English-Mandarin MA in Educational Leadership & Management recognized

June 20, 2018

A dual language master’s degree program created in partnership between Royal Roads University and Maple Leaf Educational Systems has received the Award for Outstanding Program in International Education from the British Columbia Council for International Education (BCCIE).

The BCCIE award recognizes professionalism, dedication and outstanding achievement in the field of international education in BC. BCCIE is a provincial Crown corporation that supports internationalization efforts by BC's public and independent schools, public and private colleges and universities and language schools.

The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management/Maple Leaf Educational Systems (MAELM/MLES) program was launched in 2015 for administrators and teachers in Maple Leaf schools in China. The program uses a distinctive English-Mandarin format—the university’s first fully dual language offering. English-speaking and Mandarin-speaking school leaders learn together in the same cohort of study in both or either language over two years, using Royal Roads’ blended learning model.

Maple Leaf Educational Systems is an independent international school system with more than 33,000 students studying in 70 schools throughout China. Maple Leaf offers dual Chinese and BC government graduation diplomas, with more than 8,000 students studying the BC Ministry of Education curriculum.

“Developing a dual-language, blended learning master’s program that enables Mandarin-speaking and English-speaking educational leaders to study together while tackling important educational issues has been an inspiring process,” says Prof. Doug Hamilton, program head of the MAELM International program. “Maple Leaf’s senior executive team and program participants embraced this unique learning model and continue to help shape this program with their insight and enthusiasm.

“I am thankful to the Royal Roads faculty and staff who saw the program’s inception as a real learning opportunity, dove headlong into the development process and have continued to offer great ideas and support,” Hamilton says.

Hamilton says by this fall, more than 45 Maple Leaf staff members will have graduated from the program’s first two cohorts; a third cohort begins in January 2019. 

“From the initial conversation to the graduation of the first cohort, the development of this program has been an exercise in developing cultural understanding,” says Dawn Sutherland, president of Maple Leaf Education North America. “Through the commitment to partnership between Royal Roads and MLES, challenges were met and a truly remarkable program developed and delivered. We are thrilled it is being recognized for this BCCIE award.”

Hamilton and Sutherland accepted the award on behalf of both institutions at the BCCIE summer conference awards banquet June 19 in Vancouver.