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This posting is a departure as it does not relate to any of my usual “categories.” However, it does relate to a 40-year commitment to the work of an American nonprofit called Lisle International [aka The Lisle Fellowship at its founding in 1936]…Lisle was a pioneering organization in creating a purposeful and intentional intercultural program bringing American and international college-age students together for six [6!] weeks during the summer. After my graduation from the SIT Graduate Institute in 1975, I worked for Lisle leading and organizing these programs around the world from 1977-1983. I’ve served on its Board of Directors for several decades.

I’m using my blog to announce that applications are open for modest funding from our Global Seed Fund at https://lnkd.in/epURpGZ. Full details on grant criteria are found here.

Lisle funds small-scale educational projects that promote intercultural understanding and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to share and learn from one another. I’m sure my readers might be working with and knowledgeable of the kind of interactive, small-scale, intercultural education projects -based anywhere in the world-which the Seed Fund hopes to support. Grants are up to $3,000. NOTE: The Request to Apply deadline has been extended to August 1, 2019.

Spread the word!

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When I read this opinion column of President Mitch Daniels in the Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/want-to-study-abroad-check-out-america/2019/03/11/8c5268a2-3492-11e9-af5b-b51b7ff322e9_story.html?utm_term=.78a22aaf179a, I was lost in a swirl of confusing thoughts. Could he really be citing a program (https://grandstrategy.yale.edu) which provided a two-month summer sojourn across America as an alternative model for enlarging the awareness of Yale students who otherwise were unable to (or chose not to) study abroad? If these students could afford to take off for a summer, surely, these same students would have the means to study abroad. I did not understand how this highly prized curricular program would break through the privilege undergirding unequal access to education abroad at Yale (or at any other institution).

So I wrote my letter –
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/more-students-should-have-the-opportunity-to-study-abroad/2019/03/15/6c95c630-466c-11e9-94ab-d2dda3c0df52_story.html?utm_term=.971cfaaa5937 – and it was placed, in the print edition, on the Editorial page, on March 17, 2019, under the heading, “Taking Exception.” Which I do.

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First-time readers may not have seen this post and I hope will find the information useful. I’d amend the list to include “Career Integration Resources,” on the pages of the Learning Abroad Center, University of Minnesota: https://umnabroad.umn.edu. This list has been compiled from participants in three Career Integration conferences sponsored by the Center & CAPA in 2014, 2016, and 2018.

Global Career Compass

Since I began writing and speaking on this topic about thirteen years ago, there has been an uptick in research – both academic and by large companies – and by several large private study abroad organizatons, to examine and reflect upon the importance of not merely viewing international experience as of intrinsic value to students.  That there could also be extrinsic value attached to study-internships-or service abroad that advanced a students’ employability.

These selected resources are important because they directly address how campuses and organizations can assist students to “see” the value-added benefits of their decision to go abroad.

We know that employers don’t view education abroad, by itself, as providing a graduate with some inherent advantage -they want and even insist, that students tell a meaningful story describing how their international experience has taught them how to be more culturally agile, more empathic, more linguistically competent (and confident), among…

View original post 392 more words

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A new report by the nonprofit, Diversity Abroad, www.diversityabroad.com, “Collaborative Leadership: Advancing Diversity, Equity and Comprehensive Internationalization in [U.S.] Higher Education,” outlines the critical connection between an institution’s overall effort to provide equal access to its educational resources as well as equal acccess to international experience.  It states:

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are key components of strategic planning in higher
education and provide an opportunity to combine the inclusion initiatives that are
rooted in the civil rights era with campus internationalization efforts of the more recent
period.

It goes on to say that, Access for all students to international education remains unmet. Diverse and underrepresented groups in higher education such as students of color, students with disabilities, and those of lower socioeconomic status remain stagnant in education abroad programming. 

The report substantiates what we know has been true for many decades with regard to the vast gap between white students and all others on our campuses when we look at the facts pertaining to participation in study abroad.  The report, however, stresses that there is now greater visibility to this gap due to the hiring of staff to manage diversity in both hiring practices and with respect to recruitment of, and marketing to, diverse student audiences.

I think the importance of continuing to shine a bright light on this gap in access to all international education experiences will only grow in significance in coming decades. The best way to diversify participation in education abroad is to have a deep pool of diverse students to enage with and market the linkage of international experience to employability. 

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I shouldn’t be surprised that opening up yesterday’s Sunday New York Times Learning section, I’d find a story titled, “Playing the Long Game” – https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/02/education/learning/colleges-universities-career-services.html – about how “more” [how many was not part of this story] campuses are “finding ways to connect students with career services early on. A trend is a trend if it appears in The Times!

The piece was largely focused on the new and incredibly expensive – at $16.4 million – Center for Career Services at Colgate University in central N.Y. (full disclosure, I’m a grad school alumnus from the ‘Gate, but, back when that sum might have been the budget for the entire university!).  I had heard about this new building and glad to see this gem of a structure featured. Especially when the piece focused down on the evolving national trend that finds more institutions re-thinking how they brand their career service offices and indeed, how they integrate career development within the overall mission of their academic program.

I liked a quote from the director of content strategy at NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers, which is the professional body for career service professionals in the nation). She says:  “Students are not there [at college] to get a job. Their focus is their studies and frankly,their personal life.  There’s a lot of noise competing for their attention. But it’s probably the only time in their life they are going to have access to that level of professional service, collected for them for free.”  That’s a point which is somewhat under the radar as far as “branding” goes for most higher ed institutions. Especially for those, the majority, for sure, who are not in a position to show off a new building which cost $16 million!

The gist of this story, one which I’ve been writing and talking about for the past decade, is that campuses need to address the unquestionably essential issue of fully integrating student career development into both the curricular and co-curricular program.  As this story illustrates, numerous campuses are finding creative approaches to realizing this goal.  I was consulting a few weeks ago at the University of Florida which recently unveiled its outstanding $10 million Center for Career Connections. The facility immediatley opened up new opportunities for students and faculty to blend both practical career development practices with linkages to their academic programs at home and abroad.  The Times story highlights similar initiatives at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Barnard College, Georgia State, the University of California-Irvine, and Johns Hopkins.

Concerns for preparing graduates for entering the knowledge economy and understanding economic globalization have impacted how higher education institutions educate students and align their curricula to the needs of their local, national and regional workplaces, regardless of the field of study or sector.  It’s not about the size of the career center or the fundraising prowess of a particular institution, however, it is about the vision of administrators, faculty and staff in redefining how they approach preparing their students to enter a 21st century workforce.

As the NACE executive is quoted above, it is NOT about students getting a job per se, but it IS about the way in which a campus’s assets are brought to bear upon preparing students to maximize what they learn both in and outside the classroom to foster their employability in the “long game.”

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