International Educator - September/October 2019 - 29

CHARLOTTE WEST is a freelance writer
based in Santa Cruz, California.

NAFSA Resources
NAFSA's community college
programs and resources:
bit.ly/2SIMPVk
Internationalizing the Campus
report: bit.ly/30UYuTz

OLENA HROMOVA

"Making the Case for International
Recruitment at Community
Colleges" chapter from NAFSA's
Guide to International Student
Recruitment, Third Edition:
bit.ly/GuideISR
"International Students" chapter
from Managing a Successful
International Admissions
Office: NAFSA's Guide to
International Admissions:
bit.ly/IntlAdmissionsOffice
NAFSA's Economic Value Tool:
bit.ly/2YtYvw4

THE FINAL HURDLE: VISAS

such as ESL, dental hygiene, early
childhood education, and solar energy
in countries including Costa Rica, the
Philippines, and Trinidad. With funding
from private donors in the United States
and from international governments and
organizations, HVCC faculty members
have traveled to provide training abroad,
with the goal of eventually being able to
offer online learning.
President Roger Ramsammy says that
HVCC's focus on international initiatives
aims to find new ways of utilizing
employees' skills and abilities. In the last
decade, overall enrollment at HVCC has
declined from a peak of 14,000 in 2010 to
a current student population of less than
11,000. At the same time, the number of
faculty and staff have remained the same.
Ramsammy has prioritized diversifying
international student recruitment methods.
"The thing that I'm trying to do is to be
original and different than everyone else," he
explains. "This is a long process that we're
setting in place, it's part of our strategic
plan...not something that happened in 1
year, 2 years, or 3 years. Our enrollment
will eventually begin to increase because
of this long-term support." n

In the last few years, community
colleges, like many higher education
institutions in the United States,
have seen declines in the number
of international students on their
campuses. Between 2016-17 and
2017-18, international enrollment at
associate's colleges dropped by 2
percent, according to the Institute of
International Education's 2018 Open
Doors report.
Experts attribute the decline to
the current political climate, increased
visa denials and wait times, and a
perception that the United States is
unwelcoming to international students.
Catherine Weir at Santa Monica College
also points to currency fluctuations in
price-sensitive markets, with a strong
U.S. dollar and increased competition
from countries like Australia and
Canada as additional challenges for
community college recruitment.
Since Kirkwood Community College
began tracking visa denials in fall 2018,
more than 90 prospective students
have been denied visas. The top five
countries for visa denials are Liberia,
the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Ghana, China, and Vietnam.
"We feel like we're doing more than
ever for recruiting, but the numbers
continue to go down," says Dawn
Wood, dean of international programs
at Kirkwood. "We think the [main
factors] are external, but that's a hard
thing to measure."
While longitudinal data on the
number of visa denials nationally
are not available, many community
college representatives reiterate that
it poses a significant challenge. At
Shoreline Community College, staff
have started to spend more time
talking prospective students through
the visa process, helping them to
anticipate what kinds of questions
they might encounter.
"The burden is on the applicant to
make the case to articulate the value
of a community college and why they

are choosing to go there," executive
director Samira Pardanani says. Staff
can prepare students to communicate
their points effectively and succinctly.
Weir adds that longer visa
processing times have meant that some
students don't receive their visas in
time for departure due to cutbacks in
consular staff in some countries. "The
wait time has increased from just 3
years ago," she says. "I've seen students
taking longer and longer to get their
visa, and sometimes if they apply too
late, then they can't come at all."
A U.S. State Department official says
that they are currently working through
EducationUSA to better promote study
opportunities in the United States
and ensure that international students
are aware of all legitimate avenues
to study, including at community
colleges. The State Department is also
encouraging U.S. community colleges
to pursue joint recruitment efforts with
four-year universities.
"Because community colleges
do not necessarily have equivalents
in many countries, EducationUSA
is specifically working to include
information about community colleges
through advising and promotional
efforts; including community college
representatives in our fairs, forums,
and other outreach activities; and
sharing information about community
colleges in discussions with foreign
government officials," the official says.
The State Department official
emphasizes that most student visas
are granted. "That is one of the many
reasons we encourage students to
speak with EducationUSA advisers and
Consular Affairs staff-who we regularly
remind of the 2+2 model-at the
nearest U.S. embassy or consulate who
can help students better understand
the visa process in their home country,"
he says. "The more prospective
students know about the visa process,
the better positioned they will be to
submit a successful application."

S E P T + O C T.2019 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

29


http://www.bit.ly/2SIMPVk http://www.bit.ly/30UYuTz http://www.bit.ly/GuideISR http://www.bit.ly/IntlAdmissionsOffice http://www.bit.ly/2YtYvw4

International Educator - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - September/October 2019

From the Desk of
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Chile
Quick Questions
Feature: Countering the Forces of Change
Feature: Raising the Bar
Feature: Branching Out
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment Management
International Education Leadership
Forum
Take 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover1
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover2
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 1
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 2
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 3
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 4
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - From the Desk of
International Educator - September/October 2019 - In Brief
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 8
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 9
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 10
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Global Spotlight: Chile
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Quick Questions
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 13
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 14
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 15
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Countering the Forces of Change
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 17
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 18
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 19
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 20
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 21
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 22
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 23
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Raising the Bar
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 25
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 26
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 27
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 28
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 29
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Branching Out
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 31
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 32
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 33
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 34
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 35
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 36
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 37
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Education Abroad
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 39
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 41
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Enrollment Management
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 43
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 45
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Forum
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 47
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Take 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover3
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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