The College of Staten Island recently hosted a delegation of Vietnamese university administrators and faculty who traveled to New York to meet with CSI counterparts and work together to create new opportunities for students and faculty. The working meeting was intended to further an initiative to stimulate student and faculty exchange by collaborating on a dual degree project in the area of computer science and computer engineering.  The new partnership, with the prestigious Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology (PTIT), has developed rapidly over the past half-year due to the frequency of  email communication and working meetings, held on both sides of the Pacific Ocean, via the Virtual Classroom and face-to-face site visits. 

Ms. Dinh Thi Thu Phong, who heads the PTIT International School summed it up at the end of the day, “I believe that the collaborative programs between PTIT and CSI will achieve fruitful goals and generate true international understanding.” 

Participants in the working meetings on the CSI campus concentrated on reviewing the policies and procedures that would facilitate exchange and ensure that the curriculum was fully integrated, that the objectives and expectations were fully understood, and that plans were in place to move the project to fruition.  The first Vietnamese students participating in this dual degree option will begin their studies in 2010 and should arrive on the CSI campus in 2012.   

The groundwork for this new collaboration was laid in January when CSI President Dr. Tomás Morales and a delegation of CSI administrators and faculty visited PTIT for an initial discussion.  In August Dr. Morales returned to Vietnam to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the new program, pending approval and funding from the Vietnamese government. 

CSI Vice President for Information Technology, Dr. Michael Kress, observes that there is a “terrific fit” between CSI and PTIT, as many courses from PTIT can transfer to CSI for credit.  Last spring PTIT and CSI students participated in a virtual classroom, via videoconfrencing, focused on global issues of economic geography. During the fall and spring the PTIT students and our CSI students will continue to share the “virtual classroom” in preparation for future exchange.