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ACE Welcomes the Internationalization Laboratory’s 15th Cohort to Washington

September 06, 2017


​​​The 11 institutions that make up the 15th cohort of ACE’s Internationalization Laboratory gathered in Washington, DC, last week to kick off the Lab process. The meeting set the stage for the next 18 months and allowed participants to discuss the challenges and opportunities inherent in moving their campuses toward comprehensive internationalization.

The members of the 2017-19 cohort are: Arkansas Baptist College; Clark Atlanta University (GA); Gallaudet University (DC); Kent State University (OH); Southern Connecticut State University; The University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa; Universidad El Bosque (Colombia); University of Arizona; University of Nebraska Medical Center; University of Wisconsin - La Crosse; and West Chester University (PA).

While the types of institutions that make up the cohort and their approaches to internationalization vary significantly, the day’s discussion made clear that these differences would be an asset to the process. As Lab Advisor Susan Buck Sutton told the group: “Use differences as a powerful tool for mutual learning.”

Participants found common ground in the questions they are considering as they embark on the Lab: How do we provide support for international students, financially, logistically, and emotionally? How do we achieve comprehensive internationalization, infusing the concept into everything on campus from the curriculum to partnerships? How do we achieve widespread campus support, including “buy-in” from the board? 

Staff from ACE’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement (CIGE), Lab Advisors, and participants from Lab cohort 14 were on hand to provide support and facilitate discussion.

Robin Matross Helms, director of CIGE, gave an overview of the “how” and “why” of the Lab process as well as CIGE research and resources, including the Internationalization Toolkit and Internationalization in Action series. Sutton expanded upon the group’s understanding of the term internationalization, and Lab Advisor Gil Latz led a discussion on how participants currently define and utilize the term on their campuses—and how that might change.

Todd Diacon, provost of Kent State, remarked that in recent years, his university’s concept of internationalization has changed dramatically. He said, “We went from a simplistic to elaborate idea of what internationalization entails for us.” Diacon further noted that one of his goals for the Lab is for internationalization to reach everyone on campus.

During the Lab process, participants will visit Washington, DC, three times for meetings of the full cohort and have on-campus site visits by ACE staff, involving a roundtable discussion with the leadership team and key stakeholders to facilitate dialogue, define key questions and issues, clarify goals, and build support for the process.

The next meeting of the full cohort will take place in February 2018.

For more information about the Lab or if you are considering applying to the 2018-2020 cohort, contact CIGE at or 202-939-9313.


Robin Matross Helms (center on microphone) leads the discussion at the recent kickoff meeting for the 2017-19 cohort of the Internationalization Labratory.

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