Recruiting and Retaining International Students on a Limited Budget Thy Yang and Desiree Johnson Center for Multicultural Affairs Dickinson State University Dickinson, ND
Introduction • What position do you serve on your campus? • What do you hope to gain through this program?
Dickinson State University • 13 Consecutive Years of Enrollment Growth • International students make up nearly 15% of the total enrollment • In 1998, DSU had only 24 international students on campus. Today, we have over 400 students enrolled at DSU.
Global Awareness Initiative • Established in 2000 with four main objectives: • To create a more diverse and invigorating learning environment by recruiting and retaining international students and faculty; • To increase student and faculty involvement in foreign exchange programs; • To engage students and area citizens in activities which foster a greater understanding of the economic issues and opportunities related to globalization; and • To foster the ideal that individuals can contribute to world peace through education, understanding, tolerance and interaction with people from other cultures.
Center for Multicultural Affairs • Thy Yang, Director of Multicultural Affairs • email@example.com • Tracy Peterson, Native American and Student Support Specialist • Desiree Johnson, Administrative Secretary • firstname.lastname@example.org
International Students • 2006-2007: 260 international students from 30 different countries (122 new for Fall 2006) • 2007-2008: 328 international students (180 new for Fall 2007) from over 30 different countries • 2008-2009: 400+ international students (225 new for Fall 2008) from over 30 different countries
Diversity Initiative—Tuition Assistance • Students must maintain a 2.00 GPA and complete a minimum of 24 credits per academic year • Cultural Diversity Tuition Waiver • In 2007-2008, 120 recipients were identified as 4-year degree seeking • 28% identified as Native American • 10 Tribal Nations Represented • Global Awareness Tuition Waiver • In 2007-2008, 170 recipients were identified as 4-year degree seeking
Dual Degree Joint Program (DDJ) • Over 160 of this year’s international students enrolled at DSU are DDJ students and will return to their home country in 1- 2 year’s time. • DSU has an agreement with schools from China and Russia. • The principle behind the DDJ Program is reciprocal acceptance of credits earned at either institution.
Chinese Schools • Beijing University of Technologies • Central University of Nationalities • Dalian Jiatong University • Sichuan International Studies University • Sichuan Normal University • Soochow University • Taiyuan University
Russian Schools • Voronezh State University
Dual Degree Joint Degree Programs • Art • Business Administration • Finance • Communications • Computer Science • History (VSU) • Political Science (VSU) • University Studies
Disney International College Program • Unique study abroad opportunity which enables students to experience two unique settings: a US Residential Campus plus placement with a Fortune 500 Company • Students study at DSU for one semester and then live and work at the Walt Disney World Resorts • Students can choose to pursue a Certificate in Human Resources Management or take credits needed for their home university degrees.
Disney International College Program Enrollment Trend • Fall 2007--27 • Spring 2008--32 • Fall 2008--41
Visiting Scholars • 8 Visiting Scholars in residence at DSU for Fall 2008 • 7 from China • 1 from Japan
New Initiatives • 1-Year Pre-Med Program with students from Japan • Fall 2008: 4 students bound for medical school in Eastern Europe • Students will enroll in ESL and pre-med courses (Biology, Chemistry, etc) • Projecting 20 students for Fall 2009
New Initiatives • ESL position added in Academic Success Center • Alumni Trip to China • Led by Executive Director of Alumni Foundation • Group of 20 individuals to tour China • Reunion and Alumni Gathering to be held in Beijing
Challenges • Culture clashes between domestic and international students • Culture clashes among and between international students • Community and campus misperceptions about benefits • Tuition Waiver • Services provided • Preferential treatment of students • Classroom management issues (cheating, grading curve, etc)
Good Problems • Fewer ND students to recruit • International students supplement lost revenue • Increased interest in study abroad by US students • Real world global education • Economic development • Promotes world peace
Overview of International Student Recruitment • Intensive ESL Programs • Attending College Fairs • Advertising in magazines or newspapers • Retaining Agents • Developing Sister School Relationships • Armchair Recruitment • Web • Telephone Calls
Dickinson State University • Center for Multicultural Affairs • Director of Multicultural Affairs • Native American and Multicultural Student Support Specialist • Administrative Secretary • Travel Budget is $24,000 per annum • We do not have an intensive ESL program • We do not advertise in magazines • We do not attend college fairs • We have limited agency agreements
Dickinson State University Sister School Relationships • Dual Degree Joint Program • Disney International College Program • International student and scholar exchange program • Global Awareness Tuition Waiver • Reduces out of state tuition ($10,796) by 62% ($6,653) • Students only pay $4,143 or $2,071.50 per semester
Tools • Questions to ask: • How are my students finding us? • What are my best international markets? • Visa rejection rate • English language requirement • Financial viability • What attracts international students to your school? • Are you making the most of your strengths? • Is your portfolio diversified?
Tools • What are your short term goals? • What are your mid term goals? • What are your long term goals? • How do your communication strategies address these? • Emails • Telephone Calls • Postcards • Letters
Tools • Do you know how many inquiries you receive from each country? • What do you do that is intentional? What action do you want to see? • Do you know your conversion rate? • Inquiry to application • Application to acceptance • Acceptance to I-20 • I-20 to SEVIS Fee • SEVIS Fee to Visa • Visa to Matriculation
Tools • Focus on your strengths and duplicate in other markets or programs • Athletics • Dual Degree Programs/ Exchange program • Referrals
Are you maximizing the Free Stuff? • NAFSA membership directory • http://www.nafsa.org/member_services.ms • Community colleges • http://communitycollegesusa.net/ • TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools) • http://www.schools.com/directory/state.cfm • US Embassy • http://educationusa.state.gov/centers/ • SEVIS • Current Students
Question How many of you have a database of current students’ high schools and colleges?
Question How many of you use SEVIS to track your students’ progress? Do you email them their SEVIS Number so that they can pay their SEVIS Fee immediately?
Question How many of you use the NAFSA Membership Directory to set up meetings when you travel?
Question Do you offer to send support letters to the Embassy prior to students’ interviews?
Retention: How Do We Do It? • Takes a Village • Cross-collaboration with other departments on campus • Residential Life • Student Senate • Campus Activities Board • Food Services • Student Orientation and Registration (SOAR) • International Student Orientation
Retention: How do we do it? • Residence Life • “Home away from home” • Recruit international students to become Resident Advisors • Assist with training Resident Advisors on issues of diversity and global awareness • Collaboration on Residence Life Programs • Attend Residence Life Programs
Retention: How do we do it? • Student Senate • Create a student centered culture • Don’t ask for a separate programming budget just for international students: help students understand the process of obtaining funding • Encourage students to be part of student government • Assist with campus dialogue on diversity • Address the issues in a responsible manner • Build campus unity
Retention: How do we do it? • Campus Activities Board • Encourage student leaders to view programming from international and multicultural students’ perspectives • Encourage international students to be active in various clubs and organizations on campus; teach them how to form their own clubs • Involved students connect with a campus • Weekend programming to help with home sickness
Retention: How do we do it? • Food Services • Our student frustrations begin and end in the cafeteria • Provide a more diverse menu • Increase fruits, vegetables • Rice available at every meal • Help cater cultural events
Retention: How do we do it? • Student Orientation and Registration (SOAR) • Parent Forum to discuss Globalization Initiative • What is true, what is false? • What are the benefits? • How can they help? • Advise the students of our diversity
Retention: How do we do it? • International Student Orientation • Semester long, 1 credit course • Meets once a week for an hour • Reduces unnecessary office traffic • Enables detailed discussion of • Roommate issues • American customs • Differences in cultures • Academic policies and procedures • F-1 and J-1 visa rules
Retention: How do we do it? • Friendship Families • Support of the community • Local churches • Local organizations • Provide support • Provide transportation • Provide family structure in the absence of their actual family
Student Development Approach All students need to be coached and treated as learners.