College nears deal on training for Chinese
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 28, 2006

Mesa program would teach services online
Laura Houston

Mesa Community College could be well on its way to cashing in on China's need for improved health care by the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

All the college needs are signatures to finalize a decade-long contract to offer online training to pharmacists, physicians and nurses that could earn Mesa Community College $10 million, said Pinny Sheoran, the college's executive director for business and industry institute.

"Almost anything you do now in China, especially in the health care area, their real focus is 'How are we going to raise our knowledge and our services in time for the Olympics?' " Sheoran said Tuesday. The Maricopa Community Colleges governing board approved the contract with the China Medicine Education Association on Tuesday.

The board just needs its own legal counsel to sign the documents.

The program is tentatively set to launch in September, Sheoran said. The program will feature U.S.-based instructors essentially showing pharmacy teachers in Chinese classrooms how to teach about drug interaction and proper dosage, and then how to work with pharmaceuticals, Sheoran said.

Classes will be broadcast live from Mesa, using $500,000 in technology that the college has invested to date, Sheoran said. Within a year's time, she said the college hopes to have 100,000 students go through the program.

District governing board President Scott Crowley said it's a good idea for the district to get involved with training medical staff, it will help "not only the base that's going to be traveling" but also their athletes.

Mesa is the largest of the district's 10 colleges.