Japanese Program Grant

January 26, 2018- Northern Kentucky University’s World Languages and Literatures Department is looking to developing more courses that could be used as the foundations for a future Japanese major thanks to a grant from the Japan Foundation of Los Angeles. The World Languages and Literatures Department is part of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The "Salary Assistance Grant for Japanese Courses” provides funding for the development of Japanese programs and curriculum at universities. NKU has a thriving Japanese minor, so the funds have been applied to developing additional courses.

“As part of this, Dr. Junko Agnew and Professor Makoto Nakamura did an informal poll of their students to see if there was interest in a future major in Japanese. Although this was an informal poll, about 75 percent of the students said that they would consider pursuing a Japanese major if there was one at NKU,”said Dr. Caryn Connelly, Chair of the World Languages and Literatures Department. “As the process progressed, we learned a dignitary from the Japanese Consulate would visit NKU to present us with the grant check. We were very honored to have Mr. Tye Ebel from the office of the Consulate General of Japan in Nashville to award the grant to us.” 

NKU has a strong foundation to build on when creating the proposed Japanese major. The university has partnerships with 3 Japanese universities: Gifu University, Nanzan University and Musashi University.

“Because of these partnerships, many NKU students are pursuing a Japanese minor and study abroad in Japan. Between that and the courses they take here at NKU, a good number of them have the equivalent of a major in terms of the amount of credit hours in Japanese,” said Dr. Connelly. 

The duration of the grant is one year and ends in the summer of 2018. Dr. Agnew is researching Japanese major programs at other colleges and universities in the country. The group is also developing Japanese courses that would be parallel to French, German and Spanish major programs. NKU currently has 65 students minoring in Japanese. 

Photo- Back Row- Left to Right: Dr. François LeRoy (Executive Director of the Office of International Education), Dr. Diana McGill (Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences), Dr. Caryn Connelly (Chairperson of World Languages and Literatures Dept.), Dr. Junko Agnew (Adjunct Instructor of Japanese and JFLA Grant recipient), Mr. Tye Ebel (program coordinator for the JET/Japan Exchange and Teaching overseen by the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville), Mr. Yoshito Saeki (principal of the Japanese Language School of Greater Cincinnati)

Front Row- Left to Right: NKU students Stevie Keeton, Elisa Moore, Lacey Gerdes and Jamie Johnston

About NKU:  Northern Kentucky University is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018! Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we  have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information on our 50th, visit nku.edu/50.