International Educator - January/February 2018 - 33

Western Washington University, located about
halfway between Seattle and Victoria, Canada, offers a
FIG for international students to help in their transitions
from English as a Second Language classes to regular
education. SUNY-Potsdam has a multilingual success
FIG that is aimed at students whose first language is not
English. "Power, States and Markets," another FIG focusing on politics, gives students an opportunity to speak to
students abroad using teleconferencing.
Nathan Phelps, director of Wisconsin's FIG program
and associate dean of the College of Letters and Science,
says the university is looking at a blended FIG focused
on Asian studies, language skills, and history. Scheduled
to start in 2019, the program will include 10 international students and 10 native English-speaking students,
and feature a study abroad component.
"Many of our FIGs are global or international in
orientation, but our program is purely academic," says
Phelps. "It's not part of the student life program, but an
alternate to the free seminar model because they are
regular classes any student could take."
At the University of British Columbia in Vancouver,
a "Jump Start" program is held for 10 days in late August
for incoming freshmen. International students are
expected to enroll in the fee-based orientation program,
which runs for two weeks and continues with activities
throughout the academic year.
"As part of the program, students are grouped into
a learning community from their program of study,
with a faculty member in their discipline, and alongside two senior peer mentors," says Provost Andrew
Szeri, the university's vice president of academics.
"Jump Start ensures students have a peer connection

at the university before they arrive and throughout the
scholar's first year, which eases their sense of culture
shock and provides a smoother transition."
Wisconsin's FIG program, which centers around a
small cluster of three university courses that are linked
to explore common themes and topics, serves 25 percent of the underrepresented minorities in the freshman
class as well 25 percent of its first-generation college
students, many of whom are immigrants. However, the
program has not drawn a large number of the university's 4,000 international students, in part because FIGs
are limited to 20 students and fill up far in advance of
the start of classes.
"Our FIGS are unique because there's no housing
component and no freshman seminar," Phelps says.
"We're aiming to challenge our students just like professors in upper-level classes will later, but in this case, the
challenge is supported."
Szeri says studies on Jump Start's effectiveness have
shown a 5 percent increase in freshman retention rates,
with increased chances for students' long-term academic success and overall sense of belonging to the university. Those statistics are mirrored at other universities
that have recognized engagement and connection are
key to student success.
"Every university wants every student to have a
smaller experience to help ease their transition into
college life," Phelps says. "There's no one-size-fits-all
solution, and every place is different, but helping them
with that transition is a common goal." n
GLENN COOK is a freelance writer and photographer based in
Northern Virginia.

J A N.+ F E B .18 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

33  



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2018

From the Desk of
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Malaysia
Quick Questions
Feature: Recruiting Farther Upstream: U.S. Institutions Are Exploring New Opportunities Among International High School Students
Feature: CASE STUDY: The Business of Global Engagement
Feature: Middle Class Rising: As the Number of Families with Discretionary Income Grows, So Do Prospects for More International Students
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment
International Education Leadership
Forum
In Focus
Feature: Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Results
Advertiser Listings & Index
International Educator - January/February 2018 - BB1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - BB2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 4
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2018 - From the Desk of
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Frontlines
International Educator - January/February 2018 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 12
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Global Spotlight: Malaysia
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Quick Questions
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Recruiting Farther Upstream: U.S. Institutions Are Exploring New Opportunities Among International High School Students
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: CASE STUDY: The Business of Global Engagement
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Middle Class Rising: As the Number of Families with Discretionary Income Grows, So Do Prospects for More International Students
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 28
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Enrollment
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Forum
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2018 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover4
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Results
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S5
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S6
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S7
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S8
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S9
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Advertiser Listings & Index
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover4
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