Brian White, Ph.D.
WholeRen began as the result of a conversation with a group of Chinese, Chinese-American community members and American educators, headed by Cho-yun Hsu, history professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Among the topics explored was the feasibility of creating a Chinese high school in America. The original model focused on a school for Chinese students with its own dormitory program. After much debate and investigation, it was concluded that such a high school would not meet the desired goals, nor would a dormitory program be the best method of housing when compared to the advantages of well-managed home-stays.
In addition, these conversations discovered great interests in American constituencies to exchange, visit, host, interact, discuss ’best practices’ and cooperate with educational entities on both sides of the Pacific. Genuine interest and respect emerged from many individuals and institutions in America and China. WholeRen evolved to facilitate these mutual interests and needs.
WholeRen’s maxim, “Bringing Two Great Nations Together, One Student at a Time”, captures the essence of its mission to serve the educational needs and aspirations of families and educators in the USA and China while enhancing those experiences and involving highly reputed educational organizations and individuals. This mission is predicated on meeting the needs of the individual student by utilizing the best aspects of Eastern and Western educational precepts, and making the success of the learner the highest priority.
WholeRen aspires to continue to help Chinese students and families benefit from education and experiences available in America, and develop and execute plans and activities that satisfy participants. WholeRen foresees increased American interest in Chinese experiences and being desirous of opportunities to explore and learn in a Chinese environment as well. Exchanges and visits will be more mutual and involve more American students from middle school through graduate school in China. There will be an evolving need to create follow-up services, and design support that sustains students and reassures families to insure safe and fulfilling transitions. WholeRen is creating a network of honorable relationships with organizations which can be trusted and networking with partners to round out support and services likely to be needed by increasing numbers of students.
The five key things that really drive results for Wholeren are: student success, satisfied families, feedback from previous clients, requests from educational organizations, and services tailored for individuals and institutions.
Among the greatest challenges for WholeRen are identifying reliable entities to work with, promoting realistic expectations in China, introducing the full spectrum of American education options within the US, for example, community college transfer programs, establishing protocols for obtaining accurate and trustworthy documentary material, and promulgating the importance of academic integrity and fairness. These concerns vary greatly by geography and individuals.
Endeavoring together, we believe WholeRen will definitely have a role making a great success of East-West collaboration in education!