Confucius Institute at Michigan State University
In May 2006, with the support of Hanban and the Confucius Institute Headquarters, Open University of China (OUC) and Michigan State University established the world’s first and only Confucius Institute dedicated to internet-based Chinese education. With its official aims of “promoting Chinese language and culture through advanced information technology”, it has explored the innovative “storefront” method of cooperation. More specifically, Michigan State University acts as the “storefront” responsible for meeting market demands, running academic operations, and promoting Institute activities. Meanwhile, OUC is the “factory”, establishing a Chinese Study and Research Center as well as undertaking the research and design necessary for the Confucius Institute’s curriculum development.
Through several years of successful operations, the Confucius Institute at Michigan State University has spread its original curricula and online resources to more than 20 schools and school districts in Michigan and neighboring states, fulfilling the educational needs of over 30,000 American students. Incorporating internet classwork and multimedia resources, Chinese Your Way, a virtual six-semester high school curricula developed by Chinese and American partners, earned the Confucius Institute Headquarters’ “Award for Innovative Multimedia Courseware”. The Institute’s Character of the Day multimedia courseware has served as a popular point of entry for those interested in Chinese culture. The textbook Exploring Chinese Culture, specially compiled for the “World Cultural Appreciation” curriculum studied by American middle school students, earned official praise by its inclusion on the list of “Introducing China to the World” by the Information Office of the State Council. In addition, all of the teaching materials listed above have been named to the list of “China’s Key Promoting Publishing Projects”. The Confucius Institute at Michigan State University was named an “Advanced Confucius Institute” by the Confucius Institute Headquarters for three consecutive years, and has remained one of the most dynamic Confucius Institutes in the world.