International Educator - September/October 2011 - 52

Bloom-Wilson at the same time was teaching Introduction to Cross-Cultural Studies, a course open to all students at the college. When the courses were inadvertently scheduled for the same time—and the error wasn’t caught until after students already had signed up—Bloom-Wilson decided to go ahead and teach both classes together. She integrated the students into small groups, giving plenty of opportunities for American and international students to work together and learn from each other. The mistake proved serendipitous. Matching students up “helped overcome the normal difficulty international students have in communicating and connecting with American students and vice versa,” says Bloom-Wilson, who still tries to keep the classes combined unless the incoming group of international students is too large. “Sometimes the connections would extend beyond the classroom into social settings as well.”

Building an academic Support Network
While many faculty members on campus would understand instinctively the cultural and social adjustments international students face, they often are not aware of their struggle to acclimate to the U.S. classroom. That’s an area where international offices can serve as the campus advocates for international students, fostering greater understanding among faculty and academic advisers about the hurdles these students confront on a daily basis. Kuntzelman addresses new faculty at Arizona Western each year to talk about international students and explain the services offered through his department. “It’s important to get out of your office and speak with the faculty and let them know that these students are a resource in their classrooms,” Kuntzelman says. “[I explain to them that] these students come in highly motivated and well-prepared, but sometimes culturally challenged. It’s important that they are aware of the opportunities they have in their classrooms [to facilitate] discussion and learning between students. When they get that idea, and we can instruct our faculty to think in that way, it’s a great

plus for everyone. It’s a win-win all around.” Building connections with general academic advising offices, or faculty who do academic advising, also is important. Both Kuntzelman and Bloom-Wilson work closely with international students—as well as their campus’s academic advisers—to develop class schedules and make sure students are on-track to transfer into bachelor’s degree programs or to meet vocational goals. But the hierarchy and organizational structure of larger universities means that international offices typically are not the folks handling academic advising on those campuses. At UMN, Eland’s office trains academic advisers located within the university’s many colleges when invited, and her office is represented on a campus-wide advising network. Additionally, her department developed an online guide for academic advisers that explains the unique needs of international students and immigration restrictions—particularly the importance of following immigration regulations to maintain visa status. Thornton-González notes that the international office at Kansas State keeps in close communication with about 30 academic advisers across campus. “It’s really important to provide some connection with the academic piece,” Thornton-González says. “Communication between the [international office and academic advisers] is important because if not, a lot of misadvising could occur when the academic advisers don’t consider the immigration implications. We don’t expect academic advisers to do immigration advising, but we do expect them to know when to refer students to us.” Bloom-Wilson’s department also monitors international students’ grades, reaching out to support them when they seem to be in trouble. The international office also works closely with Northwest’s academic support office, conducting regular adviser’s workshops and addressing faculty concerns about individual students. Even at UMN, a considerably larger university, international students and scholars services staff periodically scan the student database to find out if any international students have been placed on academic probation. A staff mem-

ber specially trained to work with academic problems will offer support to these students. “It’s so important to reach out to students in a variety of ways,” Eland says. “Many undergraduates have not been on their own before, and they haven’t had to take responsibility for everything, so it’s important to understand where these students are and to reach out in any way possible. Provide them with support but also get them connected to other resources on campus.” Upper-level students also may be trained to provide academic support through peer coaching opportunities. New international and aboriginal students enrolling at the University of British Columbia (UBC) may participate in UBC Jump Start, an academic transition program that uses academic coaching as a key strategy to fostering peer-centered, transformative learning communities,” explains Caroline Rueckert, an international student adviser at UBC. Designed to ease students into university life, the program matches new students with third- and fourth-year student “coaches” who provide academic mentoring throughout the first semester. “One of the things we know from research is that one of the most influential groups for incoming university students is their peers,” Rueckert says. “They listen to peers in a way that’s different from how they listen to their professors or TAs. We know the impact of peer-to-peer learning can be significant.” An initiative boosted by the enthusiastic support of a faculty who helps to set its priorities and vision, UBC Jump Start goes beyond simply pointing new students to academic resources on campus. Instead, student coaches work closely with new students to guide them in creating academic plans, including setting priorities and developing tangible goals for success. The UBC students selected for the highly competitive coaching positions undergo extensive and intense training to develop skills such as active listening, asking effective questions, facilitation, and peer-to-peer support and mentoring. “The coaching is framed around that model of being very student-driven,” says Rueckert, noting that UBC’s academic

52  

InternatIonal educator S E P T + O C T. 11



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - September/October 2011

International Educator - September/October 2011
Contents
From the Editors
In Brief
Building a Literate World
In Sync:  The Peace Corps and International Education
Expanding Cooperative Education Across the Globe
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
Partnering
A View From Out Here
Forum
In Focus
Supplement: A 360º View
Supplement: Making the Numbers Work
Supplement: International Recruitment and Enrollment Listings
International Educator - September/October 2011 - International Educator - September/October 2011
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Cover2
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Contents
International Educator - September/October 2011 - From the Editors
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - In Brief
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 5
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 6
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 7
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 8
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 9
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 10
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 11
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 12
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 13
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Building a Literate World
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 15
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 16
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 17
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 18
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 19
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 20
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 21
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 22
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 23
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 24
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 25
International Educator - September/October 2011 - In Sync:  The Peace Corps and International Education
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 27
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 28
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 29
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 30
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 31
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 32
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 33
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 34
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 35
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Expanding Cooperative Education Across the Globe
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 37
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 38
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 39
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 40
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 41
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 42
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 43
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 44
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 45
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Education Abroad
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 47
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 48
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 49
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 51
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 52
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 53
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Partnering
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 55
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 56
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 57
International Educator - September/October 2011 - A View From Out Here
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 59
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Forum
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 61
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 62
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 63
International Educator - September/October 2011 - In Focus
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Cover3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Cover4
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS1
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS2
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Supplement: A 360º View
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S2
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S4
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S5
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S6
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S7
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S8
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S9
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S10
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Supplement: Making the Numbers Work
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S12
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S13
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S14
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S15
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S16
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Supplement: International Recruitment and Enrollment Listings
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S18
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S19
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S20
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS4
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