Year 2 corresponded to the second year of the Consolidation Phase of the strategic initiative and was a critical bridge between that phase and the Developmental Phase for which some work will begin in the 2012-13 academic year. This report will highlight the status of those recommendations from the Consolidation Phase that were assigned to the faculty International Educational Committee and to the Center for International Education. Responses to the various recommendations (see Appendix A) assigned to the CIE and the IEC for this phase are grouped below into five major categories, each of which describe new initiatives undertaken to strengthen the foundation of global learning as outlined in the strategic initiative.
A. Study Abroad
A major and innovative step forward with regard to Study Abroad as an important feature of a student's global learning preparation was achieved when the Faculty approved the recommendation of the IEC to classify student work or experience abroad in four separate categories, each with a specific value and learning outcomes (see Appendix B for full description). The new categorization will go into effect beginning with the 2012-13 academic year and students in this year's senior class will to eligible to apply for the Certificate of International Immersion designation. Meanwhile, study abroad advising will spread beyond the current Study Abroad Advisor office in the CIE to include faculty advisors, major advisors and Faculty Liaisons (see Section B). Students will be encouraged to build on the variety of opportunities for study, internships or experience abroad and will be given the means and guidance to integrate those events into their on-campus work. The objective is to turn study abroad from a discrete, isolated experience into a coherent event that considers three separate stages of equal importance: 1) adequate preparation; 2) the capacity and willingness to take maximum advantage of the opportunity while abroad, and; 3) the integration of study or work abroad into the overall academic experience of the student.
Application for study abroad including student essays and faculty approval of proposed courses was moved online to facilitate access for both students and faculty. While some technical difficulties impeded the process at first, it is clear that this will be a major improvement in gathering and tracking information related to study abroad students.
In order to satisfy the objectives of employing students with study abroad experience to assist in the recruitment and preparation of students planning to go abroad as well as to provide opportunities for them to reflect and build upon their time abroad, the CIE established the Global Council. This is a voluntary organization designed as an advisory body made up of students who have spent at least one term in study abroad. They will be relied upon both to advise on those areas of the strategic plan dedicated to students as well as to undertake initiatives that will provide opportunities for returning students to translate their experience abroad into productive on-campus activity. The Council's first major undertaking was the organization of a 3-day mini-symposium on the theme of immigration in which both students and faculty participated. Council members also participated on an Alumni Weekend panel dedicated to global learning and were interviewed on WLUR radio's "Radio IE".
With regard to our Spring Term Abroad programs, two new measures were put in place in order to strengthen this important aspect of study abroad. A "debriefing" session for faculty directors of previous spring courses included faculty who would be directing programs in the spring of 2012 in order to help them understand more fully the importance of good orientation and to provide some "how-to" advice for issues common to short-term programs abroad. In addition, CIE student evaluation forms were completely revised to eliminate questions having to do with academic content and professor performance as these are matters exclusive to academic departments.
Significant additional funding for study and/or international experience was provided to the university through an endowment fund established to honor Professor Emeritus John Evans. With the Office of Financial Aid, the CIE was able to disperse $10,000 to students who, without assistance, would not have been able to study or undertake an internship abroad.
Finally, plans were made to initiate a new program for students returning from study abroad in the 2012-13 academic year that will involve the CIE, the Office of Career Development and the University Writing Center. In response to advice from alumni living and working abroad, the program will help students learn to reflect adequately upon and then articulate what they have gained from study abroad. Alumni observed that without proper attention to being able to explain why study abroad is important and how it has affected their lives, graduates who interview for employment positions are unlikely to distinguish their candidacies.
B. Faculty Liaisons
In the spring of 2012, Interim Provost Robert Strong appointed seven undergraduate faculty members from across the disciplines to serve as Global Learning Faculty Liaisons to work with the Administration and the Center for International Education in the implementation of the goals and objectives of the Strategic Initiative for Global Learning through the developmental and visionary phases of the plan. Additionally, in the summer of 2012, the Dean of the School of Law, Nora Demleitner, and the Interim Provost approved a recommendation to appoint the Associate Dean of the Law School as an ex-oficio member of the liaison group.
The Global Learning Liaisons will 1): create a faculty network of well-informed advocates for global learning: 2) with the Center for International Education, ensure the academic quality and integrity of current and future term, year and summer study abroad initiatives; 3) serve as an area contact to facilitate information regarding international opportunities for faculty and students. Specific responsibilities include: assisting the CIE in accumulating and maintaining data regarding faculty experience, interest and activity in global learning for teaching and research; assisting department heads in the evaluation and authorization of study abroad course credits; with the CIE, carry out regular visits to evaluate current and potential program sites abroad; with the CIE, advise study abroad candidates regarding programs specific to their academic area and incorporate the experience of returning students for the recruitment of new candidates.
C. International Students
In response to the strategic initiative's recommendation regarding international theme housing, the CIE and the Shepherd Poverty Program joined forces during the past year to develop a plan that will significantly revise the operation of the current International House and will boost service activity within the Shepherd program. Following renovation work in the summer including the permanent installation of Campus Kitchen facilities, beginning in fall, 2012, the new Global Service House will be a residential "home" for international and domestic students who share an interest in both internationalism and service. The facility will also serve as a place to foster collaboration across different service groups as a meeting place for those groups, a place to display their projects, discover common objectives and to provide a forum for collaborative efforts by providing a common, dedicated space in which to gather. Funding for the residential renovation was provided by the University while funding for the Campus Kitchen installation was provided through generous private donors.
In cooperation with the Office of Student Affairs, the special orientation for in-coming international students and their eventual integration into the new student orientation has been re-designed. A shortened version of the on-campus orientation and funding from the Student Affairs Office will allow, for the first time, all new international students to participate in one of the popular pre-orientation programs for first-year students. This is meant to facilitate the overall integration of international students into campus life.
Finally, a new section dedicated to prospective international students has been added to the Admissions website through a collaboration between CIE and the Office of Admissions.
D. duPont Hall
Planning for the conversion duPont Hall through renovation and new construction into a campus Global Learning Center to include faculty, student and common spaces continued throughout the 2011-12 academic year. A new planning committee was charged with the task of developing detailed plans for the Center for Global Learning to submit for architectural review by the end of the spring term. The group worked throughout the fall refining earlier planning documents and formulating an agenda for four task groups composed of faculty, students, staff and administrators to make suggestions regarding office space, student space, common space, and faculty space for the new facility. The recommendations from the committee were included among the documents sent to three architectural firms invited to submit proposals for consideration for the project. After interviewing each of the firms, a selection committee unanimously chose SMBW of Richmond to produce a concept document for duPont by October.
E. Institutional Relationships
Although the development of institutional relationships in order to increase opportunities for faculty and staff among like-minded schools abroad is slated primarily for the Developmental Phase, some groundwork was completed during the past year that has put this process into motion. W&L signed a new agreement with St. Andrews University, Scotland, that expands opportunities for students beyond the signature program for pre-medical students as well as providing additional encouragement for faculty research collaboration. Preliminary conversations for collaboration on student/faculty relationships took place with Mansfield College, Oxford, and through the law school, with the University of Havana, Cuba. Both those discussions were promising in terms of beginning to build a foundation for future cooperation and we will continue to cultivate and develop those contacts throughout the Developmental Phase of implementation. CIE staff traveled to China, Argentina and Chile for a series of site visits aimed at diversifying the opportunities for student study abroad through experienced and qualified third-party partners.
One of the major priorities of the Consolidation Phase was to look for opportunities to raise the profile of the global learning initiative throughout the university community. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, both small and large but the past year saw a significant number of events that both explained and promoted the global learning initiative. Among those events:
During the 2012-13 academic year we fully anticipate to complete the work of the Consolidation Phase while turning attention to those objectives of the Developmental Phase of the strategic initiative that come under the purview of the IEC and the CIE.