Successes in International Education
Joint Title VI NRC Duke University-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill CSEEES Supports the Introduction of Russian Language Instruction at Charles E. Jordan High School in Durham, North Carolina
This initiative represents an innovative collaboration between Durham Public Schools and the joint Title VI NRC Duke University-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies (CSEEES). UNC’s Dr. Jacqueline Olich and Duke’s Dr. Edna Andrews supported Mr. Daniel Miller’s (Department Chair, English, Charles E. Jordan High School) efforts who to introduce Russian as a sustainable language option for Charles E. Jordan High School students for the 2013-2014. Olich advised Miller about marketing, professional development opportunities, and budgeting. Critically, Andrews committed to furnishing state-of-the-art Russian textbooks and other related classroom materials developed by the Duke University Slavic and East European Language Resource Center (SEELRC).
As soon as this opportunity was announced, 58 Charles E. Jordan High School current students enrolled in introductory Russian for the 2013-2014 academic year. A third section may be offered to meet student demand. Exposure to the study of Russian will enrich the lives of these students, render them more competitive for college and university admissions and scholarship support, and open up career trajectories. These opportunities for high school students and their participation in this initiative will help enrich and diversify the pipeline to Russian language and Title VI programs.
This project will increase access to Russian language study among a more diverse student population. The Durham County School system is the seventh largest school district in North Carolina and serves students from more than 60 countries and who speak 79 languages. The ethnic diversity of the Charles E. Jordan High student population is 40% African-American, 39% Caucasian, 11% Hispanic/Latino, 6% Asian and 4% other and multi-racial groups. Approximately 30% of the Jordan High School student body qualifies for free lunch. This initiative is a perfect example of the diffusion of innovation and resources model, extending educational opportunities to students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to study a Less Commonly Taught Language (LCTL).