Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CAMPUS (Central American Program of Undergraduate Scholarships) 1988-1999

As I was reading the book The Culture of Freedom: The Small World of Fulbright Scholars (1992) by Leonard R. Sussmann this weekend I came across something that reminded me of my college days at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (see my previous video of the week on the ESL program at Eau Claire).  What specifically caught my interest was Sussman’s description of the CAMPUS (Central American Program of Undergraduate Scholarships) pilot program and recommendations that this highly successful program continue.  The Campus program was created in response to the insurgencies in Central America during the 1980’s and brought undergraduate students to the United States from 1988-1999.  The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire participated in the CAMPUS program hosting several undergraduate scholars from Central America, many of whom I personally knew.  Sussman highlights some of the assessment findings by Development Associates, Inc., who was under contract by the United States Information Agency (USIA), identified that returned CAMPUS participants from El Salvador created an exchange program with the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Further research took me to the LASPAU website where I have copied and pasted some interesting historical information about the program as well as some more specific information about the CAMPUS program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire:

"The Fulbright Program initiated CAMPUS to enable academically gifted students to obtain bachelor’s degrees at U.S. colleges and universities. CAMPUS provided scholarships for students to complete 30 months of academic course work, including intensive English language training, general education courses, and specialization in disciplines including business administration, communications, computer science, education, natural sciences, and social sciences. Over the course of the program, 795 young people from Central America studied at 28 institutions and returned home to pursue professional careers."

“In 1988, the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire held a three-day conference on Latin America attended by over 400 delegates, including four Latin American ambassadors, a representative of the U.S. State Department, and CAMPUS students themselves. The university subsequently set up a Latin American Institute, providing undergraduate courses on Latin American history, geography, economics, and political studies, as well as field trips to Latin America.(my note: I personally benefited from the Latin American Institute established at UW-Eau Claire as I majored in Spanish and minored in Latin American Studies)

You can read more about the CAMPUS program on the LASPAU website here.


  1. Do you think that the implementation of the program helped at all with the insurgencies?

  2. @Casey ~ Very good question! I don't know if the CAMPUS program had any affect on the insurgencies. It would be interesting to investigate to see if this was the case! Thanks for your comment!


    It did not change the insurgencies directly. Indirectly, it gave us recipents the best tools to make sure that within our circle of influence, everything was done according to values and principles.
    We all have madE a difference as much as the cultural exchange made a lasting effect in us.

  4. @Amanda ~ Many thanks for your comment!