Campus Resources and Planning Committee

March 11, 2011

 

 

 

Present:           Carol Cook, Andy Sharpe, Mark Privratsky, Margaret Kuchenreuther,

                        Dave Aronson, Sara Haugen, Dave Swenson, Martin Seggelke, Sydney Sweep,

                        Bart Finzel, Zak Forde, Pam Gades

 

Guests:            Gwen Rudney, Bryan Herrmann, Hilda Ladner, Pilar Eble, Nancy Pederson,

Janet Ericksen,Jim Hall, Michael Korth

 

 

Announcements

 

Bart announced that we will hear the reaction to UMMÕs budget proposals at the budget compact meeting at our March 25th meeting. Today, we have several guests with us to discuss the resources we are employing or intend to employ to support our international student population.  Specifically, what resources are we using for recruiting, orienting, advising, and providing specialized academic assistance and/or coursework for international students?  What additional resources, if any, we will need in the future to maintain or grow our work in this area?   

 

Recruiting

 

Bart asked Bryan Herrmann what resources are being used or will be needed for recruiting international students.  Bryan responded that we have one staff member who spends about 20% of her time on recruiting international students.  He also spends some of his own time on the effort.  He added that the return on investment is extremely high to recruit international students as they contribute substantially to our tuition, housing and meal plan revenues.  Bart asked if there were any recurring costs or one-time costs to get programs running.  Bryan said there are some upfront costs and expenditures, but the committed staff time will not change.  The volume of e-mails the staff receives from students who are interested or have questions is large and growing.  There may be additional costs as we diversity.  Currently, 83% of our international students are from China.  Other countries include Canada, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Nigeria, and more.  Bart asked if UMM resources are used to work with individuals in different countries to get students here.  Bryan said we do not give money to agents—they work for the student to find a match for schools and assist with the needed paperwork. 

 

Mark asked if we can expect SUFE students to be here for three years and if we are looking to continue our agreement with SUFE as the numbers continue to grow.   Bryan said we donÕt have any retention data yet, but we can anticipate that a significant portion will graduate.  Margaret wondered if, for these students, we had a sense of whether or not UMM is a springboard to get into the US?   Pilar Eble responded that she thinks some students come to UMM with that idea, but they end up liking it here and staying.   Mark asked about the recent trip to India and prospects for recruiting students from India.  Bryan said this specific trip will not result in a large number of students in the short term, but we need to start building relationships.   Margaret asked if there was a reason why we havenÕt spent time recruiting students from this hemisphere.  Bryan said that some nations do not have large numbers of students with the means to study abroad.  We are trying to focus on more degree-seeking students because they will generally stay here and will generate more revenue.  

Currently, college placement in China is extremely competitive, students have the resources, and are very motivated to earn a degree. 

 

Orienting

 

Hilda Ladner distributed a handout describing the services of the International Student Program of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Intercultural Program.  As director, Hilda spends a small portion of her time supervising the International Student Program.  Pilar Eble, serving since June of 2009, does much of the work with students as the international student coordinator including organizing their orientation.  Sharon Van Eps provides some additional assistance with Visas and the like, and 25% of an area coordinator in ORL is assigned to work with the program.   Nan Gao assists with translation.  Pilar said the office tries to be as proactive as possible and several new initiatives are being planned. Last fall, we had 70 students participate in international student orientation.  We now have 107 students.  Hilda added that because the numbers are growing rapidly, UMM has requested an international student fee be created.   If the fee is approved, a portion will go to fund a more stable position in the international student program office. 

 

Dave asked if our international students are succeeding academically.  Pilar said generally these students do better than the overall student population.  Hilda added that over the last year various ideas have been explored to identify how UMM might provide additional support to students who come here to enhance the likelihood they will succeed. We have developed a program for the summer of 2011 called STELLAR (Summer Transition for English Language and Liberal Arts Readiness) so students are able to hit the ground running when classes begin.  .  All international students will be invited to participate in the program.  If 30 students choose to enroll, the program will be financially self-sustaining.  Bart wondered what academic components are included in the STELLAR program.  Nancy Pederson said there are reading, writing and oral skills classes.   

 

Bart indicated that the discussion will continue when the academic dean can be in attendance to discuss the impact of growing numbers of international students on UMMÕs academic program.  The broader question is whether the stated goal for the number of international students in the strategic plan should be revisited.   In terms of strategic goals, Margaret wondered if our international students integrate into our student body as a whole.