Fifteen faculty members representing eight state Kurdistan universities including Zakho, Soran, Saladdin, Raparin, Koya,Halabja, Garmian, and Sulaimani universities participated in IKRUPP 2015 program held in Washingto DC, and Virginia tech from 22nd of July to 19th of August 2015. University of Zakho was represented by three faculty members of English Department/ Faculty of Humanities, Ivan Murad Hassan, Mahmood Haji Ahmed, and Sanan Shero Malo.
The program started with an opening session in Washington DC for three days where an introduction to the workshop started focusing on U.S higher education, leadership and academic development. The main capstone which was held in VTLCI (Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute) for three successive weeks included seminars and discussions on American culture, history and higher education as well as developing teaching skills, professional development and using technology in classrooms. Participants were required to do an e-portfolio and present it at the end of the program in VTLCI. Likewise, an action research proposal related to classroom issues and management was presented by each participant at the end of the program in VTLCI.
On the Other hand, the program was very intensive and included some meetings with the English faculty staff at Radford University, and Virginia Tech University discussing issues in teaching, curriculum development and assessment with comparison and contrast between the U.S higher education and Kurdistan higher education to overcome issues in Kurdistan Universities. The program also included some tours to Newman Library in Virginia Tech, McConnell library in Radford University and the career center in Virginia Tech. A session was also given by the librarians of Newman Library on how to use resources electronically and overcome issues in finding and limiting search for resources through using Summon searching engine. The career center was also very important as the one in Virginia Tech helps their students to get employments through connecting them with the industrial sector, state companies and private companies. The center also successfully arranges interviews between alumni students of Virginia Tech and companies to get employments. The purpose of these tours was to enlighten the participants of the immediate need of an online library, access to academic journals, internet access and the immediate necessity of opening career centers at home universities which facilitate the conduction of research and help in solving issues of employment.
The program had its closing session in Washington D.C on August 17-18, 2015. The closing sessions included some presentations on the selected topics for the Training of Trainees (TOT) workshop outlines which would be selected for the End of Program (EOP) conference which would be held in Erbil on September 19-20, 2015.