Community College Initiative (CCI) Program Scholarship awards for the 2018-2019 Community College Initiative (CCI) Program
are contingent on the appropriation of Federal funding by the United States Congress.
The Community College Initiative (CCI) Program seeks to foster mutual understanding between the citizens of the United States and the citizens of participating CCI countries. The CCI Program provides participants with a non-degree, academic-year program at a U.S. community college designed to build participants’ technical skills in applied fields, enhance their leadership capabilities, and strengthen their English language proficiency. The program also provides opportunities for professional internships, service learning, and community engagement. After completing the program, participants return home with enhanced skills to help them contribute to the economic development of their countries. The CCI Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State.
Since the program’s inception in 2007, more than 2,900 participants from 21 countries have received scholarships for study at community colleges throughout the United States.
The CCI Program demonstrates U.S. commitment to increasing access to higher education for international students from underrepresented and underserved communities in selected countries and highlights the learning environment offered at U.S. community colleges. The program also builds U.S. community colleges’ efforts to deepen international education partnerships and programming.
Community colleges are predominantly publicly funded, inclusive institutions in local communities that welcome all who desire to learn, regardless of wealth, heritage, or previous academic experience. Community colleges offer individual courses (credit and non-credit), certificate programs, workforce development training, and Associate degrees. Associate degree coursework at community colleges is roughly equivalent to that offered in the first two years of a four year Bachelor’s degree program. There are more than 1,100 public, independent, and tribal community colleges across the United States. Community colleges are sometimes referred to as technical colleges or junior colleges.
Fields of Study Summary
The CCI Program offers study in the following fields:
The CCI Program offerings within these fields of study are limited to the specific concentration areas that are listed on the 2018-2019 CCI fields of study summaries included as part of this application.
Courses and programs of study vary by individual colleges. Participants will work with their Program Coordinators at each host college to develop an individual development plan within his/her field of study and concentration area. Participants should develop their goals broadly within these fields of study and concentration areas. In this application, participants should describe their specific areas of interest in their proposed fields of study and concentration areas, their related experience, and their long-term goals. Participants may earn an academic certificate in their field of study or complete courses that are relevant to their professional goals. Certificate programs are not available for all programs at all campuses, however, placements will be made based on chosen field of study at community colleges which do offer certificate programs in that particular field of study. Participants will take academic or professional coursework and gain first-hand practical experience through internships that are customized through the Individual Program Plan (IPP) to help participants build the professional skills and capacities they will need to reach their professional goals.
CCI Eligibility Requirements
Everyone who meets the CCI eligibility criteria listed below is welcome to apply regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, disability (physical or mental), sexual orientation, or gender identity. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Competition for the CCI Program is merit-based and open to anyone who:
Is a citizen, national or permanent resident qualified to hold a valid passport issued by a country participating in the CCI Program.
Is currently residing in the eligible country.
Is 18 years or older by July 1, 2018.
Has successfully earned a secondary school diploma.
Has not completed the equivalent of three years toward a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher in the field of study the applicant is nominated to pursue. Nominees without substantive post-secondary education will be given placement priority.
Has demonstrated commitment to the selected field of study through some academic or professional experience. The program aims to identify participants with proven skills or interest and limited professional experience in the fields of study offered.
Has basic working knowledge of English language as demonstrated by a minimum TOEFL score of 400. (Note: To pursue credit-bearing courses in an academic field of study, the applicant must meet the minimum language requirements of the host college—usually 500 on the TOEFL test or equivalent scores on other standardized tests. English language training will be necessary and is available for those who do not demonstrate this level of proficiency; these participants are likely to have extremely limited access to courses in their fields of study and must have an interest in pursuing English language study as their primary academic focus. All participants will be retested upon arrival at their host institutions. The host campus testing result will be the score used to determine course placements.)
Has limited or no overseas study experience. Nominees with no prior overseas study or travel to the United States will be given placement priority.
Meets any customized requirements of the home country Embassy/Consulate or Commission.
Submits a complete original application.
Is able to receive a U.S. J-1 visa and meet the program conditions to maintain that status.
Is willing and physically able (with accommodations as required) to complete the program in its entirety, including activities or travel that may be programmed on any day of the week, possibly including early morning or evening hours.
Is committed to returning to his/her home country after completion of the program and satisfying the J-visa two-year residency requirement.
Is able to begin the academic exchange program in the United States in July 2018.
Individuals in the following circumstances are NOT eligible for the Community College Initiative Program:
Non-U.S. citizens living in the United States.
Individuals currently participating in academic, training, or research programs in the United States.
Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside of the eligible countries.
Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. government for a period of more than six weeks and who have not fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement by the time of their CCI application.
Individuals who have applied for U.S. permanent residency.
Local employees of the U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Employees are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment.
Immediate family members (i.e., spouses and children) of U.S. embassy and Fulbright Commission employees. Family members are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment.
Persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a crime (excluding minor traffic violations).
Application Review Process and Criteria
The CCI Program is conducted as a merit-based open competition. After the application deadline, all applications will be reviewed in country for eligibility and assessed by a panel of exchange program specialists. Competitive applicants will be interviewed in their home countries by a nomination committee. All applicants will be notified of their selection and placement statuses on a rolling basis from spring to summer 2018.
The nomination committee will use the following criteria to evaluate applications (not necessarily in order of importance):
Demonstrated interest and professional goals in the field of study applicant wishes to pursue.
Flexibility and suitability as an exchange student.
Proficiency in written and spoken English.
Physical ability and willingness to complete the program in its entirety, including activities or travel that may be programmed on any day of the week and during early morning or evening hours.
Commitment to returning to their home countries after completion of the program to fulfill a two-year home residency requirement.
Preference will be given to applicants who have no prior experience outside their home countries.
Preference will be given to applicants who represent underserved and underrepresented communities, including women.
Preference will be given to those applicants who have completed secondary school and have not yet earned a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher.
General Application Instructions
Submit a completed original application with signature on the last page.
Each applicant must complete his/her own application form. Applicants may consult with others for advice on how to complete the form, but each applicant must answer the questions and write his/her own responses.
Please answer ALL questions on the application in English. Do NOT leave a space blank. If a question does not apply to you, enter N/A (not applicable).
Include your full legal name with family name (surname) in CAPITAL LETTERS first as spelled on your international passport (if available).
Include complete contact information, including postal codes for all addresses and city/country codes for all phone numbers.
Handwritten applications must be neatly printed.
Submit the application by the deadline established by the U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission located in your country.
Financial Provisions of the Grant
J-1 visa support.
Round-trip travel from participant’s home city to host institution in the United States.
Tuition and mandatory college fees.
Housing and meals.
Small allowance for books and incidental expenses.
Limited Accident and Sickness coverage that is J-visa compliant.
A variety of personal and professional development activities.
To pursue certificates in a field of study, you will likely be required to repeat entry-level courses you have taken in your home country to meet prerequisite requirements for the certificate. Official copies of any post-secondary transcripts and course syllabi or other documentation of course content and your performance may be considered for evaluating if you have already satisfied the prerequisite requirements, but this process requires precise documentation and is not guaranteed.
Knowledge of Languages: Rate yourself Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor. Include all languages that you speak or have studied, including English. List your native language first.
Language proficiency If you have taken any standardized test of English language proficiency (for example TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS) please list the test taken, give the results, and provide a copy of the test results.
Test Taken: Date Taken: Results (alsoattach copy):
Educational History. Please list educational institutions that you are currently attending or have attended with the most recent listed first. Please attach a translated and certified copy of your transcripts for any institution from which you received a certificate, diploma, or degree.
Name of Institution/Location
Major Field of Study
Dates Attended (Month, Year)
Actual Name of Degree or Diploma (Do not translate)
Work Experience: Are you currently employed? ☐ Yes ☐ No List jobs held, begin with current or most recent employment. (Continue on additional sheets of paper, if necessary)
Name and address of employer
Professional Experience: In addition to jobs held, please list relevant professional non-paid, volunteer and/or leadership positions or experiences.
If you have traveled or lived in any country other than your own, indicate places, dates (month and year) and purpose. (Continue on additional sheets of paper, if necessary)
Below, provide the names, addresses and telephone numbers of individuals to be notified in case of an emergency.
Name of individual
Location & address of individual
Indicate relationship to you (father, mother, friend, etc.)
Languages this person speaks
List contacts in your country
List contacts in the United States
Please list family members who have participated in a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program in the United States. (Continue on additional sheets of paper, if necessary)
Name of individual
Name of program
Please list any family members who are currently applying to participate in a 2018 or 2019 U.S. government-sponsored exchange program in the United States. (Continue on additional sheets of paper, if necessary)
Name of individual
Name of program
Essay #1: Within your proposed field of study, what do you want to study? Please describe in detail your specific concentration areas of interest within your field of study. (Your response should be a minimum of two paragraphs. Your response helps us to match your interests with college programs.)
Essay #2:Please describe your related experience within this field of study. How would this program of study build on your past education, training, and/or experience? If you are new to this field, why did you choose this field? (Your response should be a minimum of two paragraphs. Your response helps us to match your interests with college programs.)
Essay #3:Please describe your short term goals that you want to accomplish during the CCI Program in each of the following areas. (Your response should be a minimum of one paragraph for each area.)
Professional and/or educational goals:
Personal development goals:
Learning about U.S. culture and sharing your culture with others:
Essay #4:Please describe your long-term goals that you want to accomplish in the first few months upon returning home after the CCI Program. (Your response should be a minimum of one paragraph for each area.)
Professional and/or educational goals:
Personal development goals:
Sharing what you have learned and giving back to your local community after the CCI Program:
How would the CCI Program help you to achieve these goals?
a.) What are three leadership traits or characteristics that are important to you?
b.) Give an example of a time that you demonstrated at least one of these traits and improved a situation.
Essay #6:Please describe a problem or challenging situation in your educational, professional, or personal life and describe how you resolved it and what you learned from this situation. How did you demonstrate flexibility during this challenging time?
a.) Living in shared housing with diverse, multinational participants is challenging! Give an example of a time that you had a conflict with a colleague and describe what you learned about how to be successful in resolving conflict.
b.) Consider this scenario: You like to study at night; your roommate likes to practice his guitar at night.
How would you handle this situation?
Essay #8: Consider this scenario: You have just woken up. You have an exam tomorrow which you have not started studying for. You have a class scheduled today from 2pm to 5pm. You have also signed up for a volunteering activity in the evening with your cohort. You have a group project for a class that is due in two days. What are your priorities and how would you organize your schedule?
Community College Initiative Program
Application Certification Statement Certification: I certify that I completed this application myself, that the information given in this application is complete and accurate, and that I have carefully read and understand it.
I understand that program administrators reserve the right to verify all the information listed in the application. I understand that giving false or misleading information in the application will eliminate me from the competition or cause my dismissal from the Community College Initiative Program.
Also, I acknowledge that I am aware of the following program requirements:
I must follow all program rules and regulations and observe all the laws of the United States during my stay there.
At the end of the academic year program, I will return to my home country and fulfill a two-year, home country residency requirement in compliance with the terms of my J-visa. I understand that I may not extend my program dates.