In a move that will extend and strengthen St. Mary’s University’s international curriculum and educational connections to Latin America, University officials today inked an agreement with a respected technology-oriented university in Mexico.

The three-year agreement between St. Mary’s and Instituto Tecnólogico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO), a Jesuit university in Guadalajara, Mexico, will promote academic connections and enrich cultural understanding between Mexico and the United States.

Eight undergraduate students and four faculty members at each institution will use technology to collaborate on joint research projects in international business and international relations. In the spring, students will present their findings in person at both schools, and the research will be published in English and Spanish. St. Mary’s students will receive six hours of academic credit for the year-long commitment.

St. Mary’s President Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D., and ITESO President Héctor Acuña, S.J., were present for the signing Wednesday on the St. Mary’s campus.

“St. Mary’s University is committed to developing students who soon will be leaders in an increasingly international society,” Cotrell said. “This initiative furthers that goal, strengthening our educational ties with both ITESO and Mexico. By using distance learning to allow direct collaboration with students a country away, we are broadening our students’ international experience and preparing them to become tomorrow’s leaders in a global economy.”

St. Mary’s offers numerous international academic programs, including those in Taipei, Taiwan; Innsbruck, Austria; Madrid, Spain; Rome, Italy; and Vina del Mar, Chile.

ITESO was founded in 1957 by a group of businessmen, concerned parents and the Jesuit Order as a private Catholic university. It is considered one of the top 10 private institutions of higher education in Mexico.

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