IIE Networker - Fall 2012 - (Page 27)

SUCCESSFUL IEM MODELS Evidence-Based Approach to Strategic International Enrollment Management: A Case Study of American University By Fanta Aw and Evelyn Levinson AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, a private doctoral research university in Washington, DC, has welcomed international students since its founding. International and global engagement is a recognized feature in every major element of American University’s mission. As an institution, American University is actively engaged in strategic international enrollment management (IEM), defined as a focused and holistic strategy involving the successful recruitment, admission, enrollment, retention, graduation, and reentry of international students translated into an operational plan. Our approach to IEM is evidence-based and data-driven, and rests on four pillars: investment in appropriate support infrastructure, a robust data warehouse to track and assess efforts, an actionable plan, and strategic partnerships. Investment in Infrastructure Effective IEM requires strong investment in appropriate infrastructure: an adequate level of staffing with relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities; robust data infrastructure to inform strategic decisions and shape narratives related to the student experience and institutional performance; and programs and services responsive to the needs and expectations of international students and other stakeholders such as parents, sponsoring organizations, and advising networks. We believe that a campus committed to hosting international students must achieve a level of institutional readiness that embraces cultural differences. To ensure that the campus community and various stakeholders are equipped to interact with its diverse population of international students, American University provides professional development workshops for faculty, staff, and students through human resources; the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning; and the International Student and Scholar Services. The goal is to create a culture of teaching pedagogy, service, and social engagement that emphasizes inclusive teaching, learning, and service. Since the inception of the programs, hundreds of staff, faculty, and students have participated in these opportunities, resulting in a culture that values and recognizes the presence and contributions of international students to the institution’s educational mission. According to a 2011 campus climate survey, 93.5 percent of international graduate and undergraduate students report that their views and perspectives are respected and valued by instructors. In addition, 90.6 percent report that their views and perspectives are respected and valued by U.S. students. To facilitate students’ academic success, a collaborative model of academic support has been created involving various offices, such as the Academic Support Center, the University Library, International Student and Scholar Services, International Admissions, the College Writing Program, and academic advising. This network of support has proven successful in creating a proactive and holistic approach to student support and success. According to the 2011 campus climate survey and retention rates, 88 percent of international undergraduate students and 93 percent of graduate students were satisfied with their overall experience at AU. The one-year retention rate for international first-year students on non-immigrant visas is 97 percent and the retention rate for graduate international students is at 98 percent. Both retention rates are above the university average, a testament to the effectiveness of the support model. A Robust Data Warehouse A robust data warehouse is key to being able to track and measure several interdependent variables. The data warehouse is able to provide critical information on the following: • Who: “best fit” profile for AU; academic preparedness; area of interest; geographic, socioeconomic, and regional diversity to assess where scholarships could make an impact in yield; strong English proficiency. • Where: country of residence; citizenship; type and rigor of secondary school. American University Diplomats (international and U.S. Global Nomad student ambassador volunteers) participate in an event that provided them with international admissions materials to share in their home countries. • When: year-to-date, month-to-month, and semester-to-semester comparisons. The data warehouse provides several reports, including an alphabetical listing by country and a list of all schools where prospects and applications are received within each country. This allows the international admissions team to determine feeder schools and analyze trends. For example, we have the ability to identify a country and determine prospects, applications, test scores, GPA, admitted or denied students, incomplete applications, and deposits. A similar analysis can also be done by school and city within a country to compare year-to-year data in order to determine trends. Having data compiled in such a manner is invaluable in determining priority countries, schools, and cities, among others. The data allows for better strategic focus and ensures that human and fiscal resources are deployed efficiently to achieve needed results. An Actionable Plan An actionable strategic enrollment plan involves identifying countries/regions on which to focus and adopting a holistic approach to recruitment. • Where to target efforts involves mapping external data against AU’s internal data to determine “best fit” travel regions, countries, relevant fields of studies, cities, and specific schools. • AU’s strategy reflects our campus culture and values. Our travel is personalized, 27 http://www.iie.org/iienetworker

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2012

A Message from Allan E. Goodman
IIENetworker Minister of Higher Education Interview Series: Ju-ho Lee, Republic of Korea
Commemorating Ten Years of IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund
Developing International Strategies in an Increasingly Dynamic Global Environment
Evidence-Based Approach to Strategic International Enrollment Management: A Case Study of American University
The Formal and Informal Aspects of Successful IEM
The Business of Being International Student Friendly
Take a Deep Breath: Making International Enrollment Management Manageable
How to Become a Host Institution for the Brazil Science Without Borders Program
Every Student an International Student: IEM as Part of a Holistic Approach to Campus Internationalization
Advertisers Index
Seven Resources for Bringing International Students to U.S. Campuses

IIE Networker - Fall 2012