Program supported by a Business and International Education ( BIE) grant from the U.S. Department of Education
PROJECT EDGE: The Enhancing and Developing Global Expertise Program of the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University will be initiated as a concerted strategy to build upon the efforts of the college to internationalize the curriculum, the faculty and students and to develop understanding of international business particularly as it relates to countries in the ASEAN (Association of South East Nations) region. A related aim of Project EDGE is to strengthen the competitive edge of businesses and academicians through an improved understanding of exporting, sourcing, and supply chain initiatives and the complexities of conducting business in the region. Specifically, Project EDGE will be implemented to realize the following objectives:
- To enhance the knowledge and expertise of our faculty related to the efficient and effective conduct of business operations in the ASEAN region through grants to a) attend faculty development seminars in international business, b) engage in specific faculty exchange programs with partnering foreign universities, c) participate in specialized study abroad tours, and d) for partial support for research focusing on contemporary region-specific business issues.
- To strengthen the international business competence of our students by a) strengthening our undergraduate and graduate curriculum through infusion of international supply chain issues and course modules particularly those that are specific to the ASEAN region b) by offering intensive study abroad programs, for undergraduate and graduate students, to selected countries in the ASEAN region c) by hosting a global business lecture series inviting prominent speakers from business, government and academia with ASEAN experience d) by facilitating student internship programs that enhance language and cultural skills.
- To further the international business knowledge notably on exporting and sourcing initiatives of regional business professionals and the extended university community a) through an international conference on U.S. relations with the ASEAN region on and b) the previously mentioned global business lecture series where some of the lectures will also be targeted to high school students and teachers.
Project EDGE will conduct a series of activities (amplified below) related to these objectives in collaboration with specific "partners". Partnering groups here include among others, HCOB advisory firms ( 30 companies), World Affairs council of West Michigan, IBRG, Battle Creek Unlimited, U.S. Dept. of Commerce Export Assistance Center, Kalamazoo county Chamber of Commerce) . Major "Partnering" institutions abroad include: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Center for American Education, Singapore; Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand.
- Faculty and Student Development /Curriculum Internationalization
- Faculty Development Support: Faculty demonstrably interested in developing their international expertise and either offering new courses or infusing ASEAN content in their courses will receive funding to attend workshops such as those offered by U.S. D.O.E. CIBERs.
- Faculty Intensive Foreign Study: Selected faculty interested in enhancing their expertise about the ASEAN region who clearly indicate how they will apply the gained experience in selected courses will be supported to partially defray the costs of participating in study abroad programs either ones organized under Project EDGE or offered by groups of U.S. D.O.E. CIBERS . Participants will be expected to disseminate information about their experiences to business, student, or faculty groups.
- Faculty / Student Research and Case Study Grants: Faculty who would like to conduct research projects or case studies focusing on conducting business with and within the ASEAN region will be provided limited supplemental support. This support will include that for student interns wanting to develop language and cultural skills
- Study Abroad Programs in Malaysia/ Singapore and Thailand/Vietnam: Project EDGE will organize and conduct two intensive study abroad programs- one to Thailand/Vietnam and one to Malaysia/Singapore. These will be crafted to provide a rigorous experience for selected students, faculty and businesspersons. A dedicated commitment by our overseas partnering institutions indicates that this would be a highly beneficial educational program opportunity for the participants.
- Student Internship Programs: Assist students in identifying and securing internships which will strengthen business, language and cultural skills particularly those related to the ASEAN region.
- Conferences and Lecture Series
- International Conference: Project EDGE will organize a multidisciplinary conference with a focus on the ASEAN region for academic and business participants. This conference responds to an expressed need to understand the environmental context within which businesses operates within the region and helps further understanding of how business can be conducted with and within the region.
- Global Business Lecture Series: Every semester we will invite prominent speakers with reputed Asian (particularly ASEAN) expertise. This will be open for faculty, students, business people and the extended community. On occasion, Project EDGE will arrange for distinguished speakers to present at a forum where the dominant audience will be composed of high school students and teachers. Project EDGE will also guide the newly formed International Business Students Association at the Haworth College of Business. Student members will be integral in helping to organize, publicize and take part in all of Project Edge activities.