Launching in South Africa

In May SNHU’s GEM launched in Cape Town, checking off the third of our four-country site launch list for the year. As with our other launches, there was an incredible buzz of positive energy from the students. Most of SNHU’s GEM Scalabrini students have been living in South Africa for five to 15 years, trying for quite some time to access higher education. Because of these experiences, the students truly understand the incredible opportunity in front of them. After hitting a lot of brick walls on the search for access to higher education, the excitement to not only earn a Bachelor’s degree but also one from SNHU in the United States has our students excited and ready to do the hard work to achieve their dreams.

SNHU GEM/Scalabrini students are from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Somalia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Burundi, with the majority from DRC. Most of the students are in their 30s (the remainder are split evenly between their 20s and 40s).

Our work with Scalabrini’s team will be informative as we continue to grow. First, while the total students enrolled for the period of the grant will be split 50/50 between females and males, the Scalabrini team chose to make the first cohort 85% women to “set the tone” for women’s leadership at the site. During orientation this week, both the men and women handled the dynamic brilliantly.

Scalabrini will continue to enroll students more rapidly than any of our partners have at the inception of a partnership with SNHU, with a total of 150 enrolled over the span of the next three months. It promises to be a great learning experience for SNHU and our partners! Our orientation of the second cohort is at the end of May, with 90 additional students enrolling on June 1 and the final group beginning July 1.

The beautiful photo you see in this post are done by professional Julia Cumes. Thanks to Julia, we will have a gallery of thousands of images to use when displaying the awesome work of our students and partners. She’ll also be capturing images next week in Dzaleka refugee camp.