Taiwanese students visit UHV faculty in Katy

Five students from Soochow University in Taipei, Taiwan, recently visited the University of Houston-Victoria Katy campus and met with faculty from the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. Sitting with the students are, from left to right, Liping Wei, UHV assistant professor; Hsin-Hui Lin, UHV associate professor; Rachel Martinez, the UHV school’s associate dean; Fred Litton, the UHV school’s dean; James Lee, an associate professor and chair of the Center for Teacher Education at Soochow University; Amy Barnhill, a UHV associate professor; and Mary Lasater, a UHV assistant professor.

When Hsin-Hui Lin heard that a group of students from Taiwan were going to visit the Houston area, she made a point to reach out and invite them to the University of Houston-Victoria in Katy.

Five Taiwanese students from Soochow University recently sat down with UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development faculty and staff to learn more about higher education and teaching certification in the U.S. The students were accompanied by James Feng-chien Lee, an associate professor and chair of the Center for Teacher Education at Soochow University in Taipei, and Sophie Chou, director of the Education Division of the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Houston.

Lin, a UHV associate professor of curriculum and instruction, put together a group to talk with the students about the process of becoming an international student and studying at UHV.

“It can be hard to attract international students in education because the pay for teachers typically is not as high as business or science-related fields,” Lin said. “However, what we often find is if a student becomes certified to teach in the U.S., he also can teach in many other areas of the world. I wanted the Taiwanese students to know that UHV can help them become excellent educators in any area they choose to study.”

The students met at the UHV Katy campus, 2002 W. Grand Parkway N., Building 2, with five members of the school’s faculty to discuss different aspects of the teaching program, including student teaching, Master of Education program options such as English as a Second Language and special education, and the VOICE program. That program allows students who already have a bachelor’s degree to become certified to teach in a year.

“The faculty members were happy to share their experiences and encourage these students to further their studies in education,” Lin said. “We encouraged the students to be brave in their studies and try new things outside their comfort zone. Studying in a different country can be intimidating, but it’s also a great opportunity to gain new perspectives.”

During lunch, the students spoke with Ludmi Herath, UHV director of international programs, about the process of applying to UHV as international students. In the afternoon, the students attended a “Science Instruction Methods” class taught by Moira Baldwin, an assistant professor of science.

“Education is an instrumental need in all parts of the world, and it is exciting to see students so interested in gaining a global perspective on teaching methods,” said Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. “I know they will have plenty of information about UHV to take home and share with others, and I hope we can continue to meet with more international students in the future.”

Although the visit was scheduled to end around 3:45 p.m., the students had so many questions and expressed so much interest that they did not leave until after 5 p.m. After the visit, Lin reached out to the Ministry of Education in Taiwan to make more connections and build further opportunities for students.

“I’m grateful to Dean Litton and the UHV faculty and staff who helped me welcome and share information with these students,” Lin said. “With their support, we were able to connect with some wonderful, intelligent students, and I look forward to being able to meet more students in the future.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.