial role of a community college serving its citizens,” asserts TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce.

Equally, the declaration incorporates a partnership with returned Peace Corps volunteers, who continue the Corps’ goals of striving for peace and understanding both abroad and at home. “This is an unprecedented opportunity for returned volunteers to share what they’ve learned around the world and continue the mission,” says Dr. Clay Drees , president of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Hampton Roads. The volunteers and returned volunteers participate in class sessions, mentoring activities and K-12 teacher training using the curriculum from the Peace Corps’ global education program, Coverdell World Wise Schools .  

TCC’s prominent role in bringing international education to the community-college stage earned the 2002 award, Promising Practices: Spotlighting Excellence in Comprehensive Internationalization, from the American Council on Education. The ACE profiled TCC, citing its partnerships with organizations such as NATO and its mentoring of community colleges, in the 2002 Promising Practices case book funded by Carnegie Corp.

TCC’s model features global outreach including major service-learning abroad programs, one in horticulture in Costa Rica and one in Vietnam, tutoring English. TCC students can take a variety of languages, from the traditional Spanish, German and French to rarer Chinese, Japanese and Tagalog. Study-abroad programs for TCC students take them to Costa Rica and France, with a plan for a service-learning program in the Philippines.

International Education Week

“Making a Difference through International Education and Service” – Dep. Director Jody Olsen

The Nov. 17 signing at TCC and speech with Q&A by Dep. Director Olsen lends itself to the magnitude of International Education Week, Nov. 17-21, and International Education Day declared by Va. Gov. Mark Warner. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Secretary of Education Rod Paige have called for the celebration of the week, in a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.

At TCC on Nov. 17, Peace Corps Dep. Director Jody Olsen kicked off the week in a talk about the crucial challenges faced today in global education and understanding. Olsen, appointed by President Bush in 2002, formerly served with the Academy for Educational Development in Washington, D.C., and as executive director of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, managing the Fulbright Scholar program. Her deep Peace Corps service includes a variety of positions from 1979 to 1984 and again from 1989 to 1992, serving as chief of staff for directors Paul Coverdell and Elaine Chao; regional director for North Africa, Near East, Asia and the Pacific; and country director in Togo. From 1966 to 1968 she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia. Olsen graduated from the University of Utah and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

Streaming Video Clips
Peace Corps Signing at TCC
(courtesy of WVEC-TV)


Media Contacts:

~ Laurie White, Chief Communications Officer, TCC, 757.822.1085,

~ Sara Johnston, Public Affairs Specialist, Peace Corps, 202.692.1050,


Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 34,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation's 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1958 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-three percent of the region's residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC.

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Media Contact: Laurie White, Chief Communications Officer