TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Area Public Schools is sending West Senior High School assistant principal Joe Esper to China to recruit and interview Weiming Education Group students for the 2014-2015 school year exchange program.
Esper will be in China from Saturday until March 30. The trip is expected to cost TCAPS about $2,000 in travel expenses. Weiming Education Group will pay for in-country travel and other accommodations, according to a TCAPS press release.
Esper will join a group of officials representing Rockford, East Kentwood and Oxford schools who also are looking to recruit students from Weming to attend high school in Michigan.
He’ll follow up with students who were interviewed in November by Dr. Rick Vandermolen, principal of Central High School, and who have applied to the TCAPS program. He’ll also interview a new set of prospective students and meet with school administrators and parents in other Chinese towns to discuss the possibility of future partnerships with TCAPS.
“About a dozen have applied to come to TCAPS,” Esper said. “I’ll meet with them, welcome them, talk to them about certain classes they have the option of taking and continue to build those relationships with the kids that are coming next fall.”
Esper will interview about 60 additional Weiming students who are interested in finishing their high school education in the United States. Those interviews will be in conjunction with the administrators from the other school districts.
The point is to build trust with the Chinese school district and to find students who would be a good fit for the exchange program, Esper said. Students can apply to the high school in which they’re interested if they make the cut.
Weiming students who come to TCAPS in the fall will spend one year as a full-time student at either West Senior High School or Central High School and then a second year taking classes at both the high school and Northwestern Michigan College.