IIE Networker - Fall 2006 - (Page 19)

Feature The Lincoln Commission and the Future of Study Abroad By Peter McPherson and William B. DeLauder The Six Recommendations of the Lincoln Commission In November 2005, the Commission on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Program released the report, “Global Competence and National Needs: One Million Americans Studying Abroad.” The result of a year’s worth of research, debate and public meetings, the report outlines a national fellowship program that will increase the number of Americans studying abroad from the current level (190,000 in 2003-04 according to Open Doors) to 1 million students a year within 10 years. The report is available online at www.lincolncommission.org. I Students should receive the lion’s share of funding directly or through grant recipients. 88 percent of the program funds should go to scholarships for students through a nationwide scholarship and through institutions and consortia. II Diversity of students, institutions, and destinations should be a hallmark of the program. The continued success of study abroad will rely heavily on increasing the access to study abroad beyond current segment of students, majors, institutions, and locations. A strong emphasis on non-traditional locations is an important part of the program. III All programs must show an appropriate degree of quality control. All programs must result in credit toward graduation, with a minimum of three credits for short-term programs. IV Fellowships and scholarships should vary and be limited to one year. Awards will range up to a maximum of $5,000 and will vary by student and program. The average award will be less than $5,000. V Federal funding should begin at $50 million a year and increase to $125 million. The program’s cost will increase incrementally to $125 million by year five and then level off. VI National leadership is essential. White House and Congressional leaders must work together to create the best administrative mechanism for the program. Throughout the year of searching for the right programmatic functions and quality control measurements, the Commission never wavered on the fact that American students need to study abroad. Our nation is inextricably linked to the world market and the politics of other nations. American students, as our future leaders, need a full skill set of international experiences to handle this reality. Achieving a consensus on study abroad’s importance was the easy work of the Commission. Many Commissioners shared backgrounds living, working, and volunteering abroad and are strong supporters of internationalizing American education. The Commission’s true challenge was deciding how best to achieve the goal of sending more American students abroad. As the year progressed we heard arguments outlining the pros and cons of a host of options, from program size and location, to the duration and financial models of study abroad. As we worked our way through the important issues of study abroad, we began to envision a program founded on six recommendations (see sidebar). Those six core concepts became the groundwork upon which a future program will be built. The initial vision of Senator Paul Simon was to create a major national scholarship at a cost of $7,000 per student. His proposal suggested a $3.5 billion scholarship program that would send 5 million students abroad over the course of 10 years. The Commission proposed a program at a much lower cost considering federal budget challenges. Accordingly, the structure of the Commission’s proposal is different but remains faithful to Senator Simon’s goals. The projected numbers of students studying abroad under the Commission’s proposals add up over 10 years to just over 5 million students as urged by Senator Simon. The Program The Commission’s recommended program would be funded by the federal government at $50 million the first year and gradually increase to $125 million by the fifth year, and would continue at that http://www.lincolncommission.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2006

IIE Networker - Fall 2006
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
Leading the Way Toward True Global Engagement: A Challenge to American Colleges and Universities
The Lincoln Commission and the Future of Study Abroad
Destination India: Opportunities and Challenges for Expanding Study Abroad in a Nontraditional Location
Heritage-Seeking and Study Abroad: A Case Study
State Department Resources
Short-Term Programming
Community College
GLBT Issues
Branch Campus
Central and Eastern Europe
Freshmen Study Abroad
The Browser: Index of Advertisers

IIE Networker - Fall 2006