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Community College Initiative (CCI) Program

Jan 18, 2022

Increase your skills and expertise at a U.S. Community College!

Application Deadline: February 4, 2022

The Community College Initiative (CCI) Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, provides opportunities for individuals from Kosovo to develop leadership capabilities, professional skills, and English language proficiency while studying at a community college in the United States. The CCI Program provides participants from underserved areas and underrepresented groups with a one-year, non-degree academic program at a U.S. community college. Since the establishment of the program in 2007, 75 community colleges have hosted over 3,000 CCI participants from 21 countries.

Program Overview 

The CCI Program encourages a holistic learning and exchange experience and focuses on five program pillars: academics, cultural exchange, service learning, professional and career development, and leadership and action planning. All pillars of the CCI Program are of equal importance. The program provides participants with a non-degree, academic program at a U.S. community college, designed to build participants’ technical skills in applied fields, enhance their leadership capabilities, and strengthen their English language proficiency. It also provides opportunities for professional internships, service learning, and community engagement. After completing the program, participants return home with enhanced skills to help them contribute to the economic development of their countries.

The CCI Program demonstrates the U.S. commitment to increasing access to higher education for international students from underrepresented and underserved communities and highlights the learning environment offered at U.S. community colleges. The program also builds U.S. community colleges’ efforts to deepen international educational partnerships and programming.

Community colleges are predominantly publicly funded, inclusive institutions in local communities that welcome all who desire to learn, regardless of wealth, heritage, or previous academic experience. Community colleges offer individual courses (credit and non-credit), certificate programs, workforce development training, and associate degrees. Associate degree coursework at community colleges is roughly equivalent to that offered in the first two years of a four-year bachelor’s degree program. There are more than 1,100 public, independent, and tribal community colleges across the United States. Community colleges are sometimes referred to as technical colleges or junior colleges.

Field of Study  

The CCI Program offers eight fields of study. Candidates from Kosovo will apply for a pilot program to study in the field of media with a new concentration in the subfield of digital media and communications. This academic program will include a collection of courses that builds knowledge about the media landscape and skills in media literacy, digital media, and communications.

Participants will work with their Program Coordinators at each host college to develop an individual program plan within his/her field of study and concentration area. Participants should develop their goals broadly within these fields of study and concentration areas. In the application, participants should describe their specific areas of interest in their proposed fields of study and concentration areas, their related experience, and their long-term goals.  

Participants are applying for the CCI Program and are not applying to a specific academic degree program at a particular institution. Based on their proficiency in English, participants will have access to courses at the CCI community college where they are placed. Participants may earn an academic certificate in their field of study or complete courses that are relevant to their professional goals. Certificate programs are not available for all programs at all campuses and are contingent upon multiple factors, including the participant’s level of English. Participants will combine academic or professional coursework with first-hand practical experiences through internships or service learning that will help them build their professional skills and capacities.

CCI Eligibility Requirements 

  • Be from Kosovo’s municipalities of Ferizaj, Gjilan, Kaçanik, Kamenicë, and Viti.

  • Is a citizen, national or permanent resident qualified to hold a valid passport issued by the Republic of Kosovo.

  • Is currently residing in the Republic of Kosovo.

  • Is 18 years or older by July 1, 2022.

  • Has successfully earned a secondary school diploma.

  • Has not already completed the equivalent of three years toward a U.S. Bachelors’s degree or higher in the field of study the applicant is nominated to pursue. Nominees without substantive post-secondary education will be given placement priority.

  • Has demonstrated commitment to the selected field of study through some academic or professional experience. The program aims to identify participants with proven skills or interest and limited professional experience in the fields of study offered.

  • Has intermediate to advanced knowledge of English language.

  • Has limited or no overseas study experience. Nominees with no prior overseas study or travel to the United States will be given placement priority.

  • Meets any customized requirements of the home country Embassy/Consulate or Commission.

  • Submits a complete, original application.

  • Is able to receive a U.S. J-1 visa and meet the program conditions to maintain that status.

  • Is willing and physically able (with accommodations as required) to complete the program in its entirety, including activities or travel that may be programmed on any day of the week, possibly including early morning or evening hours.

  • Is committed to returning to Kosovo after completion of the program and satisfying the J-visa two-year residency requirement.

  • Is able to begin the academic exchange program in the United States in July 2022.

The CCI Program is conducted as a merit-based open competition. After the application deadline, all applications will be reviewed in-country for eligibility and assessed by a panel of exchange program specialists. Competitive applicants will be interviewed in their home countries by a nomination committee. All applicants will be notified of their nomination and placement statuses on a rolling basis from spring to summer 2022.

The Program covers:

  • J-1 visa support.

  • Round-trip travel from participant’s home city to host institution in the United States.

  • Tuition and mandatory college fees.

  • Housing and meals.

  • Small allowance for books, materials, and incidental expenses.

  • Limited Accident and Sickness coverage that is J-visa compliant.

  • A variety of personal and professional development activities.

All applicants must submit a completed application via email to by February 4, 2022. For an application to be considered complete it should contain all the following documents:

  • Application Form: Applicants must provide complete information for all questions. Do not leave a question blank. If it does not apply to you, write “NA” for Not Applicable. Sign and date the application form.

  • Secondary School Diploma: A copy of the applicant’s secondary school diploma, with an English translation.

  • Transcripts: A copy of the applicant’s transcript for the most recent year of study completed (high school or undergraduate). The transcript may be in the language of instruction, with an English translation.

  • English Test Results, if available: Provide an official English test score report.

  • International Passport, if availableProvide a copy of your passport data page. If you do not have an international passport yet, it is highly recommended that you begin the process of applying for a passport (including obtaining any required local documents) as it may take a significant amount of time to receive this document

APPLICATION FORM : CCI+Program+AY+2022-2023+Application+Fillable+MEDIA+FINAL+(Word)+101521