Project Global Officer Grant Awarded to SLLC

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We are pleased to announce that The School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures has been awarded a Project Global Officer (Project GO) grant by the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO), funded by DoD.  Congratulations to Chelsea Sypher, Co-PI and Director, and Co-PI Dr. Nahal Akbari on this great achievement and to their partners in UMD’s Air Force and Army ROTC detachments.

As part of the Project GO Program, the University of Maryland will offer innovative, intensive domestic and overseas language instruction to ROTC students from a nationwide audience with the goal of helping students to reach an ILR 1 oral proficiency level in Arabic or Persian. We are honored to expand the SLLC’s  language and culture programs to a wider range of students and to help build the next generation of military leadership.

We are excited to begin this new project effective Fall 2015.  One of the best aspects of this new initiative is that Project GO funding will provide more than $100k this year for cadet scholarships to study critical languages and cultures both at UMD and abroad. Project GO will collaborate closely with the SLLC's existing portfolio of high quality language and culture programs, offering maximum opportunities for study at all levels to UMD students. 

Through Project GO, the Arabic and Persian Flagship Programs, the domestic Persian Capstone Program, and the UMD Summer Language Institute, students at UMD will have every opportunity to reach a professional level of proficiency in a critical language.  We expect that upon graduation these students will take their places as global professionals with leadership roles in government, in the military, in business, in education, and in development.  For more information on Project GO please contact

Project GO Abstract:

The University of Maryland is pleased to apply for a Project GO grant to develop and implement programs in Arabic and Persian languages for ROTC students from all major and disciplines nationwide, in full partnership with on-campus Air Force, Army and Navy ROTC Detachments. The program aims to recruit talented ROTC students from diverse academic backgrounds across campus, regionally, and nationally in close collaboration with on-campus Commanders and Recruiters, providing cadets with opportunities for domestic and overseas language and cultural immersion. This proposal presents plans for joint recruitment and mentorship of ROTC students with all the three services, enabling future officers to participate in strong and vibrant language and culture summer programs and also benefit from sustainment of the skills developed over the summer through planned interventions during the academic year.

Building on UMD’s strengths in innovative teaching, a track record of success in achieving results in Arabic and Persian Flagship programs, a fast growing Summer Language Institute, and a long-standing partnership with American Councils in administering overseas programs, the proposal elaborates plans to support ROTC students to achieve a minimum proficiency of Level 1 and beyond across all modalities and integrate language study with cultural education, global awareness, and critical reflection. Program goals will be achieved through a highly interactive proficiency-based curricular design, interventions to maximize exposure, and joint advising and mentorship to foster independent learning skills. A range of face-to face and web-based options are proposed to build in maximum flexibility to meet the needs and demanding schedules of ROTC students.