Creating a dual Ph.D. degree program between Oklahoma State University & Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla, Mexico
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Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP University) and Oklahoma State University (OSU) have developed a strong international academic relationship since 1992. Both institutions share and understand the importance of educating students to live in a global and multicultural society (Bhawuk & Brislin, 1992) and have developed, among other academic exchange opportunities, 25 dual degree programs at the Masters level. As part of the dual degree, students have the opportunity to earn two Masters Degrees, in two different countries, in approximately two years (Fabregas-Janeiro & Nuno de la Parra, 2011). American, Canadian, and Mexican students have benefited from these innovative international Master programs. Overall, students' evaluation of the dual Masters Degree program has been very positive. Participating students perceived these programs as an opportunity to experience cultural immersion and language development in a challenging and international learning environment (Brandhorst, 2011). Due to the extraordinary outcomes of the dual degree programs, UPAEP University and OSU expanded the degree to the doctoral level. The Department of Agricultural Education, Communications, and Leadership, OSU and the Department of Education of the Centro Inter-disciplinario de Postgrados at UPAEP finalized a Memorandum of Understanding to offer a dual Ph.D. program. Students will earn two Ph.D. degrees, one in Agricultural Education at OSU and one in Education or Economic Development and Strategic Sectors at UPAEP (Oklahoma State University, 2010; UPAEP, 2011). The purpose of the Ph.D. dual degree program is to provide students the opportunity to study in, and benefit from, the academic and cultural environment of OSU in the United States and UPAEP in Puebla, Mexico. Students enrolled in the dual Ph.D. program will earn 75 credit hours equating to 15 more than the current Ph.D. program at OSU. The students will have a home institution that awards the degree, and a host institution where the student studies abroad, taking courses in partial fulfillment of the host institution's degree requirements. All students enrolled in the dual degree should have the academic background and language skills to enable them to benefit from participating in regular university classes at each institution (English and Spanish proficiency). Each student must meet applicable admission requirements at both OSU and UPAEP (UPAEP & Oklahoma State University, 2011). This presentation provides details on the successful relationship between OSU andUPAEP, how the degree plan will be executed at each institution, including the development of the agreement (Appendix A), and how students will progress toward completion of the degree, as well as the resources required to implement such a program at other institutions.