Recommended Strategic Directions for the Internationalization of

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

 

 

  • Create a shared institutional identity that embraces internationalization as part of UW-L’s core identity.
  • Foster and instill an expectation (rather than a requirement) that all UW-L students, faculty and staff will be engaged in international experiences. 
  • Develop the infrastructure, support systems, and assessment measures needed to advance the international mission of the university.
  • Expand partnerships and avenues of communication that will enhance the international mission of the university. 

 

 

Recommended Priority Action Steps for 2005-2006

 

 

 

The following are recommended priority action steps that can be taken within the next year to advance internationalization of the university.  These are steps that if not otherwise explicitly commissioned, will likely not occur. Finally, these steps support all aspects of the four strategic directives presented at the very beginning of this report.

 

  1. Evaluate the feasibility of a Select University Committee on Internationalization to involve a wide spectrum of campus participants in evaluating and implementing the recommendations in this report.
  2. Develop a series of criteria and measures to help UW-L evaluate its ongoing progress towards internationalization.
  3. Evaluate both the desirability and feasibility of a foreign language requirement for all UW-L graduates.
  4. Develop a compelling image and Web page presence for internationalization at UW-L. This web-presence should make it both inviting and easy to access all relevant international information and resources. 
  5. Investigate how recruitment and admission of students might better support internationalization at UW-L.
  6. Continue to engage faculty, staff and students in dialogues about the role of internationalization in the vision and mission of the university. 
  7. Continue establishing endowments for international initiatives as part of the upcoming Comprehensive Campaign
  8. Continue to define what is meant by an “an expectation of international experience” for all UW-L students, faculty and staff.
  9. Establish a “Great Rivers Fulbright Chapter” for the Tri-State region with its home office at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
  10. Encourage the UW-L Grants & Contracts Office to identify and publicize opportunities for external funding for international initiatives.

 

 

 

Suggested Action Steps for the Internationalization of UW-L

 

 

The following proposed action steps are suggestions for future consideration and possible action. They represent a synthesis of the many comments and suggestions made throughout our extensive interview process and will act as guides to future actions and deliberations as we continue to build our international identity.

 

1.      Action Steps to create a shared institutional identity that embraces internationalization

 

·        Develop a compelling image and Web page presence for internationalization at UW-L.  This web-presence should make it both inviting and easy to access all relevant international information and resources.

·        Continue to engage faculty, staff and students in dialogues about the role of internationalization in the vision and mission of the university. 

·        Examine, and revise as necessary, the University's mission statements with regard to international identity.

·        Review and refine a vision statement for the international component of the University.

·        Foster a dialogue across the campus community on the benefits of supporting the international initiative and energize campus leaders to sustain the momentum necessary to actualize the recommendations of this report.

·        Explore how the institution's international mission complements the university's comprehensive missions, such as diversity and liberal studies.

·        Encourage departments to develop student-learning goals for international competence within the degree programs, as appropriate.

·        Encourage departments to consider how a required International experience in selected degree programs would enhance the curriculum (as is already the case for International Business, Modern Language Education and German Studies).

·        Foster a physical environment that reflects the international identity of the university.

 

2. Action steps to foster and instill an expectation of international experiences for all

 

·        Continue to define what is meant by an “international experience” for all UW-L students, as well as faculty and staff.

·        Encourage all departments, units and governance groups to set goals and determine tactics appropriate to their role in the internationalization of the institution and prioritize these with regards to short-term, intermediate, and long-term actions. Encourage faculty and staff to consider how international dimensions can be incorporated into existing and future courses.

·        Develop more effective ways to integrate international students, faculty and staff and their perspectives into the campus community.

·        Foster a campus culture that embraces internationalization and outreaches to bring all stakeholders into the process.

·        Expand the international components of co-curricular activities.  Develop more opportunities for international events, conferences and symposiums.

·        Encourage all students, faculty and staff to become involved in some constructive way in international activities.

·        Infuse opportunities for international competency development into existing student experiential learning including practicum and capstone experiences.

·        Infuse international and cross-culture practicum, study tours, and study abroad experiences into majors and minors.

·        Establish an International Teaching and Research Center to intensify the international perspective in teaching and research at the university.

·        Expand internationally focused professional development opportunities.

·        Establish a network to connect faculty, staff and students with international education resources.

·        Develop campus-wide programs (such as an International Education Day) to give faculty, staff and students an opportunity to share their international experiences and achievements and to provide information and training for other campus and community members.

·        Move to an expanded "partnership" model for study abroad that links academic departments at UW-L with corresponding departments at foreign institutions.

 

3. Action steps to create an infrastructure, support systems and assessment measures 

 

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS- Creating an infrastructure and support system

·        Evaluate both the desirability and feasibility of a foreign language requirement for all UW-L graduates.

·        Explore the implications of internationalization for General Education. 

·        Refine student-learning goals for global competence within the General Education Program.

·        Continue to support the efforts of the ESL (English as a Second Language) Institute to expand offerings and enrollments.

·        Encourage more flexibility in required courses in a major in order to accommodate international experiences for faculty, staff and students.

·        Provide encouragement and support to faculty to develop a larger number and variety of short-term study tours, principally during summer and J-terms

·        Provide numerous options for international/global education courses, INS study abroad courses and study abroad experiences.

·        Explore language immersion experiences conducted abroad and on campus.

·        Develop more international courses that focus on a wide array of cultures and regions of the world.

·        Establish a network of study-abroad advisers in each of the departments provide appropriate training for these individuals.

·        Develop international "themed" years focusing on different cultures or regions of the world.  All departments and units would be encouraged to find ways to connect to the theme.

 

STUDENTS- Creating an infrastructure and support system

·        Investigate how recruitment and admission of students might better support internationalization at UW-L.

·        Request that academic and student support units identify resource needs and possible infrastructure changes to accommodate more students studying abroad and more international students and scholars on the UW-L campus.

·        Increase international student enrollment by negotiating more contract programs for students, expanding Fulbright students and increasing the number of ESL student programs.

·        Increase direct-exchange programs with international universities, which support tuition reciprocity.

·        Expand opportunities to participate in international internships, service learning experiences, research projects

·        Develop organized support systems for students returning from an international experience (e.g., a residence hall for students who have or will international experiences during the year, a network of study-abroad advisors, and a study-abroad support group).

·        Provide appropriate academic and support services to international students  (e.g., diversified housing options, scholarships and peer mentoring).

·        Cooperate with other universities (especially UW-System and consortiums to offer reciprocity in various study abroad opportunities.

·        Establish international experiences in Canada in both French-speaking and English-speaking environments.

·        Develop strategies that encourage more students who are typically under-represented in international activities to participate.  Examples include: athletes, males, science majors, students of color, and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

 

FACULTY AND STAFF-Creating an infrastructure and support system

·        Investigate how recruitment and admission of personnel might better support internationalization at UW-L.

·        Explore ways to modify practices for recruitment and hiring of university personnel to better support internationalization.

·        Make "international" activity an important consideration in decisions concerning merit, retention, promotion (tenure) and career progression.

·        Incorporate internationalization into orientation and mentoring of new

faculty and staff.  Inform new personnel of UW-L’s international education endeavors, services and professional development opportunities.

·        Encourage international participation and promote grant writing for international projects.

·        Explore ways to accommodate workload issues related to international activities. (e.g., replacement of personnel in academic departments)

·        Address the need for adequate support to realistically allow participation in international experiences.

·        Provide appropriate academic and work-life support to Fulbright/Amity Scholars and other international scholars. (e.g., expand housing options, compensation packages and integration into UW-L’s international mission.)

·        Provide appropriate logistical planning and support for organizing and conducting international experiences for students.

·        Explore and provide listing of various exchange opportunities.

·        Extend opportunities for personnel to be involved in language study and cross-cultural courses to promote international development.

·        Encourage international components in sabbatical and professional

development activities. Explore opportunities for involvement in international activities that are "family-friendly" and "family-inclusive.

·        Advocate for international research projects conducted in international locales.

·        Consider the development of incentives for international activities.

 

BUDGET RESOURCES-Creating an Infrastructure and Support System

·        Encourage the UW-L Grants & Contracts Office to identify and publicize opportunities for external funding for international initiatives.

·        Continue establishing endowments for international initiatives as part of the upcoming Comprehensive Campaign.   Endowments could provide funding for professional development of personnel, student scholarships, recruiting international scholars, hosting events and other co-curricular programs with an international focus.

·        Explore reallocation of internal resources to advance the international mission of the university (e.g., invest a fraction of out-of-state tuition in international initiatives).

·        Explore program design models to incorporate revenue generation through fostering self- supporting international programs.

·        Support faculty and staff in the pursuit of foundation and grant funding for international initiatives.

·        Pursue Federal Grants (e.g., Fulbright Program, Title VI and FIPSE grants) to support international initiatives.

 

ASSESSMENT-Creating an infrastructure and Support System

·        Develop a series of criteria and measures to help UW-L evaluate its ongoing progress towards internationalization.

·        Assess and report the degree to which undergraduate and graduate courses/programs address international topics so that a greater internationalization of the curriculum can take place, as appropriate.

·        Assess and report the degree to which current courses in International and Multicultural Studies address internationalization goals and revise the menu accordingly.

·        Develop a menu of study abroad opportunities according to the level of support and challenge a student may encounter, including assessment and categorization of disability accommodation and other resources.

·        Conduct ongoing reviews and discussions regarding the commonalities and distinctions among actual/proposed strategic plans by campus departments and colleges for international experiences.

 

4. Action steps to expand partnerships and enhance communication

 

EXPANDING PARTNERSHIPS

·        Establish a “Great Rivers Fulbright Chapter” for the Tri-State Region with its home office at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

·        Develop linkages with external partners that are consistent with university internationalization goals and expertise. These may be local (e.g., Sister City programs), state (e.g., Wisconsin Department of Commerce), regional (e.g., Great Lakes Colleges Association), national (e.g., World Trade Center), and international (e.g. International Student Exchange Program).

·        Collaborate with various service organizations (e.g., Rotary International and Lions International).

 

ENHANCING COMMUNICATION

·        Evaluate the feasibility of a Select University Committee on Internationalization to involve a wide spectrum of campus participants in evaluating and implementing the recommendations of this report.

·        Develop a compelling image and Web page presence for internationalization at UW-L.  This web-presence should make it both inviting and easy to access all relevant international information and resources.

·        Implement improvements in the UW-L Student Recruitment/Admissions web page and database utilization with regards to international programs.

·        Develop recruitment materials for international students in multiple

languages.