Posted by Harry Hartman on Dec 02, 2019
Vice President Larry Redding is shown above with Shannon Harvey and her husband, Richard.
Club members Shannon Harvey presented a fascinating overview of her three weeks in France as a Fulbright Scholar as the program at the Monday meeting. Harvey, spent a week in the Bordeaux region of France and two weeks in Paris during her Fulbright trip. Harvey, who represented HACC as a Fulbright Scholar, gave a detailed overview of the way the French education system works and told club members of the differences between education system in France as compared to the United States.
The Fulbright Scholar program was started in 1946 by Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas and now counts over 390,000 Fulbright Scholar alumni worldwide. The program sends students, scholars and academic leaders overseas and brings students and professionals from abroad to the United States. Harvey participated in the International Education Administrators Program with goals of establishing lasting connections within the social, cultural and educational systems of other countries and to gain in-depth knowledge about the host country’s higher education system.
Harvey, who is the current campus vice president of the HACC Gettysburg campus, was one of one two community college campus leaders to participate in the Fulbright Scholar program as French educational leaders are looking into the possibility of beginning a community college system in their country.
Shannon explained that school is compulsory for all students from the age of 3-16 in France and the system is heavily based upon testing and national evaluations of students. These evaluations are made at the entrance of the primary school and at the entrance to college. 83 percent of the students attend public schools and those schools have very few extra-curricular activities. The curriculum that is used in all schools is a national curriculum that is centrally steered and very discipline based. Teachers are recruited and assigned teaching positions based on a points system.
One major difference with higher education in France as compared to the United States is that the French college system is very inexpensive and also includes free healthcare for all students. Shannon also explained that students do not need to speak French to study in France.
Those in attendance thoroughly enjoyed Shannon’s presentation as wish her great success as she takes on a new challenge in life at Penn State University.