January 25, 2004

 

Dear Prof. Hoar:

 

In response to your request of January 21, 2004, I provide you with the following information:

 

The International Education Committee approved the revised “Guidelines for International Study Tour Programs.” These guidelines, as well as the Budget Worksheet, are now available on the Faculty Senate website. After what seems like several years of committee work on these guidelines, we are pleased that they are now in a final, approved form and easily available to anyone wishing to pursue and plan a Study Tour.

 

The Committee devoted extensive time throughout the Fall, 2003 semester to the “International Initiatives Menu.” On Nov. 5, 2003, Chancellor Hastad and Provost Hitch met with the IEC to address a number of topics pertaining to the International Initiatives and to clarify the present thinking on UW-L and international education. The following summary should provide you and the Faculty Senate members with our current status:

A.     Jay Lokken shared that progress has been made during the past four years and that he was pleased with the multifaceted efforts related to international education. He presented the committee with a handout from the American Council on Education, The International Initiatives Program.

B.     Chancellor Hastad shared his vision of international education at UW-L. Two main topics were emphasized: a) UW-L is distinctive. If UW-L required an international education experience of each student, this might positively set UW-L apart from the other UW schools; b) Our goal is to educate good citizens of the world, requiring an understanding of the differences and similarities among nations.

C.     Provost Hitch shared her vision of international education at UW-L. Two main topics were emphasized: a) Faculty should determine what internationally-related outcomes they want of their students and faculty. For example, why is it important to be a global citizen in a particular major? What outcomes are desired in this major? b) There are many strategies for achieving outcomes. Strategies should be selected after the outcomes are determined. For example, for your students, what would be effective ways to tie the international experience goal into the major? These strategies will differ for generic subjects (math majors) vs. professional preparation majors (elementary education). When determining these strategies, work with the general education committee so that efforts are coordinated.

D.     Much of the meeting was spent in question/answer/discuss format. Summaries of these follow:

a.       When departmental faculty discuss the outcomes and strategies of international education, consider including “reflection” so the students can heighten their awareness of themselves as citizens of the world.

b.       One member shared that there are gaps; curricula need to be better integrated; the trips should have “rewards”or benefits to our community and not just be listed as x number of students/faculty traveled to y number of countries. Travel should have a purpose. Travel programs should be assessed. They should enrich our cultural life on campus.

c.       The psychological readiness of students to travel abroad should be considered.

d.       Attracting international students to UW-L continues to be important. Should some departments focus on having their American students interact more with these international students?

e.       Students may have financial concerns. If an international experience is required of all students, incoming freshmen will know this in advance; scholarships will be necessary for some; should there be a campaign to raise monies for this purpose? Will an entrepreneurial approach work? At present there is $75,000. needs-based money for students to study abroad. Differential tuition and other forms of scholarships should be considered. It is important to not just cater to the elite or wealthy UW-L student. Concerns about access to UW-L for local students continue.

f.        Foreign students need to be protected while here. UW-L is safe; UW-L enrollment went up when enrollment across the US declined; our US government representatives are involved in this issue.

g.       350 UW-L students go abroad each year. Could this become 8,000?

h.       Consider various exposure levels (ex. Interacting with international students may precede a tour which may precede a semester abroad).

i.         Both the General Education Committee and the majors much investigate the transfer of credits issues.

j.         Within the international efforts, try not to expand the length of stay at UW-L.

k.       INS 250 can be a good preparation and is well-recognized nationally. Should this be a pre-requisite?

l.         Re-entry is a critical component to avoid reverse culture shock; is a course needed to help with re-entry into the US?

 

The Committee has not yet discussed or provided input regarding the student differential tuition dollars. It will be on the agenda for the second meeting in February, at which time the Student Senate President, Luke Naegele, will be invited to provide the committee with an update.

 

The Committee  also conducted the following business pertaining to Study Tour programs:

  1. Update by Patricia Ardovino (Therapeutic Recreation and Recreation Management) on the J-term 2004 Study Tour to Italy (“Therapeutic Recreation and Recreation Management in Italy”);
  2. Overview provided by Deborah Hanmer (Biology) of her Proposal for an International Study Tour to Costa Rica (“Tropical Ecology and Conservation in Costa Rica”), planned for J-term, 2005; M/S/P to approve the proposal pending finalization of the budget and provision of a more detailed syllabus;
  3. Overview provided by Matthew Taylor (Psychology) and Karolyn Bald (Career Services) of their Proposal for an International Study Tour to Ghana, Africa (“Seminar in World Area Studies: UWL 100 & PSY280 in Ghana, Africa”), planned for J-term, 2005; M/S/P to approve the proposal pending additional information pertaining to the evaluation process to be used.

 

During the Spring, 2004 semester the Committee will continue to discuss the international education options as part of  the International Initiatives Menu; will review several new and on-going International Study Tour proposals; will meet with the President of the Student Association to discuss the use of the student differential tuition dollars; and will review, in coordination with Eric Kraemer, changes in the INS curriculum, including a proposed Concentration in Asia Studies and a Concentration in African Studies.

 

Shortly after our first meeting in February, I will provide you with the minutes from our meetings of the Fall Semester.  Please let me know if you need any additional information between now and then.

 

Sincerely,

 

Don Kuderer