UIC explores partnership with Tecnológico de Monterrey

A new partnership between UIC and Mexico’s leading technological university could include a unique wellness training program developed by the Department of Physical Therapy.

The Healthy Living Practitioner Certificate program created by Ross Arena, professor and head of PT, is among potential collaborations in the discussion between UIC and the Monterrey Institute of Technology.

Monterrey Tec officials visited campus in January to announce the partnership. The initial focus includes the Healthy Living Practitioner program, ophthalmology research and a faculty liaison office to facilitate exchange of faculty, students and resources. The Mexican university already has relationships with the UIC colleges of Medicine and Engineering.

Arena said the PT certificate program trains health professionals in a proactive approach to preventing chronic diseases or improving the lives of those already diagnosed. The program, a hybrid program of online and in-person learning, is open to practitioners in all health disciplines.

The Healthy Living Practitioner certificate program is the only one of its kind, Arena said. Monterrey Tec approached him about a partnership that would include enabling its students to take the course.

“Mexico has the same issues that we have here—chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes—that can be preventable by leading a healthier lifestyle,” Arena said.

Monterrey Tec is one of the leading institutions of higher education in Mexico, serving more than 60,000 students on 31 campuses located in 25 Mexican cities and 22 liaison offices in 15 countries.

The Mexican university already has partnerships with Harvard University in Boston and San Jose State University in California but was looking for a home in the Midwest to better support its international collaborations, UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said.

“UIC is the logical choice in the Midwest because we are already partnering with their faculty in medicine and engineering, and we are a Hispanic-Serving Institution,” he said. “When you add UIC’s location in a city with one of the largest Mexican populations outside of Mexico, we are the perfect fit.”

UIC’s Office of Global Engagement is leading the initiative.