In 2005, as a result of collaboration between China Initiatives and the Department of Modern and Foreign Languages, Jackson State University® began offering Chinese language classes. Today, JSU offers two elementary Chinese courses (CH 101 and CH 102) and two intermediate Chinese courses (CH 201 and CH 202) to the entire campus and the Jackson community. The Chinese language curriculum has expanded enough to now offer a minor in Chinese. Students having completed both elementary courses, both intermediate courses and two study abroad courses (FLG 455 and FLG 460) are eligible to receive a minor in Chinese.
JSU has been selected twice as the only Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL) center in Mississippi and neighboring states in 2011 and 2012. TOCFL is a worldwide standardized language proficiency test administered by the Taiwan Ministry of Education. So far, JSU has administered the test for 24 students in 2011 and 20 students in 2012 from schools such as MSU, Mississippi College, Tougaloo College, Holmes Community College, and Chinese Christian Church of Greater Jackson Chinese School (CCCGJ).
The China Initiatives also hosts two major cultural events annually: the Chinese Moon Festival Tea and the Chinese New Year Celebration and Fundraiser. These two cultural events attract more than 500 guests on and off campus each year. Through the events, not only did Chinese and American students perform side-by-side in the spirit of cultural exchange, but also raised funds to support JSU students to study abroad in China/Taiwan. Lastly, this initiative also hosts a weekly Chinese Corner to provide a platform for JSU and the Jackson community members to learn Chinese language and culture.
For the past six years, China Initiatives has built substantial relationships with Chinese/Taiwanese universities and other institutions to identify and develop educational, research and cultural opportunities with China/Taiwan. Thus far JSU has partnered with ten universities in China and ten in Taiwan. This provides strong indication that continuation of the China Initiatives will result in significant Chinese/Taiwanese student enrollment, study abroad opportunities, and research. IS is planning to continue China Initiatives by identifying an individual with the capacity to direct this project.