International Education Committee

Minutes of the November 5, 2003 meeting

330 Cartwright Center

 

Committee Members present: S. N. Rajagopal, Sharon Scherwitz, George Cravins, Mehmet Aritan, Nancy Navar, Ashley Burrowes, Cheri Niedzwiecki, Don Kuderer

 

Committee Member excused:  Kent Koppelman

 

Student Association Representatives present: Jenny Hill, Jaclyn Cardin

 

Consultants present: Jay Lokken (Director, Office of International Education), Eric Kraemer (Director of International Studies Curriculum), Lisa Swayhoover (Study Abroad Programs Coordinator, OIE)

 

Invited Guests: Chancellor Hastad and Provost Hitch

 

Other Guests: Robert Hoar (Faculty Senate), Michelle Tyvoll (ESL Institute), Dean Stroud (Office of the Provost, Modern Languages), Denis Provencher (INS course coordinator, Modern Languages)

 

I.                    The meeting was called to order by Chair Kuderer at 3:35 pm.

 

II.                 Introductions and welcome extended to the Chancellor, the Provost and the guests

 

III.      The main focus of the meeting was to clarify the present thinking on UW-L and international education.

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 are thematic here: a) UW-L is distinctive. If UW-L required an international educational 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 are thematic: 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 this 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/discussion 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. need-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 General Education committee and the majors must 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?

 

IV.              Deborah Hanmer’s Proposal for International Study Tour, “Tropical Ecology and Conservation in Costa Rica,” planned for J-Term 2005, was distributed to the Committee members. Prof. Hanmer will attend the Dec. 3rd meeting, at which time the proposal will be discussed. Please review the proposal prior to the Dec. 3rd meeting.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Nancy Navar