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BRINGING THEM INTO THE FOLD: CHALLENGES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF INCLUSION FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND FACULTY. Tom Otieno , Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky George Acquaah, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland
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BRINGING THEM INTO THE FOLD: CHALLENGES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF INCLUSION FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND FACULTY Tom Otieno, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky George Acquaah, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland J. Blaine Hudson, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky Eri F. Yasuhara, California State University, San Bernardino, California By Sponsored by the Committee on Cultural Diversity 44th Annual Meeting of the Council of Colleges of Arts & Sciences November 11-14, 2009 Baltimore, Maryland
ABSTRACT • Higher education in America continues to benefit from the engagement of the international community by way of students and professionals who come to our institutions for training or to participate in the workforce. Periodic regional or international socioeconomic adversities and political upheavals often cause the federal government or institutions to implement policies or strategies that restrict the engagement of foreigners in our higher educational enterprise. The panelists will review key challenges confronting the American higher educational system with regards to international students and faculty as a result of contemporary global political and economic problems and institutional cultures and practices. They will also discuss some strategies for a successful international engagement.
Beyond ToMAYto and ToMAHto: Challenges International Scholars face beyond language issues George Acquaah, PhD Dean, College of Arts and Sciences Bowies State University, MD
Bringing them in……… Post 9-11 challenges persist Travel to the United States remains unnecessarily challenging, according to a joint statement issued in January by five organizations with diverse interests: the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange; the Coalition for Employment Through Exports; the Heritage Foundation; NAFSA: Association of International Educators; and the National Foreign Trade Council. “Foreign scholars, particularly scientists, continue to feel they have to go through hoops they shouldn’t have to go through,” Victor Johnson of NAFSA told the Chronicle of Higher Education in January Problem varies among world regions of origin Blanket exclusions/ideological reasons; mum e.g., Cuban scholars seeking to attend a conference of the Latin American Studies Association.
The sacrifices International Scholars make Separation of families – varying duration Living in a fish bowl – Big Brother watching? Severe consequences for such seemingly minor immigration violations as taking too few courses. ( a student arrested and detained for carrying 9 credit hours instead of 12.) Many do not return home—even for the funeral of a parent—for fear they will not be able to return to the United States.
What can be done? Congress and the executive branch should take action - articulate a clear, operational visa policy that fully realizes the Rice-Chertoff plan and improving efficiency, transparency, and reliability in the visa process…(AAUP) AAUP has protested the exclusion of numerous foreign scholars Institutional legal support services to help
The Language Issue Affects learning of students Affects the kind of job an IS can get In Higher Ed, content knowledge and pedagogic skills both critical to success Effective communication –key element in pedagogy ESL scholars often have communication challenges
The Issues Cont’d Communication challenges vary in degree among world regions International faculty, especially in STEM, indispensable Impact varies – TWIs vs. HBIs; small vs. large; research vs. teaching Universities
Classroom Challenges for IS Distractions (from self) - Fear of teaching in English (accent consciousness) ; fear of reception - How to make yourself understandable to students who may not be used your accent. Distractions (from students/outside) - Classroom behavior – e.g., challenging authority, discipline, mannerisms
Some strategies for success • University help • Faculty development assistance (workshops…) • Center for Teaching and Learning services – video-taping of classes; literature • Assign IS higher level classes (freshmen, Soph need more teaching; unfamiliar (cultural shock) with IS • Cultural literacy programs
Some strategies for success • Self-help • Excellent preparation before class • Effective use of instructional technologies • Highlight key concepts and terms in writing (handout, PP) • Cultural emersion initiative • Get to know your students on personal level (win them over via informal means)
Books that may help Teaching American Students: A Guide for International Faculty and Teaching Assistants in Colleges and Universities, Third Edition (Derek Bok Center) (Paperback) by Ellen Sarkisian
Diversity and International Programs Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences Annual Meeting Baltimore, Maryland Dr. J. Blaine Hudson Dean, College of Arts and Sciences University of Louisville November 12, 2009
Strategic Priorities Programmatic Depth, Breadth and Diversity Student and Faculty Diversity Globalization – ultimately, study abroad for all A&S majors
Brazil Partner: State University of Sao Paulo (UNESP) Student Exchange: English, Portuguese, Pan-African Studies Summer/Fall
China Partner Universities: Beijing Foreign Studies; Shandong University Student Exchange; Study Abroad (Chinese) Humanities Ph.D. Program
Panama Partner University: Quality Leadership University 2 + 2 program Study Abroad (Spanish)
Key Outcomes Several new area studies programs Several new languages (Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Portuguese) Several hundred student study abroad each year Increasing numbers of foreign students on our campus
“Opportunities and Challenges of International Exchanges:The Sino-American 1+2+1 Dual Degree Program, PLUS . . . ”Eri F. YasuharaCouncil of Colleges of Arts and Sciences Annual Meeting, Session H:Bringing Them into the Fold: Challenges and Responsibilities of Inclusion for International Students and FacultyNovember 12, 2009, 3:30 – 4:45 p.m. GB IX & XMarriott Baltimore Waterfront
Overview of 1+2+1 Program Year 1 in China, years 2-3 in U.S., final year in China; student receives degrees from both universities. Benefits: no “brain drain,” visas easier to obtain in post-9/11 era (less a problem now)
Sponsors • China Center for International Educational Exchange (CCIEE)—arm of Chinese Ministry of Education • American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
History Initiated 2001 with Troy University & six Chinese universities CSUSB was 8th university, started 2007 Now 17 American and 78 Chinese universities
Meeting a great need in China: some numbers 2009 population: 1.33 billion (nearly 1/5 of world population of 6.8 billion) 19% are under 15 years of age: 252 million children—a huge challenge to educate
Numbers, continued • 14 million/year should be taking Gao Kao (h.s. exit exam/college entrance exam) • - 4 million give up and don’t take the test • 10 million take the test • - 2 million go to university • 8 million • -2.6 million go to community college • 5.4 million have no place to go
More numbers • Community colleges: 2.6 million students graduate with equivalent of AA degree. But only 5% (130,000) go on to 4 year degree programs in China. • 2 million get Bachelor’s degrees and want Master’s degree, but options are limited. • China is building new campuses as fast as it can, but they can’t keep up with the demand. • Conclusion: better to establish relationships with other universities in other countries.
Benefits to us They are good, highly motivated students. They add one type of diversity. For public institutions (esp. in California right now), bottom line: they pay $55,000 for the two years.
What they’re looking for • Low cost (relatively speaking) • Strong majors: business is popular, along with computer systems, GIS • Trust in the relationship • Quick admission decisions • English language training for <500 TOEFL • Bridge courses to help students learn language and culture • Different dual degree programs (1+2+1, 2+2, 1+1 masters) • Faculty exchanges / visiting scholars (both directions) • Student exchanges (both directions)
At California State University, San Bernardino 2007 8 students (Yunnan University) 2008 20 students 2009 27 students 1st year: dorm; 2nd year: off-campus if desired.
Lessons Learned Language issues: oral interview in China, before visa interview; must have a non-Chinese speaker participate Some students take longer than 2 years at CSUSB Need for INTRUSIVE advising Administering the program: staff; “den mother” figure
Finally . . . Some musings about “diversity,” and a parable International students from Asia, and the Asian American story Critical need for English language proficiency, for your own protection
Tom Otieno Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky
WHY INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FACULTY AND STUDENTS IN OUR CAMPUSES? • ●They bring added cultural richness to American schools and contribute to the preparation of their American counterparts for a more diverse & global workforce • ●They bring different problem-defining and -solving perspectives to dealing with issues • ●They contribute to the local economy • ●They recruit more international students
STUDENT ISSUES • ●1. English Language/Communication • Many struggle with the English Language despite acceptable TOEFL scores or having participated in an Intensive English Language Program • ●How institutions can help • Institute special courses that address their needs. • EKU has ENG 100 (English for Non-Native Speakers ). This is a bridge course between passing TOEFL/EELI and ENG 101/102. Discontinued due to low enrolment. Re-introduced beginning spring 2010 for credit. • EKU has a special “International Students Only” section of the General Ed. CMS 100; a communications course. • Offer tutoring • Pay special attention to the areas that give international students trouble. EKU has the Writing/Reading Center but it does not necessarily target international students.
●Individual Responsibilities Improve interactions with American students International students tend to congregate in their cultural pockets thereby lessening the impact of social interaction in improving their English language skills Work harder ●2. Financial This is a big problem especially for students from Africa, Latin America and Asia, notwithstanding the fact that they provide documentation of sufficient funds upfront
●How institutions can help Provide scholarships EKU has a merit scholarship program administered by the Office of International Education office. The amount varies from $1200 to $2000 per semester, depending on GPA (A, B, or C average). The awards are only given to sophomores and above to support those about to graduate. Those with other full scholarships (e.g. athletics or from home government) are not eligible Reduced Tuition At EKU, international students are eligible for targeted tuition. Applicants are automatically screened for this by the admissions office On campus employment Students are eligible for on-campus employment for up to 20 hrs/wk Graduate students may compete for teaching assistantships
●3. Social security numbers Students cannot apply unless they have a job Limited to working on campus, which does not count. Life becomes difficult in a society that is based on SSN ●4. Driver’s License Students can get DL in Madison County without SSN but must travel to four offices. Transportation in Richmond is limited to taxis and an occasional bus International Office, to get letter of enrollment Social Security Office to get a letter stating s/he does not have a SSN Department of Transportation to obtain a “blue form,” which means his documents have been checked and cleared. The officer comes from Lexington for only 2 hours each week . Driver’s license office
●5. Employment after graduation International students can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) to work for 12 months after graduation Student required to begin working within 3 months of the beginning date of OPT, or visa status affected. This puts tremendous pressure on students, especially in the current job market. ●How institutions can help Career Services Office can help with job searches EKU’s Career Services is enrolling in a new online service called Going Global ($3,000 per year) which provides worldwide employment information
●6. Other Issues International students may also face several adjustments problems such as weather, food, discrimination, culture, and the American educational system. The extent to which they encounter these challenges and how they deal with them vary by country of origin and from individual to individual.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ●Dr. Neil Wright, Director, International Education, EKU. ●Ms. Elizabeth Blanchard, Coordinator, International Education, EKU. ●Ms. Jennifer Allen, Director, Equal Opportunity, EKU ●Dr. Andrew. Blake, Assistant Professor of English, Delaware State University