IIE Network - Spring 2012 - (Page 33)
FACULTY ENGAGEMENT IN INTERNATIONALIZATION
Early-College Study Abroad: A Gateway for Faculty Engagement in Internationalization
By James M. Lucas, Paige E. Sindt, Kira Espiritu, and Jessica Luchesi
EARLYCOLLEGE PROGRAMS REPRESENT a growing area within study abroad. Many institutions design these programs to increase earlycollege students’ study abroad participation and global engagement or to strategically support retention, enrollment management, curricular internationalization, and transition issues. Early-college programs also provide critical gateway experiences for faculty and can help institutions meet campus internationalization goals. This article provides three examples of study abroad programs originally conceived to help increase first- and second-year college student (early-college) study abroad engagement. Experience suggests that early-college programs abroad can also benefit faculty engagement in internationalization.
and gradually remove support as challenges lessen over time. Based on the work of Vygotsky (1978), scaffolding suggests that if designed correctly, institutions should engage faculty through lower-challenge, high-support international opportunities (e.g., attending an international conference); and as faculty gain expertise, they can provide avenues for them to move to higher-level challenges (e.g., leading study abroad program to a developing nation). Early-college program models by their very nature are high support because of the student population and the multiple stakeholders involved. As such, this program structure works well to engage faculty with little international experience and to reach faculty who may not otherwise participate. Example Models Michigan State University (MSU) started its first-year seminar abroad program about eight years ago. The MSU model runs as a two-credit seminar in the summer before students start on campus and extends midway into their fall semester. Each program location offers two academic themes taught by MSU faculty members, with 12-15 students per instructor. The Offices of Undergraduate Education and Study Abroad assist with program development and maintenance, and a student affairs support person accompanies the program to help with logistical, health, and student supervision. The primary goals of the program are to introduce students to inquiry and scholarship and provide students with an early-career international experience; secondary goals include helping students’ college transition and study skills. CEA Global Education partners with U.S. colleges and universities to offer semester abroad programs for incoming freshmen. Typically one to three faculty from the home institution accompany the students and teach in the program. CEA provides additional local faculty, providing general education and specialized courses aligning with the first-year curriculum at the home campus. Students earn 15-16 credits in 15 weeks. First-year groups have ranged between 15-40 students per term, organized around
Literature Barriers to student participation in education abroad include issues such as a lack of time, experience, financial support, and academic concerns as well as more personal issues such as peer or family support and fear of the unknown (Dessoff, 2006; Marcum, 2001). Though cited as student concerns, these are also common roadblocks for faculty. Faculty have the added concern of how their participation will be recognized by the department or administration, particularly in relation to promotion and tenure (Gutierrez, Auerbach & Bhandari, 2009). Considering these parallels, one way to address faculty barriers is to apply student development theories to faculty development. One theory, challenge and support (Sanford, 1967), considers the idea of readiness and the impact of environmental factors on learning. When the amount of disorientation (challenge) is high, it must be balanced with appropriate resources (support) to provide opportunities for optimal learning. This theory suggests that to expect faculty to engage in international work, institutions must have clear structures in place to support the faculty and reward them for their efforts. Similarly, scaffolding (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000; Chang, Sung, & Chen, 2002) considers the need to provide more support initially
University of San Diego students on the Second Year Experience Abroad program enjoy their trip to Florence, Italy.
CEA–University of New Haven First-Year Experience Abroad students set up a project in Seville, Spain.
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