We’ve focused, over the past two posts, on attracting and – even more importantly – retaining international students at colleges and universities.
We’ve labored under the valid assumption that all colleges and universities see the value and benefits of attracting a student body from all corners of the globe. But we’ve also pointed out how very often our college administrations fall short of ensuring international students advance, graduate and move on to productive careers.
In our July 15 post, we suggested student progression and graduate is the only true measure of any enrollment management program.
In our July 22 post, we looked at the difficulty faced by the new vice-president for international programs at Mythical University when presented with the task of developing a program to increase by 10 percent the enrollment and graduation of international students and to increase by 10 percent the number of Ol’ Myth students who, in turn, study abroad.
So, here we are in Week Three, one year later in the life of Mythical U., and the V.P.. for international programs was able to report to the university president and board of trustees: some major accomplishments, including the creation of an International Affairs Committee, a task force to oversee the recruitment and retention of international students.
International Affairs Committee
- A monthly meeting of representatives from the admission, student affairs, retention services, career services, alumni and fundraising offices, was created. Between meetings committee members were asked to collaborate on how to integrate their administrative functions to provide better services to international students.
- The offices of admission and student services determined who in the student services department would communicate directly with international students and parents after letters of acceptance were mailed. In effect, the action moved from admission to student services. The staff in that office is partially responsible for “closing the deal.”
- The admission and student services departments shared information on the parents of current international students who have agreed to speak or meet with prospective international parents.
- The alumni staff shared information with the international admission recruiters on international graduates.
- The career counseling staff shared information with the international recruiters on the job placements of recent international graduates.
- The director of retention services reported monthly on the progression of all new and returning international students. A specific staff member in the department was made responsible for coordinating outreach to any international student in academic difficulty.
- The director of alumni affairs shared a list with committee members of all international graduates. International recruiters have this information when they travel abroad and whenever possible, meet with international graduates to seek assistance with recruitment activities and internship possibilities.
- The admission office shared with the fundraising office information on potential “friends” of Mythical U. (This information is shared only after students are accepted and enrolled.) Plans are in place for next year for the vice presidents of advancement and international programs to meet with potential international donors.
- The vice president for international programs created a database of all existing articulation and combined degree agreements. A standard protocol was developed for all future international agreements and everyone on the committee was given a set of the new guidelines. Mythical U’s legal department signed off on the protocol and all international admission recruiters were given copies to take on future international trips.
- All agreements are now “housed” in the vice president’s office and no one, apart from the vice president, is permitted to sign off on future arrangements.
- The same policy is followed with regard to future study abroad agreements.
- The vice president created a database of all current international students and graduates and that information is shared with all committee members.
- The vice-president’s research assistant compiled a list with the following international statistics: number and percent of current international students and countries of origin, number of international graduates and countries of origin, number of international faculty and countries of origin, and the number and names of all international courses. This information is shared with all international recruiters.
- The vice president created a Board of International Advisors, composed of local and international alumni. The Board meets once a year on the campus of Mythical U and is charged with helping the school recruit students, create international internships, and identify potential international donors.
- An annual report of the committee’s activities is shared with the entire campus in January and June.
Not bad for one year’s work!