Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - Al Akhawayn and the University of Michigan - Dearborn Collaborate on Career and Counseling Workshops

Al Akhawayn and the University of Michigan - Dearborn Collaborate on Career and Counseling Workshops

Ifrane, September 19, 2011 - American experts from the University of Michigan - Dearborn have been at Al Akhawayn University leading workshops on leadership development and career counseling for Moroccan professionals in the field. Over 20 participants from cities around the country are involved, with the goal of improving their abilities in academic and career counseling as well as other services that support students and graduates entering the job market.

The 2-day workshops, run from September 19-20, 2011, have been conducted by career services and counseling experts associated with the University of Michigan-Dearborn, including Surry Scheerer, Leadership Development Coach, Barbara Peitsch, Program Manager, and Brian Balasia, Chairman and CEO of Digerati, an IT company in Detroit.

The program is designed to expose Moroccan professionals, primarily high school, vocational school, and university teachers and administrators, to the American system of academic and career counseling/coaching, and strengthening the institutional relationship between Al Akhawayn University and the University of Michigan. The collaboration also hopes to introduce University of Michigan faculty and administrators to Moroccan and Middle Eastern culture, to further their mutual goal of globalizing the universities and provide unique networking opportunities for the participants.

Mohammed Moubtassim, a faculty and program coordinator at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Sidi Mohamed Benabdallah University in Fez, said that "these workshops offer an opportunity for behavioral change. For sure, I will take back new ways of coaching to my students." And Fouad Moustakim, a high school teacher in Azrou, echoed those sentiments, saying, "I have learned alot, and gotten valuable new perspectives and ideas that are already making a difference in how I think about my professional -- and personal -- approach to career options and opportunities."

“Participation in the workshops has been extraordinary, and what I appreciate most of all is the participants’ readiness to share knowledge with each other," said Surry Scheerer, Leadership Development Coach at the University of Michigan - Dearborn.

This program is a follow-up workshop to the first session of the University of Michigan - Dearborn's "Engineering Pathways to Employment" Fellowship program, which is organized in the framework of the U.S. State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative and targets MENA-region professionals who work with young people on their career development.