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International Student Success: Building a Strong Foundation . March 14, 2011 (10:45-12:00) Michele Miller, Kristi Kang, Pilar Montejo. Presenters. Michele Miller International Student Advisor Kristi Kang Student Life Coordinator Pilar Montejo Graduate student & IELP staff m ember.

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international student success building a strong foundation

International Student Success: Building a Strong Foundation

March 14, 2011 (10:45-12:00)

Michele Miller, Kristi Kang, PilarMontejo


Michele Miller

  • International Student Advisor

Kristi Kang

  • Student Life Coordinator


  • Graduate student & IELP staff member

Present the IELP at PSU as a useful example of support for international students

Highlight the importance of collaboration and cooperation between IEPs and their institutions

Share ideas relating to providing the best possible foundation for international student success at our institutions

international student demographics
International Student Demographics

IIE Open Doors Report 2010

  • 690, 923 International students
  • 3% increase
  • Top 3 Countries:
    • China, India, South Korea
  • Nearly $20 billion to the U.S. economy
    • Represents the 5th largest service sector export
    • 62% of all international students are funded by personal or family sources
    • Almost 70% of their funding comes from outside of the U.S.
intensive english language program at psu
Intensive English Language Program at PSU
  • Portland State University
    • 27,000 total enrollment
    • 1,872 international students
    • 400 students in the IELP
    • Intensive English Language Program
      • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
        • Department of Applied Linguistics
      • Academic-based program
        • 6 Levels
intensive english language program
Intensive English Language Program

Mission Statement Highlights:

  • assist non-native English learners in acquiring language skills
  • teach learning strategies necessary to compete successfully in a post-secondary academic environment
  • provide an atmosphere supportive of socio-cultural exploration and development that helps students adjust to life in the U.S.
role of an intensive english program iep
Role of an Intensive English Program (IEP)

Support students in their adjustment to the program, institution, culture and community

Provide English language preparation according to the program’s mission statement

Provide academic, immigration, personal, and intercultural advising

Maintain student achievement records

Promote social and recreational activities

what about you
What about you?
  • What IEP structure exists at your institution?
    • Do you have an IEP?
      • On campus? Off campus?
      • Affiliated or independent?
    • Does your IEP have a strong presence on campus?
      • Why or why not, in your opinion?
challenges international students face
Challenges International Students Face
  • Linguistic diversity
  • Varied and distinctive cultural perspectives
  • Financial concerns
  • Immigration concerns
  • Homesickness
  • Differences in educational systems and backgrounds
  • Social and cultural challenges
social capital for int l students
Social Capital for Int’l Students


and School

Immigration concerns



Weak school bonds


Culture shock

International Student

Academic support

Social programming




Transition to university

Social challenges

Student recognition


Strong foundations

programming within the ielp
Programming within the IELP

American Culture and Academic Life class

Academic support


Student recognition

Social programming

Transition to university

  • Key points
    • Academic and immigration advising
    • Cultural adjustment and culture shock
    • Social activities and calendar of events
    • Campus tours
    • Ice-breakers in small groups
  • Student volunteers and orientation leaders
american culture and academic life class
American Culture and Academic Life Class


Class objectives



academic support
Academic Support
  • Learning Center
    • Computer classroom with ESL software
    • Group study room, student library, quiet student area
    • Certified tutors
    • Student assistants
  • Conversation partners
    • Current PSU students from a variety of majors
    • Group and individual sessions
  • College Success class
  • Academic advisors
social programming
Social Programming




Collaboration with campus and student groups

student recognition
Student Recognition
  • Academic Excellence Awards
    • 3.7 or higher GPA
  • Inspirational Students
    • Selection process
    • Video and recognition at Welcome Party
  • Student Leadership class
    • Student composition
    • Structure/content/objective
transition from esl to university course work
Transition from ESL to University Course Work
  • Ways to meet university’s ESL proficiency requirement
    • International Admissions
  • Outreach and partnerships with campus departments
    • Student Affairs
    • Academic departments
student performance in university course work
Student Performance in University Course Work
  • General education curricular requirement
    • Freshman Inquiry (FRINQ)
      • Year-long program, 15 credits
    • IELP student performance in FRINQ
      • Similar number of credits
      • GPAs similar to their American peers
      • 100% retention rate
        • Higher than all other student groups
student performance in university course work1
Student Performance in University Course Work
  • Intro to Business and World Affairs (BA101)
    • 50% of international students enrolled have taken at least one term of IELP classes
    • Association between GPAs earned in IELP classes and BA101
  • IELP outcomes research
    • Correlation between GPA in IELP classes and university course work
      • Similar GPAs at both levels
    • Females have a higher GPA than males
    • Graduate students have a higher GPA than undergraduates
open discussion
Open Discussion

What is your institution doing to support your international students?

Is your IEP a resource at your institution?

In what ways could your IEP be a resource for your institution?


thank you for your time and interest
Thank you for your time and interest!

Please feel free to contact us with any follow up questions or comments:

Michele Miller,, 503-725-8126

Kristi Kang,, 503-725-5124

PilarMontejo,, 503-725-4094