International Educator - May/June 2019 - 53

while 2,000 intensive English students
might require five or six advisers.
In 2012, Morris performed a survey
of 100 schools and found an average
full-time equivalent student adviser-tostudent ratio of 590 to 1. In his own office,
the staff of seven work with about 1,350
international students, including about
100 in the intensive English program.
The advisers also work with about 350
international scholars, Morris says.

Constant Evolution
Changing job responsibilities and
variations in international student
enrollments mean that office leadership
should periodically evaluate their adviserto-student ratio.
Advisers may see their roles evolve,
Tetreau says. They may be tasked with
setting up more cultural programming
or establishing a campaign to welcome
international students. It is also important
to "make sure you're not overwhelming one
person with so many students," says Tami
Renner, director of international student and
scholar services at Creighton University.
With international student enrollments
ebbing and flowing, ISSS offices need to
balance the advising load as the number
of students changes from year to year, she
says. Even if the overall enrollment number
remains relatively constant, student
demographics and needs can differ.
At the University of South Carolina
(USC), the number of international
students soared from a little more than
1,000 in 2011 to about 1,900 today,
says Jody Pritt, who was director of
international student services at USC and
recently became executive director of
international support services at Drury
University in Springfield, Missouri.
USC's ISSS office was reorganized when
the student population began to steadily

"Would I say it's the perfect combination? It still has
challenges. But it's very clear to students who the best
person is to support them in the office." -JODY PRITT
climb. Previously, all advisers were equipped
to handle every type of service as the need
arose. Now, advising is divided up by type
of service, Pritt says. Some staff work
only with incoming students, others with
students sponsored by their home country,
and others with employment programming.
"Would I say it's the perfect
combination? It still has challenges," Pritt
says. "But it's very clear to students who
the best person is to support them in
the office." And staff members are crosstrained so they can step in if the point
person is unavailable.
With 12 full-time employees and budget
limitations on adding new staff, "we're looking
at ways to serve students and still do the
quality of advising we want to do," she says.

Technology and Structure
To help shoulder the advising load, the
ISSS office at USC added an online
advising chat function and started group
advising through workshops on certain
topics, such as working after graduation or
completing taxes.
Similarly, at the University of
California-San Diego, Dulce Dorado,
director of international students and
programs office, is looking to tap into
technology to aid with advising.
With 20 staff members who work
with more than 10,500 students, the office
has five levels of advising. The first level
is information and resources provided
for international students on the office
website. At the second level, trained intake
advisers work the front desk of the ISSS
office and handle matters on their own or

NAFSA Resources
The International Education Handbook: Principles and Practices of the Field
("International Student and Scholar Services" chapter): bit.ly/2Uwwdiw
"Strategies for International Student and Scholar Advising" Core Education
Program workshop: bit.ly/2CzA746

refer students to advisers-level three-
who have more expertise in specific ISSS
issues. For complex situations, such as
change of status or reinstatement cases,
assistant directors operate as the fourth
level of advising. At the highest level,
Dorado deals with such critical and urgent
concerns as the hospitalization or arrest of
a student. This division of responsibilities
ensures that students' needs are addressed
efficiently and effectively.
The office hires seasonal advisers at
busy times-typically graduate students
with master's degrees in international
education who bring their classroom
education to the ISSS office, Dorado says.
Other uses for technology include
encouraging students to go online to
request documents or upload information,
as well as offering webinars on topics such
as spring break travel or how to apply for
employment authorization, she says.
"We try to go beyond just one-on-one
and group advising," Dorado says. "We
want to be more intentional in what we're
doing. It's all about student experience
and retention."

The Right Combination
While the search may go on for the golden
adviser-to-student ratio, there is no onesize-fits-all solution that works for every
institution's ISSS office.
"There's no preferred way," says Renner
at Creighton University. "You almost have to
just do it and see how it works and tweak it."
By understanding the international
student population demographics and
needs, evaluating what is working (or
not) and why from year to year, learning
from other institutions of similar size and
student makeup, and using technology
solutions where appropriate, ISSS offices
can start to crack the code. n
SUSAN LADIKA is a freelance writer
based in Tampa, Florida.
M AY + J U N.2019 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

53  


http://www.bit.ly/2Uwwdiw http://www.bit.ly/2CzA746

International Educator - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2019

From the Desk of
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Iran
Quick Questions
Feature: Africa’s Education Evolution
Feature: Mental Health: At Home and Abroad
Feature: The Faces of International Education
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment Management
International Education Leadership
Forum
Take 5
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 2
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 4
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2019 - From the Desk of
International Educator - May/June 2019 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Global Spotlight: Iran
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Quick Questions
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Feature: Africa’s Education Evolution
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 26
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Feature: Mental Health: At Home and Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 40
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Feature: The Faces of International Education
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 46
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2019 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2019 - International Enrollment Management
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2019 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 58
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Take 5
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover4
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