University News

IBHE/HECA Funding Allows CBT to Offer "Gateway to the World"

January 15, 2002

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MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University's College of Business and Technology (CBT) is preparing to serve as the regional "gateway to the world."

In mid-2001, the CBT received a $62,000 HECA (IBHE Cooperation Act) grant from the Illinois Board of Higher Education for the project, "Workforce, Economic and International Development in West Central Illinois: The Gateway to the World."

According to CBT Dean David Beveridge, the college will develop and implement a five year strategy to promote " The Gateway to the World" program through interinstitutional cooperation with several community colleges and businesses. Beveridge added this initiative is a proactive solution created in response to the call to better prepare business graduates to function capably in the changing marketplace.

The project will emphasize new forms of governance involving business, society and government (domestic and international); trade in developing markets; partnership and alliance building across borders; emerging environmental and ethical issues; and transnational competencies with a focus on the western hemisphere.

"The international initiatives that the college has successfully instituted and its close ties with universities abroad via established consortiums will have a tremendous positive impact on the goals of Gateway," added Larry Wall, associate CBT dean. "As a permanent addition to the CBT, the program will provide a central resource to oversee local and regional international business education initiatives while further developing the competencies of students, faculty and business professionals in the region."

Western's Gateway partners include Carl Sandburg College, Sauk Valley College and Spoon River College.

In response to NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), the CBT established four years ago the North American Consortium for International Advancement (NACIA) with Canada and Mexico. The Gateway project will enhance the relationship between the business community in west-central Illinois and Latin American based businesses, Beveridge said.

"It is in the best interests of the CBT, its partners and the businesses and communities in their service region to strengthen the competencies of graduating students to work successfully in a global world," Beveridge added. "The Gateway program is an effective means of responding to the need to prepare our students and assist businesses in the service regions to fully participate in an economy of free trade in the western hemisphere over the next five years."

For information and other international activities contact the WIU office of global education, 309/298-2924.

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