On October 31, the partnership was sealed between two institutions of higher education with the primary goal of providing access to a college education for the sisters in West Africa.
Chestnut Hill College President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D. and Professor James Hawkins Ephraim, Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University College of Ghana (CUCG), located in Fiarpe, Ghana, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to offer online distance learning classes to women religious in Africa beginning in the fall 2014.
Eighteen women religious from Ghana and Nigeria will launch the program. Representatives from the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) board of directors and the Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) Advisory Board together with members from the Chestnut Hill College board of directors, administration, faculty, staff and students joined Sister Carol for this historic event.
Members of ASEC believe that education is the key in assisting African nations in their quest for economic development and self-sufficiency. The goal of ASEC is to significantly contribute toward increased access to education in Africa by helping to educate women religious and enabling them to acquire the necessary credentials for teaching, healthcare, spiritual or social service ministries in their countries.
Chestnut Hill College is one of the founding members of ASEC as well as Marywood University, Neumann University and Rosemont College together with the religious congregations that founded these colleges and universities. Inaugurated in 2013 and funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, ASEC’s Higher Education for Sisters in Africa (HESA) program provides opportunities for women religious to earn higher education credentials through the advances in technology that is rapidly changing the landscape of higher education.