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At Closing Meeting of Internationalization Laboratory, Members Talk Progress

October 31, 2012


From rewriting strategic plans to ensuring best practices on student visas, the eight institutions that make up ACE’s 2011-13 Internationalization Laboratory Cohort had much to discuss in Washington last week during their final in-person meeting.

Over 20 months, Internationalization Laboratory members collaborate, consult and plan to incorporate global education on their campuses. At the October meeting, the institutions shared the results of cross-campus surveys designed to assess the global engagement and experience of everyone on campus, from students to deans to non-professional staff. Results can be telling: At one rural institution, two-thirds of the staff had traveled internationally, but less than 5 percent of its students had studied abroad.

Teams on each campus use the survey results to assess strengths and weaknesses of internationalization efforts and their institutions, then plot long-term plans and actions they can take in the short-term.

The universities and colleges that make up the cohort represent many different types of institutional sectors and regions. But they face common issues, such as ensuring the buy-in of leaders across campus, accessing funding for activities and collaborating among the multiple offices that interface with international students.

The members discussed the approaches they had taken to solving these problems, which ranged from satellite town hall meetings at the University of Wyoming’s many campuses, to building support through a college-wide kick-off event at Monroe Community College (NY). 

“These meetings are an especially useful part of the Internationalization Laboratory because the institutions get a chance not only to share challenges, but also their creative responses,” said Barbara Hill, senior associate for internationalization at ACE. “Ultimately, the members of the cohort leave with ideas they can implement on their own campuses.”

Since 2002, 68 institutions have participated in the program. The institutions that make up the 2011-13 cohort will close out their activities in the coming months with a peer review visit and final report.

For information on joining the next cohort, please contact Barbara Hill (202-939-9414).​

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