IIE Networker - Fall 2012 - (Page 33)
STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING IEM
The Business of Being International Student Friendly
By Karen K. Edwards
EVER SINCE U.S. institutions started employing international enrollment management (IEM) in the mid-1970s, the work has become more complicated, costly, and strategic. Large international student enrollments impact college rankings, and benefit grant writers and development officers. While international enrollment has become lucrative, IEM can be successful only when we recognize the full breadth of students’ experiences—from application and acceptance through their arrival, engagement, completion, and postgraduate success. IEM works best when the business model goes hand in hand with an institutional priority to be “international student friendly.” While most IEM plans focus on the frontend strategies of marketing/recruitment, credential evaluation, and financial aid packaging, having a campus-wide understanding of an institution’s goals for IEM is equally important. Is IEM a means to generate higher net tuition revenue, to further diversify the student body, or to provide access for students from developing countries? Many schools, of course, would like to do all of the above. Whatever the primary goals, IEM must be defined and implemented beyond the admissions office to be successful. At Grinnell College, international enrollment is a central component of campus internationalization and our liberal arts mission. Any institution that is actively recruiting and enrolling students from abroad should think broadly about what it takes to be an “international student friendly” campus. This article will explore additional ways that the campus at large can be engaged in IEM planning.
International student leaders help organize the International Pre-Orientation Program at Grinnell College.
• Globally aware faculty will understand that students from abroad may need extra tutoring when discussing topics like race and identity in America. • Faculty advisors and registrars who know how to view TOEFL, Cape scores, or the IB curriculum can have a significant impact on that student’s transition. • Instructors who recognize that academic honesty practices are shaped by cultural values will spend extra time teaching citation standards. • Even though academic advisors do not know the immigration status of their advisees, they should realize that immigration regulations will likely be factors when international students declare a major, apply for internships or study abroad, and consider career goals. • Considering entry rates for international students into U.S. medical schools, pre-med advisors should share NAAHP data with advisees from abroad. • Departments that require foreign language study or study abroad might consider options to evaluate the international student’s experience differently. Campus Life Student life staff are also important allies in any institution’s IEM plan. Key considerations include: • Residence life practitioners should review the vocabulary used in their housing application, the cross-cultural training offered to live-in staff and peer leaders, and the variety of living options available to build community among diverse students. Residential colleges should invest in options for housing over breaks. • Cultural identity is not defined by citizenship or immigration status, so international student advisors and intercultural/multicultural engagement specialists cannot work in isolation. Quality programs that facilitate peer mentoring, host family links, and foster cross-cultural dialogue enhance the educational experience for all students.
Regulatory Matters The most significant change impacting IEM in the past decade is the need for a comprehensive regulatory infrastructure. Compliance with SEVIS has forced international student advisors to flip-flop our priorities, from cultural adjustment and programming to data management and legal interpretation. Advisors must be prepared to delve into regulatory issues outside of immigration, too—from SSA, IRS, DMV compliance, to banking and landlord
policies, cellphone plans, and even the criminal justice system. Non-immigrant enrollment also impacts the campus beyond the international advising office, and these efforts are part of the IEM equation: • Increasingly, savvy employment and payroll professionals are needed to monitor campus employment requirements and tax withholdings and documentation. • Maintaining campus data and understanding the nuances of citizenship, residency, immigration status vs. tax status, and ethnicity codes are integral. • Campus Security and Student Legal Services need to be knowledgeable when advising non-immigrant students on the impact of an arrest (even without a conviction). • Student health and counseling centers should review student health insurance plans with international students in mind; many are not familiar with how vital quality coverage is, or how to present a health card for benefits and claims. • Student billing offices increasingly offer user-friendly options for international money transfers. • Study abroad advisors should adjust their advising timelines to consider visa processing for third country nationals and transit travel. • Career development professionals need to collaborate with international student advisors on immigration issues that impact access to internships or research, as well as employment and graduate studies. • Even the forms used by administrative offices on an everyday basis can be made more international friendly: e.g., First Name (individual name); Last Name (surname/family name); Social Security Number (ITIN). Academic Considerations Faculty and academic affairs are also key partners in IEM, since students from abroad have diverse experiences with testing, grading, course selection, classroom engagement, and writing.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2012
A Message from Allan E. Goodman
IIENetworker Minister of Higher Education Interview Series: Ju-ho Lee, Republic of Korea
Commemorating Ten Years of IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund
Developing International Strategies in an Increasingly Dynamic Global Environment
Evidence-Based Approach to Strategic International Enrollment Management: A Case Study of American University
The Formal and Informal Aspects of Successful IEM
The Business of Being International Student Friendly
Take a Deep Breath: Making International Enrollment Management Manageable
How to Become a Host Institution for the Brazil Science Without Borders Program
Every Student an International Student: IEM as Part of a Holistic Approach to Campus Internationalization
Seven Resources for Bringing International Students to U.S. Campuses
IIE Networker - Fall 2012