Project SUMMIT (COMEXUS)
Five-Week Professional Development Program: COMEXUS 2016
With funding through the Comisión México-Estados Unidos para el Intercambio Educativo y Cultural (COMEXUS), 99 educators participating in either “Programa de Verano de Profesionalización para Docentes de Inglés” or “Programa de Becas de Movilidad Internacional” joined the K-State community to participate in Project SUMMIT (Sheltered Instruction Unifying Methodology, Multilingualism, and Innovation in Teaching). This intensive, six-week professional development program in the College of Education was designed to bolster students’ skills in English while providing them with leading edge theory, research, and strategies in pedagogy. Among the participants were 40 pre-service teachers, 46 in-service teachers, and 13 administrators. These educators from across Mexico represented four different subsystems of education in their home country.
Project SUMMIT (July 17-August 27, 2016) included opportunities for students to enhance their English skills both inside and outside the classroom. Participants had numerous cultural outings in the Manhattan community and surrounding area. A few examples included:
- Engaging in a family-style BBQ picnic with music and dancing, Manhattan, KS
- Enjoying the Rhythm & Brews Music Festival, Manhattan, KS
- Visiting the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
- Exploring Union Station and the WWI Memorial, Kansas City, MO
- Riding the streetcar to the Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, MO
- Enjoying the River Market, Kansas City, MO
- Exploring the Kauffman Memorial Garden, Kansas City, MO
- Watching a Kansas City Royals baseball game, Kansas City, MO
- Touring the Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS
- Visiting the Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE
Participants also observed public, K-12 teachers as they interacted with students in nearby school districts. Across the 99 participating educators, classrooms were visited in Junction City (8 schools), Lawrence (1 school), and Kansas City (11 schools). Participants were able to compare the methods, strategies, and techniques witnessed in these classrooms with those that they learned in the program, as well as those that they traditionally implemented in Mexico.
Five-Week Professional Development Program: COMEXUS 2017
Forty-two teachers from all over Mexico participated in Project SUMMIT (Sheltered Instruction Unifying Methodology, Multilingualism, and Innovation in Teaching). The program, which brought the scholars to the K-State Manhattan campus July 8-August 12, 2017, was made possible by the COMEXUS (Comisión México-Estados Unidos para el Intercambio Educativo y Cultural) Fulbright-García Robles Scholarships.
Project SUMMIT’s intensive, five-week professional development program was designed to bolster teachers’ skills in English while providing them with leading edge theory, research, and strategies in pedagogy. The program included opportunities for participants to enhance their English skills both inside and outside the classroom, as well as opportunities for cultural immersion on campus and in the surrounding community. Participants engaged in interactive communication as well as literacy and vocabulary development strategies, activities, and tasks. The tailored learning experiences of this program promoted participants’ enhanced English language proficiency via Biography-Driven Instruction and the sheltered English method of communicative classroom instruction. Participants learned new and innovative ways to provide culturally responsive teaching as they support students’ language learning. They also received instruction that modeled the use of visuals, hands-on activities, guarded vocabulary, and cooperative learning.
Participants had cultural outings and experiences offered throughout the course of the program. This gave participants a chance to connect with the campus and surrounding community. A few examples included:
- Engaging in a family-style BBQ picnic with yard games and sand volleyball in Manhattan, KS
- Enjoying the Riley County Fair, Manhattan, KS
- Watching the Kaw Valley Rodeo, Manhattan, KS
- Visiting the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and sculpture garden, Kansas City, MO
- Sightseeing in Union Station, Kansas City, MO
- Riding the Historic Trolley Fun Tour, Kansas City, MO
- Exploring the Crown Center District, Kansas City, MO
During their stay, Project SUMMIT scholars also had the opportunity to interact with teachers and students at a Boys and Girls Club site in a middle school in Lawrence, KS. They spent time observing the activities and supported the students’ talent show at the end of the day. Participants also took a guided tour of the school and the connecting elementary school, to learn about the U.S. public school system.
The program closed with a celebration of the scholars’ academic achievements. Dr. Debbie Mercer, Dean of the College of Education, and Dr. Socorro Herrera, Director of CIMA, presented each participant with a certificate for successful completion of program requirements. Project SUMMIT participants returned home prepared to advance learning in new ways with their own students.