For many people, a passport is a well-worn travel document. But for a student who has never left the country, a passport is the portal to a future that includes global learning, travel, adventure and personal transformation. In a very real sense, a first passport is the first step on a student's global journey.
Unfortunately, the initial cost of obtaining a passport can end their journey before it begins.
"Student feedback indicates that the $110 cost of a passport can be a stumbling block or stopping point for some of our students," said CCI Dean Amy Reynolds, Ph.D. "At the same time, we know that when students actually obtain a passport, it helps them begin to think about international travel -- and begin planning for it."
The Kent State University College of Communication and Information has started a donor-funded First Passport Fund to provide first-time passports to CCI students with a strong desire to study or intern overseas, but need a little financial support getting started. Through this fund, CCI will reimburse the cost of first passports, not renewals, for those students who have a 2.0 GPA and have demonstrated financial need.
"I've approved the initial cohort of First Passport scholarship recipients," said Stephanie Smith, CCI's director of global initiatives. "Four students are majors in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, three are in the School of Communication Studies, two are in the School of Visual Communication Design and one is in the School of Library and Information Science. These students plan to travel to several locations including Ghana, London, Florence and China. There is a clear need for this type of support; I'm already processing three more First Passport requests from CCI students, including a Ph.D. student."
For more information or to contribute to the fund, contact Smith at email@example.com or 330-672-8147.