In 1998, Columbia University, the Five College Center for East Asian Studies, Indiana University, the University of Colorado and the University of Washington joined forces to create The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA). Our goal was then, and remains today, “to encourage and facilitate teaching and learning about East Asia in elementary and secondary schools nationwide.” In the first year of the program, 478 teachers participated in intensive 30-hour seminars at 27 locations.
Two years later, NCTA added study tours to China, Japan and Korea, allowing NCTA seminar alumni to deepen and solidify their knowledge of East Asia. In 2008 two additional national sites, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Southern California, were added so that we could more efficiently provide programming for the growing number of educators who were eager to participate in NCTA programming and thus enrich their students’ lives. In recent years, NCTA professional development programs have reached more than 2300 participants per year.
In the past five years NCTA’s programming has evolved to meet changes in local, state and national educational policies as well as new economic realities. We have embraced new technology to reach new cohorts of teachers while ensuring that the quality of our programming has not diminished.
NCTA serves the needs of multiple audiences within the context of a new educational environment, a new information environment, and evolving global realities. In doing so, NCTA is a national and international model of education information dissemination and professional development in the Information Age.