Campus: San Diego State University -- October 07, 2002

SDSU Launches First Transnational Triple-Degree Program
International Business Curriculum Addresses Needs of NAFTA Countries

San Diego State University’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) has developed the nation’s first transnational, triple-degree program. The program, called CaMexUS, will be officially recognized with a signing of agreement ceremony today at 4 p.m. at University House, 4545 Yerba Santa Drive.

CaMexUS, an acronym representing the North American Free Trade Agreement’s three member countries (Canada, Mexico and the United States), is designed to address a major problem facing U.S. business schools: how to better prepare students to conduct business in an interdependent, global marketplace. At graduation, CaMexUS participants will receive three undergraduate degrees issued by the participating universities.

CaMexUS students spend at least one year studying in each country, enrolling in 10 business and regional studies courses taught in the host country’s language alongside native students at SDSU, the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in Tijuana, Mexico, and the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi in Canada. Students also intern with multinational firms in each country.

“This program will provide expertise for undergraduate international business students in all three NAFTA countries and prepare students to conduct business effectively throughout the continent,” said SDSU President Stephen L. Weber.

CaMexUS offers a tri-national, undergraduate international business curriculum that integrates business, foreign languages and regional/cultural studies, said SDSU professor Steven Loughrin-Sacco, who co-chairs international business with SDSU professor Mike Hergert. A similar SDSU program with universities in Mexico, called MexUS, was established in 1994 as the first trans-national dual-degree program in the United States.

“Most universities offer a program to study in another country for a semester,” Loughrin-Sacco said. “With this program, SDSU offers a depth and breadth of international business opportunities that an undergraduate will not find anywhere else.”

Hergert agreed, adding that the program will offer more and more advantages to students as it grows. Currently, eight students are enrolled in the program. Officials expect that the program will eventually have as many as 40 students.

“Graduates from this program will be fluent in three languages and be well-trained in the methods of doing business in all three countries,” he said. “These students will be prepared to take leadership roles in firms operating in the NAFTA trading bloc.”
Erica Gonzalez, the first to complete the CaMexUS program, said she chose to attend SDSU because of the undergraduate International Business program, which was recently ranked the best in the country by the Institute for International Education.

“It was an incredible experience,” Gonzalez said about her CaMexUS studies. “I earned three degrees, speak all three languages and I have a true understanding of the cultures and the way people do business.”

C.P. Luis Meza Aristigue, dean of the College of Business Administration at the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, said graduates of this program will be far better prepared to manage North American and international commerce than other graduates.

“CaMexUs will be a positive impact in the NAFTA region,” he said. “The relationship between these trinational leaders is going to be based on mutual respect and understanding of each other's language, and each other's culture.”

Gilles Imbeau, dean of the College of Business Administration at the Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi, agreed.

“This three-way agreement will permit our students to benefit from a common educational platform as well as educational and cultural exchanges,” he said. “This accord directly reflects the spirit of NAFTA."

Through the CaMexUS program, students will benefit from:

  • Academic training in the U.S., Canadian and Mexican finance, management and marketing practices;
  • Fluent Spanish and French language skills beyond the level of proficiency attainable at the home campus;
  • Exposure to Mexico’s and Canada’s cultural values and protocols, as well as their political, linguistic, historical and economic heritage;
  • Experience working in Mexican and Canadian multinational firms; and
  • Experience working effectively in multicultural teams through group class assignments with Mexican and Canadian business students.

San Diego State University’s undergraduate international business program is the largest in the United States, with approximately 750 students enrolled. The program, offered jointly by the SDSU College of Business and College of Arts and Letters, was recently ranked 12th in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

CONTACT: Aaron Hoskins, SDSU Marketing & Communications, (619) 594-1119, Pager (619) 620-3282, ahoskins@mail.sdsu.edu


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