The University of Maryland, College Park, has been chosen as one of the implementation partners for the “One-Million Strong” initiative led by the U.S.-China Strong Foundation (USCS), a nonprofit organization that seeks to ensure the next generation of U.S. leaders is equipped to engage effectively with China. Established in 2013 as the 100,000 Strong Foundation with the goal of taking one hundred thousand students from the U.S. to study Mandarin in China, the foundation has set a new target to increase the number of American K-12 students learning Mandarin to one million by 2020.
According to a U.S.-China Strong press release, there are approximately 200,000 U.S. K-12 students learning Mandarin and more than 300 million English language learners in China. Since Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the U.S. last September, the USCS has set a new goal for a five-fold increase from current numbers.
The University of Maryland’s Mandarin Center for Chinese Language Teacher Certification and Development (CCLTCD) will help to implement this goal by preparing Chinese language teachers to teach in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the U.S. In addition to growing and preparing PreK-12th grade Chinese language teachers, CCLTCD has also assisted the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership in the College of Education by cultivating several doctoral students to become Chinese language instructors in higher education and Chinese language researchers.
"The One-Million Strong Initiative is an important component of preparing American K-12 students for a globalized world. We are proud to support this initiative and further enhance the competitiveness of the State of Maryland's workforce," said Nathaniel Ahrens, Director of China Affairs. "The University of Maryland's Center for Chinese Language Teacher Certification and Development will continue to train and develop the teachers who will form the backbone of this effort."