FSC and Up With People Strike Unique Partnership

Thanks to a new and exciting partnership that was made official today, Florida Southern College will play an integral role in the education of some of the world’s most exceptional students.  FSC has now become the exclusive provider of all college-level coursework for students who take part in the internationally recognized Up with People (UWP) global education program.

Established in 1968, Up with People is a premier non-profit organization which provides young adults with an international, cultural immersion experience that builds bridges of understanding among cultures and promotes world peace through both service and music. The program provides students with a unique opportunity to combine international travel, service learning, leadership development, and performing arts as they strive to make a difference in the world, one community at a time.

The Up with People program brings together adventurous and service-minded young adults, ages 18 to 29, who represent more than 20 countries.  Over the course of a six month semester, this group of 90 international participants travels together to about 20 cities and often to more than six countries.  As they travel from city to city, they produce and perform an international musical show, deliver over 200 hours of community service, and take part in over 135 hours of regional learning workshops and group educational seminars.  While traveling, participants live with host families in the communities they visit as they gain insight into day-to-day life in that city and exchange lifestyle perspectives.  In any one semester, approximately 1,000 families will host Up with People students.

Until today, participants in UWP’s global education program had very limited options to earn college credit for their six month experience.  College students seeking a semester abroad with UWP often risked delaying their graduation in order to partake in what many consider to be the learning-travel experience of a lifetime.  Through this new academic collaboration, university students who participate in UWP will earn college credit from Florida Southern College upon successful completion of coursework delivered during the semester.

The  course delivery will begin with the UWP July 2012 program and will provide 12 hours of academic credit for those students who are in good standing with the college or university in which they are enrolled and who also meet Florida Southern College entrance requirements.  The course offerings are still being developed and will likely include offerings among political science, sociology, history, communication, fine arts, and the environment.  FSC will be the only academic provider to UWP and will assign designated faculty members to teach the courses.  FSC faculty will work with the students at UWP headquarters in Denver, Colorado, as well as at other locations on the tour.

“FSC has won national recognition for engaged learning and commitment to producing globally aware students,” said Dr. Anne Kerr, president of Florida Southern College.  “The connection with Up with People as the educational partner allows FSC to combine our experience in engaged learning with UWP’s unparalleled international program.  We believe both organizations will be richer for the collaboration.  This is another important recognition of the strong academic reputation of our institution.  UWP will now recruit and travel the world carrying the banner of Florida Southern with them.”

For those UWP students who wish to continue their studies with Florida Southern College, they will be guaranteed a minimum $2,000 scholarship upon successful completion of the program.

“We are very excited to collaborate with Florida Southern College to develop this new academic program,” said Alain L. Thiry, president and CEO of Up with People.  “Their institutional commitment to providing students with a world-class education through emphasis on engaged learning, volunteerism, and global experiences as compliments to a strong academic curriculum makes them a natural partner for UWP.  We share their commitment on all levels and look forward to working with their expert faculty to add even greater value for students who participate in our unique global education program.”