The GoAbroad Team is pleased to feature the 2012 GoAbroad Innovation Awards finalists in the category of Global Access & Equity. We received many wonderful nominations and the selection committee has chosen five finalists, listed here in alphabetical order. Throughout this week, GoAbroad will highlight the finalists in each of the GoAbroad Innovation Award categories!
Center for Global Education, Augsburg College
“Summer Academic Program in Mexico”
The Center for Global Education at Augsburg College’s Summer Academic Program in Mexico (2011) exemplifies innovation in access and equity in education abroad. This program was attended by a particularly diverse group of twenty-six students that included four East African students, four Latino/as, three African-Americans, and three Asian-Americans. The group also included four Muslims, two students who identified as LGBTQIA, and a student who identified as in recovery from substance abuse. An intentionally diverse community was sought via promotion of the program to traditionally underrepresented groups and specialized scholarships, such as the Students of Color Study Abroad scholarship.
CGE staff took seriously the need to prepare themselves for understanding and accommodating this unique group. CGE believes that internal preparation is a crucial step toward increasing equity and access because it aids in recruitment, promotes retention, and enhances program satisfaction which, in turn, encourages other students from underrepresented groups to participate in education abroad.
“Chicago Scholars Abroad”
The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES Abroad) has developed a strategic initiative, Chicago Scholars Abroad, piloting successfully in Chicago that begins to expose traditionally underrepresented students – namely, racial and ethnic minorities and students from disadvantaged backgrounds — to college-level study abroad at the high school level. The initiative serves two key purposes: 1) to create a pipeline of underrepresented students who will be prepared, supported, and eager to pursue study abroad through IES Abroad during college, and 2) to help nurture a home-grown talent pool of diverse, globally-sophisticated Chicago professionals who will contribute toward strengthening the city’s reputation and appeal as an international mecca for business, education, technology, the arts, and other interests.
Chicago Scholars Abroad helps address prime barriers that deter many underrepresented students from studying abroad, including exposure; lack of adequate funding; and insufficient parent support. At-a-glance, the initiative provides scholarship aid on a first-come, first-served basis in the amount of $4,000 per student for tuition/fees, plus a $1,000 transportation and living stipend, for up to 20 Chicago Scholars students each academic year.
Institute For Study Abroad, Butler University
“First Generation Scholar Program”
First generation college students have some of the lowest study abroad participation rates among U.S. college students, and the Institute for Study Abroad Butler University (IFSA-Butler) wants to change that. The First Generation Scholar Program, an achievement-based scholarship program that offers first generation college students significant financial, academic and pre-professional support for study abroad on a semester or year IFSA-Butler program. The proposition of study abroad—with its associated procedures, cost, documentation, visas, academic planning and inevitable geographic separation—is often daunting and discouraging. For this reason, the First Generation Scholar Program includes reimbursements and funds for items such as room and board, flight transportation, student visa fee reimbursement (where applicable), and passport fee reimbursement.
In order to facilitate articulating their experiences and help future students understand the value of study abroad, the First Generation Scholars will be required to chronicle their story before, during and after their time abroad in blog form. These blogs will also be a powerful resume builder.
NYU Office of Global Programs
“LGBTQ within the Global Network”
Ranked by Princeton Review as one the nation’s most LGBTQ-friendly schools, New York University (NYU) strives to create a similarly welcoming environment at all of our global academic centers through staff training, programming, and peer support. Many of NYU’s programs have one or more Global Peer Ambassadors. Chosen by the LGBTQ office in New York, these students serve as a resource to the LGBTQ community and as a peer support for students. They work in close contact with both NYU LGBTQ Student Center and Global Programs staff while abroad.
NYU’s annual NYU Ally Week creates opportunities for students, faculty, and administrators to deepen their understanding of the experiences of others, and raise awareness of the individual and collective injustices that confront many in our society. Working from an intersectional and intercultural understanding of oppression, the entire campus community is challenged to examine stereotypes and prejudice through events, a photo campaign, pledge stations, and social media.
San Francisco State University
“Office of International Programs”
San Francisco State University (SF State) designed its study abroad model to provide equitable access to all students regardless of income, ability, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, family history, transfer status, or marital status. SF State Study Abroad consists of academically integrated, fully immersive, and affordable semester and yearlong bilateral exchange agreements and system-wide programs. This model has been highly successful.
Students of color make up 54% of SF State study abroad students, well above national average of 19.5%. On campus, the study abroad office has developed partnerships with offices that serve these populations including Trio/SSS, EOP, Project Connect, Transfer Access Bridge, and access initiatives at Community College. Study abroad staff and Peer Mentors give hundreds of presentations each year to thousands of students, on and off campus, all with the message that study abroad is affordable, accessible, and academically aligned.
Congratulations to the finalists! The winner of this category will be announced at the GoAbroad invitation-only reception during the upcoming NAFSA: Association of International Educators Annual Conference and will be posted to the GoAbroad blog and the GoAbroad Innovation Awards page. Other category finalists are also being announced this week. Stay tuned for more updates!