International Educator - September/October 2015 - 44

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FORUM
By Sabine C. Klahr

Pathway Provider Partnerships
in Higher Education:
What Institutions Should Consider
CHANCES ARE, if you work in higher education leadership and especially in international edu-

cation in the United States, that you have been approached by turn-key international recruiting
companies regarding a partnership to develop an international enrollment program at your institution. These companies generally provide a variety of programs and recruit a wide range of students,
including pathway, conditional admit, bridge program, and full admit students. In this article, I
focus on companies that run pathway programs at U.S. institutions and I offer the institutional
perspective as well as some general advice.
A relatively new type of partnership for U.S. campuses,
pathway provider companies typically recruit international
students with lower English proficiency than is required to
be fully admitted to the institution. Pathway students are
generally admitted on a conditional basis and spend their
first year at the institution, the pathway year, in a special
program to gain the required English proficiency for full
admission, participate in classes designed to help them
understand the expectations in U.S. higher education and
culture, and complete some first-year academic coursework.
Upon completing the pathway program successfully, students are fully admitted to the institution and generally enter
their second year of attaining an undergraduate degree.
Often, the decision to outsource recruiting to a pathway
company is made to rapidly increase international student
enrollment for both financial reasons and to enhance diversity, global learning, and a global campus environment.
There are many different reasons and circumstances that
may lead institutional leadership to consider partnering
with a pathway and recruiting company. In institutions
where overall enrollment has been decreasing or stagnating, pathway programs are seen as a quick solution to
address a loss in revenue, especially when international
student recruiting through the regular admissions process
is not generating the desired student numbers. Pathway
providers can certainly cast a wider net by recruiting students with lower English proficiency than required for full
degree admission. Leaders at institutions that do not have
their own international student recruiting infrastructure

44  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR S E P T + O C T.15

may find it more reassuring to partner with a company that
can step in with experience, a wide recruiting network, infrastructure, a business plan, and a promise of quick results
than to invest in a home-grown approach that may take
several years to develop and does not guarantee success.
Some leaders in higher education may view their current
position at a particular institution as a stepping stone to
a higher level position at another institution and need to
demonstrate accomplishments in a short time frame. Some
institutions may see it as simply an additional strategy to
recruit international students and expand their reach.
Pathway programs typically become integrated with
academic programs and student support services at an
institution; therefore, they greatly impact teaching and
learning as well as the resources in offices providing student support. This impact should be carefully considered
and evaluated before engaging with pathway providers.
Most pathway programs operate on campus and closely
collaborate with an academic department to provide English language instruction and introductory courses focused
on succeeding in U.S. higher education. The company typically hires its own employees to run the pathway program
and to collaborate with campus entities. The employees also
develop marketing materials for recruiting students to the
institution, host visits by recruiting agents, and participate
in recruiting events, such as fairs, around the world. The
pathway provider partners with recruiting agents around
the world and has access to a wide network. Typically, the
pathway and recruiting operations within the company are



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - September/October 2015

Contents
Supplement Contents
Going Home to Teach
A Little Goes a Long Way
Opening a Window on the World at Columbus State University
Frontlines: Framing the Discussion
In Brief
Foreign Student Affairs
View From Out Here
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - September/October 2015 - Cover1
International Educator - September/October 2015 - Cover2
International Educator - September/October 2015 - Contents
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 2
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 3
International Educator - September/October 2015 - Frontlines: Framing the Discussion
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 5
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 6
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 7
International Educator - September/October 2015 - In Brief
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 9
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 10
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 11
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 12
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 13
International Educator - September/October 2015 - Going Home to Teach
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 15
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 16
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 17
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 18
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 19
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 20
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 21
International Educator - September/October 2015 - A Little Goes a Long Way
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 23
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 24
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 25
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 26
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 27
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 28
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 29
International Educator - September/October 2015 - Opening a Window on the World at Columbus State University
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 31
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 32
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 33
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 34
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 35
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 36
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 37
International Educator - September/October 2015 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 39
International Educator - September/October 2015 - View From Out Here
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 41
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 42
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 43
International Educator - September/October 2015 - Forum
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 45
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 46
International Educator - September/October 2015 - 47
International Educator - September/October 2015 - In Focus
International Educator - September/October 2015 - Cover3
International Educator - September/October 2015 - Cover4
International Educator - September/October 2015 - SCover1
International Educator - September/October 2015 - SCover2
International Educator - September/October 2015 - Supplement Contents
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S2
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S3
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S4
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S5
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S6
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S7
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S8
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S9
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S10
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S11
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S12
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S13
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S14
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S15
International Educator - September/October 2015 - S16
International Educator - September/October 2015 - SCover3
International Educator - September/October 2015 - SCover4
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