UWP MSEE program receives grant

March 26, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE- A UW-Platteville Opportunity Fund grant was allocated to support a UW-Platteville senior level or graduate student to serve as a tutor for students in the master of science in English education (MSEE) program in Wuhan, China.

During the summer of 2002, 38 Chinese students enrolled in three education graduate courses as part of a master of science in English education degree program offered at South Central University for Ethnic Nationalities (SCUEN).

According to the grant proposal submitted by Terri Burns, humanities department chair, Carmen Faymonville, professor of humanities, and Wally Iselin, director of clinical experiences, many of the students have encountered varying degrees of difficulty with assignments and have no member of the UWP educational community present to help them.

Currently, UWP has a senior speech communication student, Sonya Fisher, a native of Eastman, tutoring these students and helping them understand typical expectations of an American university's graduate program.

"I am helping the students to improve their English, to learn how to write an English paper properly, to make sure the literature they've chosen is credible and to help to answer questions they have as they are writing the paper," said Fischer.

The students and professors keep in contact through email and an online program called Blackboard.

"I believe that my position is very important, as the students run into difficulties without their professors and I'm here to help them. Now that I am here, when they have a question or need assistance working on their papers, I am available to them four hours a day. This has proven to be very effective, as many of the students need the one-on-one attention," said Fisher.

Fisher has been in China for two months and will return to the United States in May.

"China has given me so much in the short time I have been here. The people are really great-my students, my colleagues and the people of China as a whole. I have been given the opportunity to learn about another culture. The things I am learning here could never be taught in a classroom. I am trying to soak up as much as I can and sometimes I feel as if I'm a sponge trying to take in all of my surroundings," said Fisher.

The UW-Platteville Foundation Opportunity Fund awarded nearly $45,000 for 15 grants this year. The UWP Foundation initiated the fund program in 1998-99, and the total number of grants this far is 86, with a total monetary value of $411, 000.

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