This year, only four universities in the U.S. received a U.S.-India 21st Century Knowledge Initiative Award. Gannon University was one of them.
The award for the maximum amount of $190,000 was given by the U.S. Department of State and the University Grants Commission for a project entitled Partnership for Global Orientation for Teaching Education Advancement For Comprehensive Health Education (Partnership GO TEACH Education), a cooperative effort of the Villa Maria School of Nursing and Sacred Heart Nursing College in southern India.
Through the Partnership GO TEACH Education program, educators from both institutions will design a nursing education curriculum that leverages the strengths of nursing education as it is conducted on each campus and applies those strengths across cultures.
Students at Sacred Heart will have the opportunity as Gannon students now do to learn and perfect nursing techniques on high-tech patient simulation equipment. This valuable experience will improve the students’ skills before they enter a setting in which they work with live patients.
Gannon nursing students will learn how to respond to and provide care in a public health context and in settings with high patient volumes, both of which are common characteristics encountered by healthcare practitioners in India.
Despite being separated by 8,500 miles, Partnership GO TEACH Education is a pathway by which the students on the two campuses can gain valuable cultural competencies and technical skills that they can take into the workforce.
“The faculty of the Villa Maria School of Nursing at Gannon University are very excited to be able to take our relationship with the Sacred Heart College of Nursing faculty to the next level,” said Kathleen Patterson, Ph.D., CRNP, who is co-coordinator of the grant with Dawn Joy, interim director of the Villa Maria School of Nursing. “Our students and the Sacred Heart College students will be even better prepared as new nurses with the initiatives that this grant will afford.”
Gannon is among the two smallest in enrollment size to have been selected for the award, which was formerly known as the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative created to support projects that strengthen collaboration and build partnerships between U.S. and Indian institutions of higher education. Four universities in India were also awarded grants through the initiative.
For Gannon University and Sacred Heart Nursing College, that partnership began in 2014 with a memorandum of understanding to create an exchange program involving undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and administrators, to advance the goals of teaching, research, experiential learning and mutual understanding at the two institutions.