Comparative International Education: The Cuba Project
February 17-25, 2018

AACRAO has partnered with graduate researchers from the University of Maryland and George Washington University to collaborate in the Academic Explorations Program to research Cuban educational practices.  The program is a unique opportunity to collaborate with Cuban educators to learn about Cuban educational practices and the complex –and global--issues of contemporary education. Hundreds of U.S. and international professionals and students have participated since the founding of the exchange in 1994. This exciting research opportunity is using a  a shared funding model.  Accepted AACRAO members will be expected to pay their travel to Cuba.  The majority of in-country expenses will be covered by AACRAO. 

After a competitive application process, a research team was selected  to travel to Cuba for an intensive week of research on the Cuban educational system, policies, and practices at all levels, from day care to university and postgraduate education.

The research team will be led by Melanie Gottlieb, Deputy Director and Robert Watkins from the University of Texas at Austin.  Other participants include: 

  • Christopher Adams, Indiana University
  • Tanya Delgado, University of South Florida
  • Garrett Seelinger, NAIA
  • Janine Pacheco, The University of New Mexico
  • Aleks Morawski, AICE - Association of International Credential Evaluators Inc.
  • Christie Culp, Loyola Marymount University
  • Akniet Rysbek kyzy, Stanford University
  • Patrick Leahy, Michigan State University
  • Mark Reid, University of Miami
  • Martha Vandevender, Educational Credential Evaluators, TAICEP representative 

The group will begin planning efforts in mid-December,  and will travel from February 17-25, 2018.

The itinerary will consist of five days of activities in Cuba's capital, Havana, complemented with work in the province of Matanzas. A full schedule of research will include the following:

  • Visits to schools, research centers, and institutions of higher education
  • Individual and group interviews with Cuban educators and students
  • Lectures by educational officials and scholars
  • Question-and-Answer sessions
  • Collaborative Workshops on methods and methodologies
  • Opportunities for library research
Proposed itinerary (subject to slight adjustments): 

Day  Date Activity 
Saturday  17 February Havana Arrivals, In-Country Orientation & City Tour
Sunday 18 February Opening Session & Meeting with Association of Cuban Educators
Monday 19 February Research Activities & Site Visits in Havana
Tuesday 20 February Research Activities in Havana & Departure to Matanzas
Wednesday 21 February Opening Session in Matanzas & Research Activities
Thursday  22 February Site Visits & Community Project
 Friday 23 February Research Activities
 Saturday 24 February Research Activities, Workshops & Closing Session 
 Sunday  25 February Departure for U.S.

AACRAO participants in the trip will be a part of a year-long comparative international education project that will culminate in the production of a publication on the Cuban education system, an update of the AACRAO EDGE profile, and the creation of presentations on various aspects of the Cuban education system for delivery at conferences and via webinars. Participants will gain valuable experience in conducting primary source comparative education research, and will benefit from collaboration with graduate students, Cuban educators, and seasoned research professionals.  Their institutions will benefit from contacts made to promote educational exchange with Cuban higher education institutions. 

On-site costs for participants (lodging, most meals and transportation for excursions) will be covered by the AACRAO. Participants or their institutions are responsible for the cost of transportation to and from Havana, Cuba.  A limited number of transportation grants may be available through a separate application to the Gloria R. Nathanson Fund for Research in International Education.

Successful applicants will meet the following criteria:

  • a minimum of three years of international credential evaluation, comparative international education or international admissions experience

  • a valid passport and international travel experience

  • excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • institutional support to to participate in the year-long project

  • Competence in Spanish language is helpful, but not required

Priority will be given to institution-based applicants; member organization based applications will be considered. Applications and supporting materials must be complete and submitted by Monday October 2nd. Participants will be notified in late October of their acceptance.  Pre-departure work will begin in December. 

Application Period has Closed

Applications were accepted through October 13th