UNC World View Partner Profile: Pitt Community College President Lawrence Rouse
UNC World View
Lawrence Rouse, president of Pitt Community College.
Lawrence Rouse, president of Pitt Community College (PCC) in Winterville, North Carolina, is an ardent supporter of global education and is dedicated to promoting a global mindset on the PCC campus. Rouse has also embraced global experiences for himself, many of which were offered to him through UNC World View, an outreach program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill dedicated to developing global educators.
UNC World View’s Impact
Rouse has more than 36 years of experience in administration and was named North Carolina Community College System’s President of the Year in 2016 yet continues to seek professional development opportunities. He has attended several UNC World View programs, ranging from the inaugural 2020 Global Education Leaders Program Abroad in Ireland to the 2017 Global Education Seminar, “Latin America and North Carolina.”
Additionally, PCC hosted the first ever Global is Local workshop, a community college initiative of UNC World View, in 2019, where N.C. Scholar of Global Distinction students from PCC were given the opportunity to present on the global influences in Greenville.
“I have served at two institutions as president, and World View has played a significant role in shaping how I lead my campus,” said Rouse. “I advocate for internationalizing curricula as well as bringing experiences to students to broaden their understanding of the global society that we live in.”
Visiting Ireland through UNC World View’s 2020 Global Education Leaders Program Abroad was an important trip for him. “Ireland was an incredible experience for me, as we viewed the country through many lenses,” he said. “As a professional, the visit renewed my understanding and support of global education as a part of educating and empowering people for success.”
Through school and college site visits, the cohort of educational leaders from North Carolina witnessed education in Ireland firsthand and connected with local educators about global topics.
“The Ireland visit was, without a doubt, the best professional development experience I have had in my higher education career and as a campus leader,” commented Rouse.
Developing a Global Path for His Campus
Rouse recognizes the responsibility of institutions of higher education to provide global opportunities to students and values the importance of providing diverse global perspectives on campus.
“We are intent on preparing our students for the world of work that relies on a workforce that is globally and culturally competent,” he commented. “PCC is increasing its global capacity by ensuring that our faculty and staff are given the opportunities to engage in programs, such as [those offered by] UNC World View.”
Adversity in the face of progress, however, is universal, and Rouse understands the complications that the new coronavirus poses for his institution’s global path. Nonetheless, Rouse sees opportunity going forward.
“We will learn how to respond and prevent global pandemics by communicating across cultural boundaries,” said Rouse. “That communication will foster better understanding and cooperation around the world. In my opinion, we will learn to work together to be stronger as a global society, and part of that working together begins with global education.”