Valencia College received an honorable mention in the “Internationalizing the Community College” category for the progress it has made in internationalizing the campus through faculty development for Study Abroad. The Institute of International Education (IIE) announced its 2014 Andrew Heiskell Awards, recognizing Valencia, on Monday, January 27, 2014, in New York, New York.
Founded in 1919, the IIE is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance international education and access to education worldwide. The award, named for former chairman of Time, Inc. and philanthropist Andrew Heiskell, showcases the most innovative and successful models for internationalization of campuses, study abroad and international partnership programs in practice today among the member campuses of the IIENetwork, IIE’s membership association of more than 1,200 higher education institutions.
“Receiving this national recognition for our work over the last four years to internationalize the college is an honor and testament to the collaborative efforts of both faculty and staff throughout the college,” said Jennifer Robertson, director of study abroad and global experiences. “In today’s global society, it is essential that our students have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to live and work effectively in a multicultural environment. Through these study abroad experiences and internationalization of the curriculum, Valencia graduates will be well positioned to achieve both their academic and career goals.”
With a goal of increasing student participation in study abroad, Valencia instituted several measures to train faculty leaders and increase funding for students.
Namely, the College developed a Study Abroad Program Leader Certificate to assist faculty in the program development process and to ensure safety for all programs.
A competitive proposal process was launched for faculty to lead short-term study abroad that gives priority to programs that have demonstrated high enrollment.
In addition, a Program Leader-in-Training mentorship initiative, which partners veteran faculty leaders with new faculty leaders who participate on a program as a mentee before leading students abroad, was established.
Valencia increased student scholarship funding by changing its funding model and using student development and Valencia Foundation funds to support study abroad.
Moreover, it has also engaged faculty in the college’s efforts to internationalize the curriculum at home for students who cannot travel overseas.
The interest prompted an internationalizing the curriculum event in summer 2013, where faculty teams worked to integrate international/intercultural components into their courses. Faculty members are also engaged in the work of creating internationalized course toolkits to make their curriculum work available college-wide.
A collaborative effort by Valencia College’s Study Abroad Committee, Internationalizing the Curriculum Committee, International Education Steering Committee, International Education Connections Team, study abroad program leaders, their respective deans, faculty and student development and the Valencia Foundation all contributed to this important recognition.
IIE will present the awards at a ceremony in New York City on March 14, 2014, as part of its ninth annual Best Practices in Internationalization Conference for campus professionals. More than 150 campus leaders and international education professionals in the United States and around the world attend the conference each year.
Jennifer Robertson will travel to the conference to accept the award on behalf of the College.