DAHLONEGA - The Department of Defense has awarded grants totaling almost $2 million to the University of North Georgia to support and expand its foreign language programs.
Four grants were awarded, with three coming from the Institute for International Education and the fourth from the U.S. Army Cadet Command.
According to UNG News and Communications Manager Edie Rogers, the grants are specifically earmarked for three university programs that focus primarily on educating cadets and miltary officers in strategic languages and cultures.
The Institute for International Education allotted $219,773 for the university's Chinese Language Flagship program, $304,976 for Project Global Officers, and $258,015 for the school's Language Training Center, while the Cadet Commmand awarded $1.2 million to be spread among all three programs.
University President Bonita C. Jacobs believed the grants would prove extremely valuable to students, saying: "This is very exciting news for the University of North Georgia, and it will reap great rewards for our students as we continue providing opportunities for them to become globally prepared leaders."
She added: "Thanks to the hard work of our administrators, faculty and staff both here and in building partnerships around the world, our language and culture programs continue to grow and produce successful students."
The flagship program, which began in 2011 with the designation of UNG, Georgia Tech and Arizona State University as pilot universities, includes a partnership that will allow the university to send cadets to Peking University in China for more intensive study.
Project Global Officer, a federally funded initiative, provides scholarships for future military officers to study strategic languages and cultures at home and abroad. Since its introduction at UNG in 2008, the program has funded cadet participation in the Summer Language Institute, a six-week program of intensive study that allows cadets to earn nine hours of academic credit in a foreign language.
The Language Training Center was founded at the university's Dahlonega campus in 2011 with the purpose of increasing the foreign language efficiency of current Army officers. Beginning with 12 officers in its inaugural year, the Center now has over two dozens officers enrolled, including 21 active duty officers stationed at Fort Benning.