International Educator - September/October 2017 - Supplement - S6

Create a Cheat Sheet for Professors
The most common mistake that Di Maria sees enrollment management professionals make is failing to fully
understand the complexity of international admissions.
Many mistakenly think they can simply apply their
-understanding of domestic admissions to an international scale. "This leads to missed opportunities," he says.
For example, at many colleges and universities,
graduate admissions are the sole domain of faculty, so
an international education office would only become
involved with international graduate students after faculty have made admissions decisions. That may be at the
point that the newly admitted students need to secure
immigration documents, according to Di Maria.
"The problem with this practice is that while faculty
may be experts in their academic discipline, they may
know next to nothing about past and present educational systems of the world, formulas for converting
foreign grades and credits, or techniques for identifying
fraudulent credentials," he says. They might also lack
familiarity with objective English language proficiency
measures and therefore set English requirements too
high or too low.
To remedy such misunderstandings, Di Maria
recommends that international credential evaluation
professionals kick off the international admissions
process by preparing a "cheat sheet" for professors.
This tool can help verify the authenticity of submitted
credentials, institution quality, degree equivalency, converted grades, and other key information that may assist
the faculty to make an informed decision regarding the
international application, he says.

Don't Underestimate
Student Service Needs
It's all too easy for colleges and universities that are new
to enrolling international students to underestimate
the need for providing effective international student
services, warns Andrew Flagel, senior vice president for
students and enrollment at Brandeis University.
"This can be as complex as navigating cultural differences regarding academic issues, such as plagiarism or
expectations of class participation, or campus life issues
ranging from avoidance of support structures to misunderstandings regarding aspects of university codes of
conduct," he says. "International students may even have
different vaccinations and medical records."
Universities seeking to grow their international
enrollment might also overlook things like the need to
help make arrangements for international students, who
6  

may lack the resources or time to travel home over the
holidays, according to Flagel.

Choose Your Partners Carefully
Colleges and universities should take long-term
-approaches to international enrollment and partnerships, advises Flagel.
"Building relationships in many regions requires
years and should be conducted as thoughtfully and
strategically aligned with institutional mission and
-vision as is done for domestic recruitment," he says.
"This is especially true of working through external
organizations or agencies, where an institution must
tread cautiously to avoid misinformed connections that
can tarnish a reputation."
Tarnishing is just what can happen if institutions
aren't careful: "Short-term enrollment gains from
-students that don't have a positive experience, or who
have a perception that a school is connected to organizations that are not well regarded, can ultimately
undermine these efforts," Flagel says.
Tesar has seen U.S. universities achieve a lot of
success forging partnerships with other international
schools, such as 2+2 agreements, under which students
spend a couple of years at each institution. Effective
memoranda of understanding and articulation partnerships that govern transferring credit are also essential,
he adds.
"I've seen more success from institutions that have
a targeted approach to their recruitment: identifying specific schools, agents, counselors, cities, and
countries that they feel give them the best chance for
a higher return on their investment," Tesar says, "as
-opposed to institutions that try to do a broad approach
to recruitment and cover the whole world, so to speak."

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR S E P T. + O C T. 17 * I N T E R N AT I O N A L R E C RU I TM E N T A N D E N R O L L M E N T S U P P L E M E N T



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