University News

CBT Receives FIPSE Grant For NAFTA Project

January 8, 2003

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MACOMB, IL -- The Western Illinois University College of Business and Technology (CBT) has received a $221,000 four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), for the "NAFTA Challenges of Accounting and Business Systems" project.

According to CBT Dean David Beveridge, the project will facilitate the exchange of students among partner schools in the United States, Mexico and Canada so they can learn best business practices in a global context.

Western is the lead institution in a consortium of six schools which include Central Connecticut State University; Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon and Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua in México; and Universitè de Moncton and Laurentian University in Canada. Beveridge explained that project components include intensive language instruction and short-term academic programs; semester-long student exchanges; cooperative projects in classes from partner institutions; faculty and student research projects; and faculty collaborations on innovative cross-border teaching materials and pedagogy that may be replicated at other schools in the three countries.

U.S. project directors are George Peek and Lucia Peek, accountancy professors at Western. Co-directors include Carol Fimmen, director of global education at WIU, and Beveridge; and Maria Roxas and Jane Stoneback, accountancy professors, and Lisa Bigelow, assistant director of the George R. Muirhead Center for International Education at Central Connecticut State University.

The College of Business and Technology has received more than $1 million in federal grants over the past six years to expand international opportunities for students and faculty, Beveridge said.

"These projects are a part of our mission to globalize WIU's business and technology curriculum," he added. "It is essential that our students leave here with an understanding of business in other parts of the world."

For more information about the recent FIPSE project and other international opportunities, contact the Office of Global Education at (309) 298-2357.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing