OBU Signs Cultural, Academic Agreement with Brazilian University
April 2, 2009In an effort to enhance the education provided by both institutions, Oklahoma Baptist University has signed an agreement with the Central University of São Camilo, Brazil, to promote cultural and academic involvement between the universities. The agreement also aims to equip the São Camilo university through continuing education in select academic disciplines, to offer students from both institutions opportunities to study abroad, and to strengthen professional development programs efforts at both universities. "This new partnership with São Camilo will give OBU students both expanded research and study abroad opportunities," said Dr. Debbie Blue, OBU senior vice president for academic affairs. "This is particularly mission-critical on two fronts in that it helps equip students to ‘pursue academic excellence,' and it also helps to prepare them to ‘engage a diverse world.' I am very excited about this for our students." The first action plan in the agreement is to help the Central University of São Camilo provide a post-baccalaureate business certificate program consisting of 10 courses, half of which will be taught by faculty from São Camilo, with the other half taught by faculty from OBU. "There is also interest in promoting cross-cultural continuing education and research opportunities for faculty and students of both institutions," Blue said. Blue said the Brazilian university has a strong desire to send nurses from some of their 32 hospitals to OBU to receive training in the most up-to-date clinical practices used in the United States and to visit hospitals where OBU students participate in clinical training. "In turn, they are very eager to provide opportunities for our students and science faculty to visit their hospitals and have extended internship opportunities there," Blue said. The agreement also includes plans for students and workers of Central University of São Camilo to study English through OBU's Intensive English Program. It allows for students from both universities to study abroad for one semester to develop fluency in English or Portuguese as well as experience the culture of another country. Other aspects of the agreement include a sports partnership with the intention of enhancing relationships between the universities, and a research program designed to encourage joint academic research projects between the faculty of the partner institutions for the purpose of publishing articles, furthering scientific knowledge and providing joint seminars. The Central University of São Camilo is a Catholic university system located in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo. It includes eight campuses and 32 hospitals and has approximately 22,000 students. Dr. Debbie Blue (left), OBU's senior vice president for academic affairs, signs an agreement with Padré João Batista Gomes de Lima, president of Centro Universitário São Camilo in Espírito Santo, Brazil, which links the two universities to promote academic and cultural partnerships.