U.S. Embassy Supports Development of Suriname’s Vocational Education

November 9, 2021

PARAMARIBO – In support of Suriname’s economic and professional development, the U.S. Embassy in Paramaribo recently sponsored seven Surinamese educators and policy makers to take part in the U.S. State Department’s Community College Administrator Program (CCAP) in Florida.

The CCAP aims to strengthen post-secondary vocational and technical education by bringing school leaders and Ministry officials to the U.S. to explore key tenets of community college administration and cutting-edge programs at U.S. community colleges that address local workforce development needs.

“To compete in the global marketplace, Suriname must have a well-educated workforce with skills and knowledge needed by employers,” said U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer Jake Goshert, whose office coordinated Suriname’s participation in the CCAP exchange. “In the U.S., Suriname’s educators will get a chance to share best practices, expand their professional networks, and explore ways they can return home and strengthen their institutions’ efforts to educate the next generation of Surinamese employees.”

The CCAP is run in conjunction with experts from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, and Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida.

“Education and educational reform, including vocational education and workforce development, are prevalent topics in bilateral and regional discussions between the United States and other countries because investing in skills, training, and education is an investment in our individual and collective futures” said Anthony Koliha, Director of Global Educational Programs at the U.S. Department of State.

FSU Program Director Jeff Milligan added: “The Community College Administrators Program both reflects and spotlights the growing recognition internationally of the

importance of equipping our citizens with the job skills that support economic development in the 21st century.”

In the U.S., community colleges serve many roles, from providing academic learning to workforce development programs to lifelong learning programs, and they are some of the country’s most dynamic institutions of higher learning. The almost month-long CCAP professional development seminar focuses on leadership, governance, finance, student affairs and student services, diversity and inclusion, program assessment, workforce development, private sector partnerships, community engagement, technology, virtual learning, as well as health, safety and emergency preparedness and response.

Suriname’s participation in the CCAP is just one of the many ways the U.S. is working to strengthen Suriname’s education sector. Those efforts have included participation in other exchanges – such as the Humphrey and SUSI programs for teachers, or recent participation in virtual exchanges focused on technology in the classroom – to enrichment activities such as the Embassy’s film festivals for students or support for STEM education initiatives.

The U.S. State Department established the CCAP in 2008 to support the development of higher education by expanding the capacity of educators and administrators. After completing the CCAP, participants return home with a deeper understanding of the U.S. community college model and can apply those insights to strengthen their technical and vocational institutions and contribute to the economic development of their home communities. Since 2008, 335 participants from 10 countries have taken part in the CCAP.