Brother Robert Smith, right, chief academic officer and vice president of the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, greets some of the Jamaican graduates at the May 12 commencement ceremony on the Winona Campus.

As part of its efforts to increase the enrollment and visibility of the university — as well as extend its Lasallian mission of making college accessible — Saint Mary’s has formed several international partnerships. This year marks a significant milestone for the international partnership of Saint Mary’s and the Catholic College of Mandeville (CCM) in Jamaica. Ten years ago in early fall of 2008, the first learning community of the Master of Education in Teaching and Learning—Jamaica program was launched. To celebrate this milestone, an alumni event was held at CCM during the annual Master of Education spring conference weekend in April. Several Saint Mary’s faculty and staff were in attendance as well as alumni from almost all eight learning communities. (Learning communities nine and 10 were in the middle of their conference work.) Each year, a number of graduates travel from Jamaica to Winona to commence in connection with Saint Mary’s. Recruitment efforts are underway for the 11th learning community to begin this fall. The program has 245 total alumni as of this month.

Saint Mary’s also has partnerships with Christ the Teacher Institute for Education (CTIE)  (located at Tangaza University College) and with the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies (MIAS). Both schools, in Nairobi, Kenya, held a joint graduation ceremony earlier this month. Brother William Mann was there to celebrate the more than 90 graduates earning degrees such as three-year teacher education diplomas, Bachelor’s of Education Degrees in Education (Art and Science), Master of Arts in African Studies, and Master of African Studies. Saint Mary’s celebrates its graduates from across the globe.