October 27, 2011
Reflecting its commitment to make quality education available
worldwide, St. John’s University is assisting the National
University of Mongolia improve its academic programs to provide a
cutting-edge, 21st-century education.
The National University — with a student body of more
than 100,000 — is Mongolia’s oldest, largest and most comprehensive
institution of higher learning. While it enjoys a reputation for
being a national center of learning, it is lagging behind
comparable schools in more developed areas since it became
independent of the Soviet Union only two decades ago.
The impetus for the evolving collaboration stems from Jay Nathan, Ph.D., Professor
of Management’s experiences in Mongolia 2008 when he taught at the
university in connection with his responsibilities as a Fulbright
Scholar. “I became increasingly familiar with the educational
issues facing the country and the university after Soviet
domination. St. John’s seemed to be extremely well-positioned to
supply the needed help — especially in light of its Vincentian
and global orientation.”
Dr. Nathan enlisted Richard Sinatra, Ph.D.,
Associate Dean of The
School of Education (SOE) and Mary Jane Krebbs, Ph.D.,
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies to help him lay the groundwork
for going forward. As a result, an exploratory meeting was held at
St. John’s in 2011 at which representatives from both institutions
discussed how St. John’s could be of service.
Discussion revolved around tapping the resources of the
University’s highly regarded
education school garnered from its more than 100 years of
operation to be able to help the National University create its own
school of education. Other ventures were explored including
modernizing Mongolia’s elementary and middle school feeder system;
introducing St. John’s courses in subjects like pharmacy and allied
health services and — assessing the effectiveness of all existing
undergraduate and graduate courses.
The next step is scheduled to take place April 5 – 11,
2012, in Mongolia where Drs. Nathan and Sinatra will meet
with National University representatives to gather information that
will enable the design of a formal, and academic assessment
document. They will leave a finished product behind, which will be
modeled on the assessment criteria employed by the SOE.
“This document will permit us to evaluate all undergraduate and
graduate programs,” said Dr. Sinatra, “to determine which courses
are meeting student needs and where changes most need to be
Noting that this marks a new direction for the University, Dr.
Nathan stated, “we will be adding yet another strategic partner to
our growing network of domestic and global counterparts while
creating potential benefits for St. John’s students — including
internships, dissertation and other research and global
opportunities. This also sets an important precedent for future St.
John’s collaborations with other institutions in developing