Off the coast of Africa, 10,145 miles from Laie, there is an island nation called Mauritius. According to the World Bank, Mauritius has an area of 790 miles and a population of about 1.2 million.
It is here Spalding Jugganaikloo, a BYU–Hawaii alumnus from Mauritius, said he fulfilled his destiny of founding a college named The American Campus (TAC). He said his goal with TAC is to allow students from Africa, Asia and the whole world to obtain a quality education at an affordable price.
Spalding said the college was made possible due to “a belief in myself and a belief I was destined to do this, along with a lot of support from family and friends.” Although Spalding had support, he noted it was a struggle to get accreditation, partnerships, funding and operating on a budget with minimum staff.
Despite these barriers, Spalding explained, “There were many moments of inspiration and small miracles that made this project possible. Every time I think, ‘This is going to be the end of it,’ something happens that allows me to move it forward.”
Emma Jugganaikloo, Spalding’s daughter, said, “We plan to do faculty exchange and study abroad with our partners. Our partners believe in our mission of providing educational opportunities to areas of the world where students would otherwise not have the opportunity.”
According to Emma, Spalding was born and raised on Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. He came to America for school and spent the majority of his career in higher education and IT. “His education enabled him to have a new and better life. He was inspired to start something that would allow others to have the opportunity to learn and grow as individuals in order to better the world.”
Spalding said he was inspired to open TAC by “The importance of education.” He added, “We are targeting students from Africa, Asia and all over the world. Global education is essential for economic development and peace.”
Emma shared, “The American Campus has been open since 2015 doing training programs for high-school-aged students. In April of 2019, we began our first semester of full-time, degree-seeking students.”
According to the TAC website, its mission is to provide “a superior educational experience to nurture students’ personal and career goals, qualifying them for immediate entry into the workplace after graduation, and setting them up for success in their chosen career.
“We achieve this by being well-informed about trends and opportunities in the regional job markets, and by collaborating with American university partners to offer meaningful programs on campus. Beyond academic experience, students at TAC gain a network of mentors and build relationships with potential employers through internships, service, and research."
The Jugganaikloos also noted how the campus partners with universities in the United States, such as Dixie State University and Utah State University, to provide its students with curriculum and support from experts in higher education.
The TAC website also said its goals are to educate, nurture, train, teach and prepare their students through a holistic education based on personal development and supported by life skills, cultural awareness, creative thinking, and professional training.
Emma explained, “We provide a holistic educational experience that supports personal and professional development in addition to academic classes. We provide soft skills and professional training in their fields of study. TAC is located in Mauritius, which is a culturally, religiously, and economically diverse island.
“Students who come here learn to interact with people from different backgrounds and prepare them to communicate effectively. Graduates are equipped to be successful in their professional careers and to contribute to society by being exemplary citizens.”
Currently, Emma said, “Our degree students are studying communications and business. As we grow, we will add more undergraduate degrees, such as computer science, agribusiness and psychology. We will also launch an MBA program in the near future.”
Success and the future
So far, Emma said, “We have trained high school students in information technology. Since attending our program, they have reported higher grades in their computer-related classes than their peers. “They are better equipped to deal with the world of information technology because their experience at TAC has helped them to get ahead in the world.
“Our degree students here are excited about the educational opportunities provided. They are taking their future and career goals seriously and are optimistic about what they can do. That is a success to us.”
In the future, she said, “We want the campus to grow in enrollment and continually increase the number of students. We want it to develop into a reputable, well- known institution.
“In addition to providing excellent educational opportunities, we have the vision of it becoming a center for cultural exchange. We want it to grow into a business incubation center, where we provide training and help students from all over the world to start their own businesses.”
To learn more about The American Campus, visit https://tac.education/.