Asher helps Pa. client forge global understanding via Open World program

Asher helps Pa. client forge global understanding via Open World program

Northampton Community College, an Asher client in northeastern Pennsylvania, participates in the Open World program, a congressionally authorized and funded program to facilitate U.S.-global education exchanges.

I had the good fortune to facilitate bipartisan congressional meetings recently with education staffers in the offices of Rep. Matt Cartwright (D) and Tom Marino (R). It was fascinating to listen and learn from these leaders about Ukrainian education programs and policies and to compare and contrast them with those in the United States. Questions focused on educational needs of returning veterans, the collaborative role of government and industry in training, standardized testing, scholarships, education funding at all levels of government, and incentives to boost certain priority occupations (i.e., special-needs teachers and nurses).

The delegates are now headed to Pennsylvania, where they will stay in private homes to experience American family and community life. They will visit Northampton campuses and other institutions of higher education in the region.

The Open World program brings young political and civic leaders from Eurasia and other countries to the U.S. for short-term professional trips. Established by Congress in 1999, the program also aids Congress with interparliamentary and other legislative activities, links Members of Congress to Eurasian leaders, and is an instrument for Americans engaged in citizen diplomacy. Open World is managed by the Open World Leadership Center, a U.S. legislative branch agency.  To learn more, visit the website at

Meeting face-to-face is by far the most effective means of communication, and programs like this foster greater understanding of cultures, policies and practices.