President Barack Obama said it well when he described the critical role of education in the 21st century: “The source of America’s prosperity has never been merely how ably we accumulate wealth, but how well we educate our people. This has never been truer than it is today. In a 21st-century world where jobs can be shipped wherever there’s an Internet connection, where a child born in Dallas is now competing with a child in New Delhi, where your best job qualification is not what you do, but what you know - education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity and success, it’s a prerequisite for success.” (Source)
The earliest activities of PACIE focused primarily on seeking federal funding for its members by way of an annual conference as a networking forum for PACIE members to meet with federal officials, and to exchange information on college and university funding needs.
Through the 1970s, PACIE created an annual newsletter on international education grants and statewide activities. In addition, a directory of summerand semester study abroad programs designed and implemented by the State Systems of Higher Education universities was prepared and printed to encourage state university students to study overseas. Program cooperation among the state universities, discounted academic costs, and diverse program sites were the benefits of the directory.
By the early 1980s, PACIE launched several initiatives for the benefit of Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities, school districts, and their high school students:
- Assisted Pennsylvania colleges and universities in the planning and implementing of offices of international studies across the state.
- Worked with the state to found the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.
- Established nine statewide collaboratives of school, college, and university language and social studies faculty to promote joint conferences, surveys, research projects, and ongoing networks to promote language studies, the humanities and area studies.
From 1992 to the present, PACIE has focused its attention in several key impact areas:
- Revision of its by-laws to include two-year colleges as a membership priority and long-term presence on the Board of Directors.
- Implementation of a permanent Board of Directors position open to a representative from the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association.
- Extension of membership to K-12 teachers, administrators and schools involved in international education
- Inclusion of an ongoing panel in the annual conference devoted to international education and technology.
- Initiation of a series of advocacy projects to seek federal, state, and local funds to survey Pennsylvania’s school, college and university languages, and area and international studies resources for Pennsylvania’s local communities and businesses.
PACIE Annual Conference Testimonials