What is ACCEX and ACC?

ACCEX refers to the American Centers for Cultural Exchange. The network of centers is managed by Arizona State University, which organizes an annual ACCEX conference in order to improve communication among network members and to provide solutions to the most pressing challenges faced by members. As the network evolves, the need for collaborative action and intercultural communication skills is greatly increasing. 

ACC refers to the American Culture Center. Each center is a unique blending of the American and Chinese university´s characteristics and culture. Some American Culture Centers focus on culture, while others promote technology or business. Strategic advantages of partners are often highlighted in the ACC programming. 

What does ACCEX do?

ACCEX centers seek to develop a deeper appreciation of American society and values by thoughtful exploration of the nuances and complexities of American life. In an unprecedented move, these centers are telling the American story to thousands of Chinese students, teachers and citizens across China. While each university partnership has its own characteristics, the institutions have many features in common—a priority on deeper understanding of American culture, a history of collaboration, and a desire to engage students and professors in academic and experiential learning opportunities focused on American themes.

The synergy of working together creates new opportunities unavailable to any one center working alone. The future leaders of China will gain a deeper understanding of American values, but the people of the United States will be the ultimate beneficiaries of a strong, stable relationship with China.

How was ACCEX started?

Inspired by and modeled after the success of the Sichuan University-Arizona State University Center for American Culture, the U.S. Department of State funded 11 Sino­-American university partnerships in 2011 to create a network of American Culture Centers (ACCs) on Chinese campuses. An additional 7 centers were launched in 2012 with State Department support.

Who comprises the ACCEX network?

The network includes Chinese universities and their American partners (including the US-China Education Trust). A list of participating ACCEX universities can be found on the American Culture Centers page.

How often does ACCEX meet?

Although directors and staff members maintain communications with one another year-round, ACCEX members come together in June each year for a stakeholders’ meeting. What began as a meeting for center directors has evolved into an annual gathering of all those who have an interest in ACCEX and its future.

The Strategic Development Committee holds quarterly teleconference calls. More details can be found on the Strategic Development Committee page.

What types of programs, activities, and services does ACCEX provide?

Programming varies from center to center--each partnership has its own particular concentration, which therefore leads to different types of events.  Center activities include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Symposia and lectures related to U.S. history, culture and the arts.
  • Weekly discussions of American media and books.
  • Presentations by U.S. citizens from many walks of life, discussing business, law, culture and ideals.
  • Professional training programs for English teachers in China.
  • Participation in weekly team sports activities.
  • Collaborative study between American and Chinese students and scholars of cultural topics in both countries.
  • Advice to Chinese students seeking advanced education in the United States.
  • Performances by American cultural groups such as choirs, acting troupes, dancers, and musicians.

Who manages ACCEX?

Arizona State University, co-creator of the SCU-ASU Center for American Culture, manages ACCEX. Meet the team on the Management Team page.

Who funds ACCEX?

The ASU Center for American Culture received start up funds from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.  In 2012, the Ford Foundation provided a grant to ASU to host a conference on American Cultural Centers.   Based on the success of this conference, Ford made an award to keep the annual conference going until 2015.  President Michael Crow invested in 2013 to maintain the level of activity of ASU’s CAC, and therefore the overall network. 

ACCEX is developing a funding model that brings in revenue from conference registration, corporate sponsorships, and foundation grants.  ACCEX plans to leverage our relationships with the Ford Foundation and the multi-national corporations doing business in Chengdu to target the business community for financial support.

ACCEX will continue to submit funding requests with philanthropic organizations, government agencies, and corporations. Lastly, we’ve invested in marketing, branding, web, and eCommunications to build awareness about ACCEX, which will help the Network make a name for itself in outlets such as international relations, international education, cultural exchange programs, and global enterprises.

Can anyone join ACCEX?

Any Chinese and American universities with a strong history of partnership may consider opening an American Cultural Center.