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Darla Moore School of Business

UofSC’s CIBER enriches international business initiatives for Minority Serving Institutions and Community Colleges

Oct. 26, 2020

The Moore School’s Center for International Business Education and Research provides professional development opportunities for Minority Serving Institutions and community colleges in the southeast and across the nation to promote and expand international business education.

The CIBERs, created under the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to increase and promote the nation's capacity for international business education and economic enterprise, are currently located on 15 distinct U.S. major research university campuses, including UofSC since 1989. Administered by the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the CIBER program links the manpower and information needs of U.S. businesses with the international education, language training and research capabilities of universities.

The federal government provides the CIBERs with unique opportunities for international business funding and outreach, including offering competitive grants earmarked for Minority Serving Institutions and community colleges.

“The faculty and students of Minority Serving Institutions and community colleges have been historically underrepresented and underfunded when it comes to international business research, curriculum development, student travel and faculty professional development,” said Mike Shealy, director of the UofSC CIBER for the past 26 years. “The MSI/CC outreach programs help remedy some of that funding gap by providing support to deserving faculty and students.”

One of those earmarked programs is the Southeastern CIBER consortium, comprised of the UofSC CIBER, the Georgia Tech CIBER, and the International Studies Consortium of Georgia, which includes more than 30 MSI/CC institutions in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama.

The consortium sponsors multiple activities each year such as free virtual webinars, overseas study and travel opportunities for MSI/CC institution faculty, student participation in UofSC business study abroad programs and faculty development activities. According to Shealy, one of the Minority Serving Institutions, Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina, is one of the member universities that also receives special priority for many of the Moore School’s CIBER outreach initiatives. Allen University also has a faculty representative — currently the dean of its business school — serve on the federally mandated UofSC CIBER Advisory Council.

In addition to the southeast CIBER consortium, UofSC’s CIBER also works with eight other CIBERs across the country as part of a national-level CIBER consortium project to provide $90,000 per year — for a four-year total of $360,000 — to Minority Serving Institutions and community colleges. The national-level consortium awards MSI/CC funding to further international business education and research through a biennial competitive grant award process. Many institutions who receive this award develop new international business courses and programs, directly impacting students’ academic, internship and employment opportunities.

The UofSC CIBER also awards scholarships to faculty and administrators from MSI/CC to attend Faculty Development in International Business programs at locations managed by the UofSC CIBER — Africa and the Middle East — and to other locations managed by other universities’ CIBERs — Asia, Europe and Latin America.

UofSC’s CIBER and the consortium institutions also host professional development opportunities throughout the year as part of efforts to aid in Minority Serving Institutions and community colleges’ international business research, program creation, curriculum development and professional opportunities. According to Shealy, because of the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the majority of 2020, many of the professional development opportunities have been provided virtually, which has allowed greater outreach as more faculty can participate in the programs without having to pay travel expenses.

“The Moore School faculty members are leading experts in the international business field and instruct and participate in these professional development events to help promote global education and faculty development for those who might otherwise not have the opportunity,” Shealy said.

In addition to their outreach efforts for Minority Serving Institutions and community colleges, CIBERs also broadly and comprehensively support foreign language instruction and testing, student internships, faculty professional development and other federal grants opportunities for international business-focused research.

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