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1 AN ANALYSIS OF A CONSORTIUM OF FIVE COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN IMPLEME N TING AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RECRUITMENT PROGRAM By JILLIAN DANIEL RAMSAMMY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
2 2011 Jillian Daniel Ramsammy
3 A CKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my committee chair, Dr. David Honeyman for his pointed and timely comme nts that kept me on a very precise path toward the completion of this most significant professional accomplishment. I would also like to thank my committee members, Dr. Dale Campbell, Dr. Tom Dana and Dr. Craig Wood whose feedback helped to further focus and refine this work. I am indebted to the leadership and staff of The Consortium who very generously supported my interest in international student recruitment and agreed to participate in this study with their time and expertise. I am grateful for the gen tle guidance and unwavering support of my mentor and friend Dr. Sharon Cooper. Special thanks to Dr. Charles Dassance for giving me the space to succeed and Dr. Jim Harvey for nudging me along. I am especially thankful to Dr. Mark Paugh and Dr. Rayanne Gi ddes for listening, reading and listening again, and to my colleagues on th e Learning Management Team whose confidence in me kept me moving forward. Special thanks also go to my library angels, Marian, Pam and Liz, and to my cohort members Becky and Donn a who walked this path with me. E very word of encouragement and gesture of support helped to bring this work to fruition. None of this would have been possible without the abiding love and support of my family. I dedicate this work to my father Henry Dani el, who instilled in me a deep desire for lifelong learning by being an example, providing the opportunities and reinforcing his belief in me at every stage of my life. My deepest gratitude goes to my husband Trevor Ramsammy for waiting while I traveled al ong this journey, and for his constant reminders to maintain balance during this intense and all consuming process. Most importantly, I thank God for this gift of knowledge that has further prepared me for service in His vineyard.
4 TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 3 page ABSTRACT ..................................................................................................................... 7 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................... 9 Background of the Topic ........................................................................................... 9 Statement of the Problem ....................................................................................... 11 Purpose of the Study .............................................................................................. 14 Research Question ................................................................................................. 15 Significance of Study .............................................................................................. 15 Definition of Terms .................................................................................................. 15 Limitations and Delimitations of the Study .............................................................. 16 Organization of the Study ....................................................................................... 16 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ............................................................................ 18 Globalization and Internationalization: Current Dialogues ...................................... 19 Globalization ..................................................................................................... 19 Internationalization ........................................................................................... 21 A History of International Education in United States ............................................. 24 Policy and Perf ormance ................................................................................... 24 Community Colleges ........................................................................................ 30 International Education: Contemporary Issues ....................................................... 32 The Regulatory Environment ............................................................................ 33 The Global Market ............................................................................................ 36 The Role of Consortia in Higher Education ...................................................... 36 English Language Dominance .......................................................................... 38 Foreign Students .................................................................................................... 39 Foreign Student Market .................................................................................... 40 Foreign Student Recruitment ............................................................................ 42 Benefits of Hosting Foreign Students at U.S. Colleges and Universities .......... 43 3 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................... 48 Research Design .................................................................................................... 48 Qualitative Research Methodology ................................................................... 48 Case Study ....................................................................................................... 49 Limitations of Case Study Design ..................................................................... 51 Selection of Case Study Participants ............................................................... 51 History and Characteristics of the Case ........................................................... 52 Data Collection ................................................................................................. 56
5 Access .............................................................................................................. 57 Data Analysis ................................................................................................... 58 Reliability and Validity ...................................................................................... 59 Role of the Researcher ........................................................................................... 60 Use of Anonymity .................................................................................................... 60 4 FINDINGS ............................................................................................................... 62 Importa nt Features of The Consortium Model ........................................................ 63 Organizational Structure ................................................................................... 63 Shared Costs .................................................................................................... 65 Composition ..................................................................................................... 66 Benefits of The Consortium .................................................................................... 68 Leveraged Financial Resources ....................................................................... 68 Collaboration .................................................................................................... 69 Shared responsibilities ............................................................................... 70 Shared knowledge ..................................................................................... 71 Relationships ............................................................................................. 72 Return on Investment ....................................................................................... 75 Financial return on investment ................................................................... 75 Intangible return on investment .................................................................. 77 Challenges and How They Were Addressed .......................................................... 80 Global Environment .......................................................................................... 80 The economy ............................................................................................. 80 Global sociopolitical events ....................................................................... 82 U nited States image abroad ...................................................................... 84 Organizational Challenges ............................................................................... 84 Availability of housing for international students ........................................ 84 Administrative challenges .......................................................................... 86 Dealing with the Challenges ............................................................................. 87 Exploration of new markets ........................................................................ 87 Responsiveness and flexibility ................................................................... 89 Image management ................................................................................... 90 Use of international education agencies .................................................... 91 Factors That Influence the Success of The Consortium ......................................... 94 Shared Organizational Values .......................................................................... 94 Relationships with Agents ................................................................................ 95 Diversity ............................................................................................................ 96 Experience ....................................................................................................... 97 Leadership Support .......................................................................................... 97 5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS .......................................................................... 99 Summary of the St udy ............................................................................................ 99 Purpose of the Study ........................................................................................ 99 Methodology ..................................................................................................... 99 Review of Findings ............................................................................................... 100
6 Important Features of The Consortium Model ................................................ 100 Benefits of The Consortium ............................................................................ 102 Leveraged financial resources ................................................................. 102 Collaboration ............................................................................................ 102 Return on investment ............................................................................... 103 Challenges and How Were They Addressed .................................................. 104 Global environment .................................................................................. 104 Organizational challenges ........................................................................ 105 Dealing with the challenges ..................................................................... 106 Factors that Influenced the Success of The Consortium ................................ 106 Shared organizational values ................................................................... 107 Relationships with agents ........................................................................ 107 Diversity ................................................................................................... 107 Experience ............................................................................................... 108 Leadership support .................................................................................. 108 Conclusions .......................................................................................................... 108 Implications for Practice ........................................................................................ 110 Recommendations for Future Study ..................................................................... 111 APPENDIX A INTERVIEW QUESTIONS F OR PRESIDENTS ................................................... 113 B INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR MIDLEVEL EXECUTIVES AND ADMINISTRATORS .............................................................................................. 114 C DESIGN OF INTERVIEW QUESTIONS IN RELAT IONSHIP TO THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS .................................................................................... 115 D INFORMED CONSENT LETTER ......................................................................... 116 E INTERVIEW PROTOCOL ..................................................................................... 117 F LIST OF ORGANIZATIONAL DOCUMENTS ........................................................ 118 G PARTICIPANT THANK YOU LETTER .................................................................. 119 LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................................................................. 1 20 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................... 131
7 A bst ract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Req uirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education AN ANALYSIS OF A CONSORTIUM OF FIVE COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN IMPLEME N TING AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RECRUITMENT PROGRAM By Jillian Daniel Ramsammy May 2011 Chair: David Honeyman Major: Higher Education Admini stration The purpose of this qualitative case study was to gain an indepth knowledge of a consortium of five community colleges in implementing an international student recruitment program. Specifically, the study focused on the organizations important features, benefits, challenges and factors that influenced its success in recruiting international students. Data were collected from institutional documents and indepth personal interviews with five presidents, five midlevel executives and six administ r ators Findings were based on the analysis of documents and interview data in relation to the research questions. The studys findings revealed 1) t he important features of the model that provided an effective framework of operation included a three tiered, self governance structure, the geographic diversity of it s membership and its small size. 2) There were several b enefits of The Consortium that included: a) leveraged financial resources of the member institutions that allowed The Consortium to have a gr eater reach into more global markets tha n each institution could accomplish individually ; b) c ollaboration through shared responsibility, knowledge and establishing strong relationships that resulted in enhanced international relationships, shared expertis e over more global
8 markets and a ready resource of best practices among colleagues ; and c) a high financial and intangible return on investment for members of The Consortium 3) International student recruitment was very susceptible to internal challenges and external, global conditions that were beyond the control of the organization. 4) Factors that were most critical to The Consortium s success were the r elationships among its members built on shared organizational values of mutual trust and respect, th e relationships cultivated with international agents, divers i ty organizational experience and leadership.
9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background of the Topic Globalization was no longer a new phenomenon. There was recognition of the role of education in the positioning of the United States (U.S.) on the world stage. That we should be preparing students to be competitive in a global economy was underst ood by many in higher education (Dellow, 2002; Raby & Valeau, 2007; Spaulding, Mauch & Lin, 2001; U.S. Depart ment of Education, 2006). The forces of technology and economics that effected education across borders defined globalization (Altbach, 2002; 2006a). Shifts in student demographics, the media and the need to train a more competitive labor force were cataly sts for globalization of our colleges (Romano, 2002). Internationalization addressed policies and programs at the national or institutional level developed in response to these global forces, for example, establishment of international branch campuses and policies relating to recruitment of international students (Altbach, 2002). Other discussions of the elements of internationalization present in varying degrees at higher education institutions included curriculum initiatives, study abroad programs, instit utional commitment through leadership, policy and programs, dedicated funding resources, faculty development and the presence of international students (Frost, 2002; Green & Siaya, 2005; Spaulding et al., 2001). As one component of international educatio n, foreign students were recognized as integral to U.S. economic and foreign policy interests. Participants at a forum on global competitiveness convened by the Comptroller General of the United States in 2006, expressed concern over the challenges of incr eased competition for foreign students in the global market (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2007a). Competitors included
10 universities from Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom as well as countries of the European Union (Peters on, Briggs, Dreasher, Horner & Nelson, 1999). Open Doors published by the Institute of International Education, was considered the most reliable, definitive source of data on student mobility. Compiling data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Education at a Glance: 2010 OECD Indicators the Institute of International Education (201 1a) reported as many as 3.3 million foreign students in the international education marketplace. The U S hosted the largest percentage of these stud ents. Within the U.S., total enrollment of foreign students at all higher education institutions had experienced a steady increase from 564,766 in 20052006, to 690,923 total students in 20092010. Against these worldwide and national trends in international student flows, community colleges also tapped into the international student marketplace Recent trends show ed community college foreign student enrollments at 1 3 .6% of total enrollments, attracting 94,175 foreign students in 200 9 2010 (Institute for I nternational Education, 2011 c). Community colleges had not traditionally been focus ed on international education. Established with a very local focus to serve their immediate communities, their emphasis included local community development, access and opportunity to everyone interested in postsecondary education, connections with other community agencies and building the local workforce though vocational training (Cohen & Brawer, 2003 ; Gleazer, 1980). By the 1990s there was a shift in the mission from ser ving the local community to serving the economy as community colleges responded to needs of business and
11 industry (Levin, 2000). Subsequently in the post September 11, 2001 period, colleges responded to the socio economic, political and technological tra nsformations of globalization by embracing an int ernational education mandate (Ra by & Valeau, 2007). Efforts at internationalization included a variety of activities such as study abroad programs, internationalization of the curricula, on campus cocurri cular programs, institutional linkages, scholar exchanges, and foreign student recruitment. T he presence of foreign students was also perceived as an important ingredient in the internationalization process with benefits that yielded increased revenues, as well as the development of global competence in students, faculty, and enrichment for the surrounding community (Altbach, 2002; Beerkens, 2003; Dellow, 2002; Levin, 2001). Statement of the Problem Providing access for international students to U.S. higher education through strategic recruitment activities received national attention as the U .S. government sought to enhance the image of America internationally and positively impact global attitudes (U.S. Government Accountabil ity Office, 2008). Government agencies addressed i ssues that e ffected the U .S. ability to attract international students including increased competition from other countries through expanded educational products, increased access to higher education through technology based distance learning opportunities, growth in the number of branch campuses established by American institutions in foreign countries, high cost of American educational programs, and restrictive visa policies and procedures since September 11, 200 1 (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2007b). Simultaneously, countries that were the source for the largest numbers of international students were increasing their own capacity to provide higher education
12 options at home. Other sending countries, for example, South Korea and Japan, sought to increase their numbers of international students to fill the gap caused by a decline in their collegeaged student population. Coupled with intensified recruitment efforts of other countries, these conditions made it imperative for hei ghtened U S attention to recruitment of international students (American Council on Education, 2009). Strategic initiatives to recruit international students existed at the state, national and institutional levels. EducationUSA, which was promoted as the authorized U .S. government source for information about international education, provided a network of advising centers around the world. Supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, its mission was to activ ely promote U.S. higher education around the world by offering accurate, unbiased, comprehensive, objective and timely information about educational institutions in the United States and guidance to qualified individuals on how best to access those opportu nities. Through its multi lingual website, publications and more than 450 advising centers EducationUSA provided information on application, admission, scholarship opportunit ies, and student visa processes (U.S. Depar tment of State, 2010b 2) At the s tate level, higher education institutions revealed their interest in international student recruitment through joint marketing collaborative efforts to attract international students. There were a number of statewide consortia that provided opportunities f or these institutions interested in international recruitment to work to increase the name recognition of their respective destinations and educational institutions, to promote their areas to international students, to facilitate partnerships between educ ational institutions in their areas and those in other countries, and to
13 capitalize on the services of state and U.S federal government agencies (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2010, 1 ). At the national level, the Institute of International Education pr ovided placement services that matched international students with U.S. institutions. Each year more than 3,000 students from over 175 countries were placed in undergraduate or graduate program at U.S. colleges and universities (Institute of I nternational Education, 201 1d 1). Even with these voluntary efforts at the state and national levels, international student recruitment in the U S was managed primarily at the institutional level. Data indicated a few institutions experienced success while the maj ority of institutions lagged behind in international student enrollments. Of the 4,000 accredited, degree granting colleges and universities in the U.S. only 150 enrolled more than half the international students, and 25 institutions enrolled 19 % In 2008 2009 international students represented 3.7 % of total U S enrollment. The American Council on Education noted this underutilized capacity and identified the need for inter institutional cooperation in international student recruitment (American Counc il on Education, 2009, p.12). As evidenced by the numbers, and the level of interest and activity at the local and national levels, the presence of international students at U.S. higher education institutions was perceived as important. Within this partic ular marketplace of ideas, international students were viewed as a positive economic, social and political investment. From this perspective, The Consortium1 was an interesting case for analysis as it presented one model for international student recruitment. 1 The Consortium was a pseudon ym for a not for profit organization made up of five member community colleges. These institutions are referred to by the pseudonyms North College, South College, East College West College and Central College.
14 Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to gain an indepth knowledge about The Consortium It reviewed the important features, benefits challenges and success of implementing an international student recruitment program through membership in The Consortium Each member institution was a regionally accredited community, junior or technical college with a comprehensive international student service program and committed financial resources for international student services. The Consortium wa s selected as the unit of analysis for this study due to the success of its international student recruitment activities over the past decade. This success was measured by organizational data that reported growth in international student enrollments at the member institutions. The Consortium also represented a unique institutional collaboration in its size and geography, limited to five community college members, with each institutio n located in a different state. This distinguished The Consortium from the international education consortia of statewide StudyUSA that had membership ranging from 10 to 43 institutions and a mix of high schools, Associate, Baccalaureate or Doctoral degree granting ins titutions (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2010). The leaders of the five member community colleges recognized the need to combine efforts toward recruiting foreign students in their goal towards internationalizing their respective campuses. The Consortium was established to increase the presence of foreign students on campus. The bylaws stated, w e envision an innovative and collaborative consortium partnership committed to providing high quality education and services as we work together to recruit and retain international students for our respective colleges. The byl aws further outlined,
15 The mission of the [ The Consortium ] is to provide educational opportunities for international students on member college campuses, recognizing that cultural diversity and international awareness and understanding enrich the lives of a ll students, all communities, and all nations. We commit to excellence in teaching, learning, and international student services, and we recognize our respons ibility to the world community Research Question This study sought to gain an indepth knowledge about The Consortium It was framed by the following research questions: 1. What were the important features of The Consortium model? 2. What were the benefits of The Consortium ? 3. What were the challenges and how were they addressed? 4. What factors influenced the success of The Consortium ? Significance of Study This study was significant in several ways: The Consortium gained a historical perspective of the organization with an understanding of the factors that contribute to its success in recruit ing intern ational students. The study served as a reference for community college leadership who sought to develop or expand international student recruitment at their institutions. This case study of The Consortium was timely as the federal government e xamined challenges to recruiting foreign students with a view to removing barriers and increasing U S competitiveness abroad. This study contributed to the academic research literature in the field of international education at the community college level with specific emphasis on collaborations for international education development. Definition of Terms The language of international education evolved as higher education continued to shift and respond to the ever changing global dynamics. The following definiti on served to clarify the use of the terms foreign student and international student as they applied to this study. The U. S. Department of Homeland Security, (2010) in section
16 101(a)(15)(F) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, defined F 1 noni mmigrants as individuals who had, residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning, who is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing such a course of study consistent with section 214(l) at an established college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program in the United States particularly designated by him and approved by the Attorney General after consultation with the Secretary of Education, which institution or place of study shall have agreed to report to the Attorney General the termination of attendance of each nonimmig rant student In this study the terms foreign student and international student were used interchangeably. Limitations and Delimitations of the Study This study was confined to a single organization made up of five member institutions. This study was based on qualitative research. It targeted the insights of leadership and administrators at the five member institutions involved in the development and implementation of The Consortium The success of the consortium relied on organizational data and did not include comparative information. The study was historical and therefore, to some extent, subjective as it relied in part on reported past experiences of participants. The researcher had to rely on the accuracy of the organizations archival documents. Organization of the Study The organization of the study begins with Chapter 1 which presents the introduction, background of the topic statement of the problem, t he purpose, research questions and the significance of the study A brief statement of the d efinition of terms and the limitations and delimitations of the study follows. Chapter 2 presents a literature
17 review of international education. The methodology used in the research design follows in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 presents a detailed description of the findings. Chapter 5 concludes with a summary of the study, review of the findings, conclusions with implications for practice, and recommendations for future study
18 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE The literature that informed this study focused primarily on international education in the U nited States. Cummings (2001) noted the sporadic, noncumulative nature of research in international education. Not a primary concern of most scholars, the research tends to be carried out by national organi zations as a part of advocacy projects (p. 2). Urias and Yeakey (2009) commented it is surprising that such an enterprise that involves significant amounts of money and millions of students worldwide, and which deals with important issues of knowledge t ransfer and international relations, has generated only a modest research literature (p. 75). In spite of the dearth of academic research, the literature in the field of international education was copious and yielded a rich understanding of the issues and trends that were current. The breadth and scope of the literature included sources such as academic texts and journals research conducted by national and international organizations ( such as American As sociation of Community Colleges, American Council on Education, NAFSA: Association of International Educators Institute of International Education and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ), government reports, congressional testimony, and voluminous reports on international education in professional media such as the Chronicle of Higher Education and Community College Week. The literature served to illuminate the issues and trends in international higher education and provided both a substantial and essential background for understanding the historical and contemporary contexts of the present study.
19 This chapter synthesizes the history of international education in the United States. It begins with a review of the literature on globalization and internationalization within the context of higher education. Specific attention is paid to the evolution of the international education policy arena from the early 20th century. Background on the internationalization of community colleges is explored. Since this case study looks at international student recruitment to U.S. higher education, the data and literature on issu es related to foreign students are also reviewed. Globalization and Internationalization: Current Dialogues Globalization and internationalization provided the broadest setting for our understanding of the development of international education and a necessary context for this case study that focused on one aspect of foreign student mobility across borders. Globalization The economic, cultural and political dimensions in the creation of world markets, the simultaneous rise in multiculturalism juxtaposed with the creation of American world hegemony and the increased global coordination of certain political functions defined globalization at the beginning of the 21st century. For higher education, the impact of globalization as defined by these dimensions meant competing in the open market for their share of education, increasingly multicultural student bodies and shifting dynamics in the policy environment (Marginson, 2006; Marginson & van de Wende, 2007; Wagner, 2004). There was s hrinkage of distance and timedelay in communications and travel, leading to increasingly extensive and intense global relations (Marginson & Rhoades, 2002, p. 288). Distinct economic characteristics of glo balization were reflected in
20 heightened levels of foreign investment, cross border business activity and interconnected worldwide financial systems. These were supported by the elimination of the boundaries around information, knowledge and culture. Contin ued innovations in communication technology had impacted the volume of human interactions and created increased capacity to connect regions that were previously disconnected. At the same time, the effects of globalization were not evenly distributed. The inequities in the global environment resulted in asymmetrical engagement across countries and institutions. There was flexibility within the global milieu to determine the levels of engagement established through institutional or n ational policies and governance; however, the option for complete disengagement was not available (Altbach, 2002, 2006b; Marginson & van de Wende, 2007; Teichler, 2004). An alternative point of view in scholarly thought about globalization distinguished between globalization as j ust another stage in the process of evolution versus something completely new that was not connected to history and one in which man must learn completely new ways of doing and learning. It was reflected in radical changes in the relationships between nati ons, the obliteration of national boundaries and the onset of issues of worldwide significance such as climate change and sustainability (Scott, 2000; Clayton, 2004). Whatever the perspective, it was apparent that globalization effected higher education ( Altbach, 2002). At the same time, active participation in the global environment by higher education institutions around the world was dominated by the research intensive universities, with the notable exception of undergraduate and
21 vocational training ins titutions such as community colleges in North America (Levin 2000; Marginson & van de Wende, 2007). Internationalization Marginson and van de Wende (2007 ) offered a literal explanation of internat ionalization as inter national meaning any relationshi p across borders between nations, or between single institutions situated within different national systems (p. 11). A process oriented explanation described stages and activities used by institutions to encourage global learning (Olson, Green & Hill, 200 6). Internationalization was considered essential for all levels of institutions, while they simultaneously maintained necessary national, regional and local priorities (T eichler, 2004). It involved forging strategic partnerships, making connections with i nternational institutions for joint research, nurturing faculty collaborations, student exchange, recruiting international students and scholars and pursuing inter national development activities (Olson, Evans & Shoenberg, 2007). It was no longer the purvi ew of a selected few experts or subject areas, but had to be integrated into broader administrative and academic life of higher education institutions (T eichler 2004). Qiang (2003) described the competency, ethos, process and activity approaches to int ernationalization. Competency emphasized, the development of skills, knowledge, attitudes and values in students, faculty and staff. Ethos emphasized a culture that values and supports international /intercultural initiatives. Process stressed activiti es, policies and procedures that integrate or infuse international/intercultural dimensions into teaching, research and service. Activity promoted, activities such as curriculum, student/faculty exchanges, technical assistance and international students (p. 250).
22 Discussions of the key elements of internationalization present in varying degrees at higher education institutions included curriculum initiatives, study abroad programs, institutional commitment through leadership, policy and programs, dedicated funding resources, faculty role and development, foreign language instruction, and the presence of international students (Brustein, 2007; Frost, 2002; Green & Siaya, 2005; Spaulding et al., 2001). Others have noted the overlapping goals of diversity and multicultural education and the need to integrate these two higher education priorities (Olson et al., 2007). There had been a programmatic response to global forces that resulted in the development of a menu of activities that had becom e indicators of a n institutions strength in internationalization. These included administrative support, programs and activities, and curricular connections and the presence of international students. Additionally, evidence of internationalization was measured at communit y colleges through articulated institutional commitment, the presence of for credit study abroad program s, staff and leadership support for internationalization efforts, funding, professional development and co curricular programs that emphasized internati onalization (Green & Siaya, 2005; Korbel, 2002). The practice of maintaining a clear separation between local diversity and international education was challenged (Olson et al., 2007; Peterson et al., 1999). The recognition of significant overlap in the diversity and internationalization goals of higher education had led to an articulation of areas of common interest in knowledge, attitude and skill outcomes. Knowledge outcomes related to understanding cultural, economic and political forces that shaped the relationships within global societal systems. Attitude
23 outcom es related to nurturing an openmindedness that allowed students to appreciate and manage difference. Skill outcomes related to the development of a full range of interpersonal and communication skills that supported students ability to work cross culturally (Olson et al., 2007). This dialog was representative of the idea of glocalization articulated in Friedmans (2006 ) flat world where graduates of higher education would need to demonstra te both disciplinary expertise as well as the ability to navigate local, regional and global contexts. Recent research on internationalization within higher education institutions addressed the variety of elements that defined internationalization described above. Burriss (2006) conducted a case study of three institutions in the North Eastern Consortium with a focus on policy, organization and design and institutional support of their individual internationalization activities. S amaan (2005) explored the processes of organizational change in her case study of the faculty and administrators experiences and perceptions of the internationalization process at a community college (p. 10). Another researcher looked at the development of global education progr ams at a community college and identified twelve themes that contributed to the success of an institutionalized global education program (Dean, 2003). A narrower focus on internationalization of programs and curriculum of community colleges in the Middle S tates Region was explored. This mixed methods study revealed an inadequate implementation of programs and services in response to globalization. The researcher suggested that International Education integration at community colleges was much more rhetoric than action (Beckford, 2003, p. 151).
24 A History of International Education in United States There were several substantive and comprehensive reviews that chronicled the history and the context for the development of international education. Among them w ere Bevis and Lucas (2007), DeWit (2002), Harari (1983), OMeara, Mehlinger and Newman (2001) and Ruther (2002). This account draws from these and other literature to provide an overview of the evolution of federal policy, higher education organizations and their effects on internationalization objectives. The end of World War I signaled the first coordinated effort to include international dimensions in American higher education. It is the starting point for this historical review which describes the accom plishments and the deficiencies of the era, through the beginning of the 21st c entury. Policy and Performance The period 1900 to 1920 saw an increase in movement of international students to the U .S. the beginnings of study abroad programs and exchanges b e twe en higher education institutions. While the imprecise nature of documenting the numbers of international students in the U S accounted for uneven reports, by the early 1900s there was a significant enough increase that resulted in the development o f a variety of support mechanisms through organizations, policies and services that served to guide the experiences of foreign students in the United States (Bevis & Lucas, 2007). The underlying motivation was peace and cultivating mutual understanding amo ng peoples of different countries. The Committee on Friendly Relations Among Foreign Students, established in 1911, provided counseling services and documented statistical data on foreign students (DeWit, 200 2 ). The formation of the Institute of Internatio nal Educators in 1917 was also pivotal to development in this area. Its mission was to promote educational ties between the U.S. and the other countries, serve higher
25 education scholars and individuals, and build individual and organizational capacity to a ddress challenges at home and abroad (Institute of International Education, 201 1b). During its first twenty five years the Institute of International Education facilitated the mobility of over 3,000 international students from Europe, Asia and Latin America to the U .S. and sent over 2,300 Americans abroad (Bevis & Lucas, 2007). It chronicled a shift to a more organized approach to collectively addressing the specialized needs of an emerging profession. One of the many contributions of the Institute of I nternational Educators was its advocacy role in lobbying for a special nonimmigrant visa, separate from the national immigrant quota system established by the Immigration Act of 1912. The Institute of International Educators saw as its function encouraging foreign students to study at U S institutions (Arndt, 1984). Financial support for early efforts came in part from international relief funds that paid for Chinese scholars to visit the U S and established an exchange program between Belgian and the U nited States. Private foundations also supported exchange through targeted scholarships and fellowships. The policy rationale for promoting peace continued to dominate during this period. After World War II international education became more structured as national security issues took center stage. The cold war, N orth A tlantic T reaty O rganization, the Warsaw Pact, The Marshall Plan and anti communist sentiment was the ideological backdrop for the development of international education in the post war peri od (Gutek, 2006). The federal government acknowledged the urgent need to address American language and global competency deficiencies. In the following decades several
26 organizations formed to coalesce interest in varying aspects of international education, a field that continued to gain momentum and importance within higher education. Among them were the Council for International Education Exchange (CIEE) in 1947 and the Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) in 1976. National a ssociations were at the forefront in influencing the federal policy environment for international education. The six largest of these collectively represented almost 95% of the higher education. These organizations included the American Council on Education (ACE), t he Association of American Universities (AAU), the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges (AACJC), and the American Association of Colleges (AAC) (Ruther, 2002, p. 46). Simultaneously, the federal government assumed greater responsibility for international education through targeted funding of research and student aid programs. In 1946 the F ulbright program was established. Sixty four years later the program continued to support the international exchange between students in the areas of science, education and culture with a goal to deepen understanding between the U.S. and other nations. As the largest international exchange program in the U S Fulbright awarded almost eight thousand grants annually to students, scholars, teachers, scientists, artists and professionals from the U.S. and other countries In 20 10, the program was funded throug h congressional appropriation for the sum of $2 53. 8 million, with additional funds from foreign sources totaling almost $6 8.5 million in 2009. It had
27 supported approximately 300,000 Fulbright grantees since its inception ( U.S. Department of State, 2010 a ) The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) was established in 1945 to provide support to strengthen capacity through global and regional networks. The organization also served to stimulate dialog on ways in which education systems could adjust to the socioeconomic and cultural challenges in the new global environment. It focused on issues of academic mobility, international exchange, research on education systems and knowledge production, curriculum innovation, leadershi p roles for women educators, teacher development and the promotion of quality in higher education (Bevis & Lucas, 2007; p 112). The 1957 launching of Sputnik influenced the enactment of the National Defense Education Act (NDEA). Title VI provided support for the development of language and area centers, research in specialized language instruction, advanced training through language institutes and financial support through fellowships. Together with the International Education Act of 1966, the NDEA shaped the federal role in international education. Four decades later the impact of Title VI and the Fulbright legislations was most significantly felt in the amount of private dollars that was leveraged by the relatively modest public support they provided (Hi nes, 2001). Later, when the recession in the 1970s caused a decline in the emerging federal leadership, activity at the institutional and individual levels continued. Students pursued study abroad opportunities, international students chose American higher education and efforts to develop international studies curriculum continued to evolve (Ruther, 2002).
28 The 1980s brought higher education to the forefront once again as a participant in the national response to significant world changing events. The rise of Asian economic power, the end of apartheid in South Africa, and the fragmentation of Russia defined a new global era. There was growing concern about the U S ability to compete in the new environment. Higher education responded with increased study abroad, emphasis on curriculum (Ruther, 2002) and increased emphasis on internationalization of campuses ( Harari, 1983). A heightened policy focus on national security reemerged during the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries as a result of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade center and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 introduced new requirements for tracking, documenting and reporting for institutions and international students. The federal g overnment continued to streamline the regulatory process in response to September 11 which resulted in the introduction of the S tudent and E xchange V isitor I nformation S ystem (SEVIS) to track international students in America (Bevi s & Lucas, 2007). The impact of this and other regulatory conditions will be discussed later. Although the level of support waxed and waned over the years, Green (2002) criticized the federal government for its neglect of international education. The 1979 Presidents Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies expressed concern over the lack of country and area experts to meet government needs and the low rate of language learning in education. Twenty years later, President Clinton issued a me morandum on international education that outlined a federal policy that committed government support for international education. Among the recommendations in the
29 memorandum was the call to encourage international students to study in the United States. Th e unfunded memorandum lacked resources to impact the field. Later, higher education and international education were not on the agenda of the Bush administration that focused its commitment on K 12 education. Later, t he Obama Administration expressed its support for international exchange in a joint brief issued with China that praised the twoway flow of international students between the countries ( White House, 2009). In a policy docum ent that was endorsed by thirty five national education associations, the American Council on Education (2002) stated like the challenge of Sputnik in 1957, the attacks of September 11 have brought Americas international preparedness to a crossroads. The global transformations of the last decade have created an unparallele d need in the United States for expanded international knowledge and skills (p. 7). The policy paper called for national policy objectives and strategies, with resources and administrative capacity in support of an international education agenda. It ident ified government and private sector needs as the necessary targets for student preparation, called for an educational framework that met those needs, and highlighted the benefits of having international students and scholars on American campuses. Their pr esence enriches the college experience for Americans. It also provides the United States with opportunities to educate the next generation of world leaders and to engage in cooperative research and global problem solving (p. 7). Among the strategies reco mmended for a comprehensive national policy agenda was increased numbers of international students. Without sacrificing national security, the report urged strengthening of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
30 ( SEVIS) making the visa proces s more user friendly, increasing U.S. consular capacity and ensuring the dissemination of accurate information about U.S. higher educational opportunities. Community Colleges The local mission of community colleges clearly articulated their mandate to ser ve their immediate communities, provide access and opportunity to all persons desiring postsecondary education, make connections with other community agencies and build the local workforce though vocational training. Developing the local community was to b e their emphasis (Cohen & Brawer, 2002; Gleazer, 1980). Diversity that reflected the full range of differences among the people in a community had been a feature of community colleges from their inception, and the colleges ability to provide learning opportunities for a broad cross section of the public was their strength (Gleazer, 1980). Community colleges were involved in international education since the 1960s. Raby and Valeau (2007) identified four phases of development for community college engageme nt with international education. In the recognition phase, from 19671986, programs for study abroad and international development were initiated. Among the early organizations was the College Consortium for International Studies, formed in 1973, to carry out collaborative study abroad programs. The Consortium worked to strengthen international perspectives in academia by providing opportunities for professional development (College Consortium for International Studies, 2010). The Community Colleges for Int ernational Development was formed in 1976 to introduce the potential for international education to community college educators (Community Colleges for International Development, 2007 ). In the 1980s community colleges underwent a period of expansion characterized by the development of college offices
31 dedicated to international education, concern and funding for internationalizing the curriculum, and publications focused on aspects of community international education (Raby & Valeau, 2007). By the 1990s there was a shift in the mission from serving the local community to serving the global economy as community colleges responded to needs of business and industry (Levin, 2000). An increase in study abroad activity, strengthening of international student recr uitment, and focus on clarifying international education goals were characteristic of the period 19902000, referred to as a period of augmentation. Half of the sixty randomly selected community colleges that participated in a 1992 survey by the American C ouncil of Education reported conducting international business, offering study abroad or internationalizing the curriculum. Seventy percent had international contacts and 30% had sister city relationships (Raby & Valeau, 2007). By the turn of the century, a survey of 1,171 colleges by the American Association of Community Colleges saw 78% offering study abroad opportunities (Blair, Phinney & Phillippe, 2001). The beginning of the 21st century witnessed the institutionalization phase with an emphasis on the need for articulation of international education goals at the national, state and institutional levels ( Raby & Valeau, 2007, p. 8) A 2003 study by the American Council on Education that assessed the internationalization at U.S. colleges and universiti es, comparing community colleges with liberal arts colleges, comprehensive and research universities, indicated progress toward internationalization goals through increases in study abroad and foreign language requirements. More than the other institutions there was support for faculty development, yet community colleges did not
32 explicitly embrace internationalization in their institutional documents such as the mission statement or strategic plan (Siaya & Hayward, 2003). An expanded analysis of the data from this study showed efforts to internationalize were unequal when compared across six dimensions of internationalization that included articulated commitment, academic offerings, organizational infrastructure, external funding, institutional investment in faculty and international students and student programs (Green & Siaya, 2005). Community colleges recognized the need to embrace internationalization. However, t hey had to overcome institutional barriers from a lack of leadership support and inadequate funding to poor planning and the viewpoint that international education was a cocurricular activity (Green, 2007) Hanson (2008) offered an alternative perspective on the role of internationalization in community colleges. He suggested that an emphasis on infusing global issues into curriculum served the interests of multinational corporations and were a distraction from the primary focus of the community college. He maintained that the colleges role was to prepare students to address local issues that impacted their immediate lives. Yet, as the landscape evolved, new organizations emerged to support the internationalization efforts and increase global understanding of community colleges. T he newest of these was the Center for Global Advancement of Comm unity Colleges established in 2010 to serve as another resource to community colleges (Center for Global Advancement of Community Colleges, 2010). International Education: Contemporary Issues As higher education leaders responded to the need to train a m ore globally competitive labor force they were challenged to articulate the meaning of global competence (Brustein, 2007; Romano, 2002), and address critical issues within the
33 contemporary national and global contexts. Key to this study was the impact of the regulatory environment, the global market, the role of consortia in higher education institutions and English language dominance. The Regulatory Environment The deficiencies of the foreign student tracking system used by the Immigration and Naturalization Services prior to September 11, 2001 have been documented (Urias & Yeakey, 2009; Skinner, 2006). The resulting inability of the Immigration and Naturalization Service to monitor the movement and compliance of international students after they entered the U S was identified as one weakness in the system that allowed for penetration by terrorists (Urias & Yeakey, 2009). September 11, 2001 became a significant turning point in the dialog on international education in the U nited States. It changed the landscape of the regulatory environment for both international students and higher education institutions. Legislation enacted by Congress that directly impacted students and institutions included the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA Patriot Act) P.L. 107 56 (Oct. 26, 2001) and the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 (Border Security Act) P.L. 107173 (May 14, 2002). The Patriot Act amended th e Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) by requiring institutions to disclose education records to federal law enforcement officials without student consent and with no fear of liability. Such information included name and address, visa and enr ollment status, and any information regarding disciplinary actions. Section 416 of the Patriot Act shifted responsibility for visas from the Department of State to the Department of Homeland Security. This reflected a change in policy to protect Americas security rather than focusing on the diplomatic
34 mission of the Department of State (Urias & Yeakey, 200 9 ). The Border Security Act provided for an enhanced information gathering system to monitor international students. Subsequent regulatory changes introduced the SEVIS system National Security En try Exit Registration (NSEERS), U S Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US VISIT) and the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS). Together, these changes allowed for enhanced domestic securit y, surveillance procedures, border protection and information sharing. Educational institutions were mandated to be in compliance with SEVIS requirements for registering of international students by January 2003 (National Association of College and Univers ity Business Officers, 2003; Siskin 2005; U.S. Department of Homeland Security 2010; U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service, 2002). In spite of the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security to provide support through a SEV IS response team to assist with student entry into the U S (Drury, 2003) the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs reported delays in visa processing Officials acknowledged the increased costs in time and inconvenience for visa applicants (Jaco bs, 2003) Additionally, changes in federal laws resulted in an increased burden for educational institutions in collecting and reporting information on foreign students. There were additional costs to the institution in staffing, recertification and techn ology upgrades to interface with SEV I S where necessary (National Association of College and University Business Officers, 2003)
35 These laws worked together to create an entry process that was criticized as burdensome and unwelcoming for international students. Government imposition of stringent visa policies negatively impacted the ability of foreign students to get visas. While the anticipated subsequent decline in enrollments of foreign students at U.S. higher education institutions did not persist, the i mpact of new H omeland S ecurity regulations continued to be an issue of concern for practitioners and advocates of international education ( U.S. Government Accountability Office 2005). In a joint statement, 25 organizations representing the higher educati on, science and engineering fields identified areas of weaknesses related to the U.S. visa system that described the challenges of the regulatory environment. There were long delays caused by repetitive security checks and inefficiency in the visa renewal process. Extending the validity of visas issued to students from one year to the full period of their course of study was suggested to eliminate delays. Lack of transparency prevented visa applicants from getting information on the status of their applica tions and an uneven review of visa applications resulted in unequal treatment of applicants. Recommended solutions included enhanced training for consular staff, revised reciprocity agreements between the U.S. and selected sending countries to extend the length of time needed prior to visa renewal and a streamlining of the SEVIS fee collection system (Council on Governmental Relations, 2004). In a statement before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the Executive Director of NAFSA: Association of International Educators called for a visa process that was time efficient and dependable with a view to facilitating access for
36 foreign students and scholars. She noted the importance of reestablishing the U S as a preferred higher education destination for foreign students (Johnson, 2004). The Global Market Higher education was not impervious to the global marketplace. Increased worldwide competition was one of the challenges, fuelled by an increase in enrollments and accompanying deficiencies in the capacity to meet growing global demand. Growth of for profit institutions participation in marketplace resulted in competition for international students, as well as intellectual and technological resources (Burriss, 2006). Competition was fuelled by st udent demands as they sought more flexible learning opportunities. The shift to a more economic model of the student as a consumer was influenced by a greater shift in the burden of cost for higher education toward the student (Green, Eckel & Barblan, 2002). The global marketplace also created a demand for U.S. students who were globally competent. A survey of 109 international business managers and 31 business school faculty confirmed the need for U.S. nationals to fill positions in overseas offices. (Moxo n, OShea, Brown & Escher, 2001). At the same time there was demand for personnel with international expertise and language skills in more than 80 federal agencies (American Council on Education, 2002). The effect of this demand was seen in curriculum development. The Role of Consortia in Higher Education Increased collaboration among higher education institutions was one response to the increased competition as institutions worked across boundaries to gain an advantage over com mon obstacles. This new pat tern of organizational behavior was characterized by cooperation, collaboration and teamwork (Baus & Ramsbottom, 1999;
37 Green et al, 2002). Research on and support for collaborative efforts through consortia in higher education was the work of the Associati on for Consortium Leadership from its inception in 1965. It grew out of a need for higher education leaders to share ideas, resources, services, projects, and personnel (Association for Consortium Leadership, 2010, 1). The variety of consortia relatio nships reflected in higher education indicated the importance of increased cooperation as institutions strived to accomplish more with limited resources (Dotolo & Noftsinger, 2002 ; Korbel, 2007). The literature on consortia collaborations in higher educati on identified successes and challenges in areas such as curriculum, fac ulty development, libraries, workforce development and purchasing (Alberico, 2002 ; Bishop, 2002; Ho r gan, 2002; Marino, 2002). In other research on collaboration among organizations, Mat tessich, Murray Close and Monsey (2008) identified twenty factors that were essential for successful collaborative practice. These factors were related to the environment, membership characteristics, communication, process and structure. Within these categ ories there was further breakdown into specific characteristics of success that included factors such as m utual respect trust, flexibility, and creating informal relationships that resulted in a more informed, and cohesive group working on a common project. Shared vision and skilled leadership were also indicated as essential to successful collaborations (p. 9). Peterson (2002) raised important issues about measuring the effectiveness of cooperative efforts, and the costs versus the benefits of the collaboration. The evaluation of one organization yielded broader lessons for higher education. Successful consortia engaged in ongoing assessment and remained flexible. There was cost
38 sharing that alleviated some financial burdens and member institutions maintained their uniqueness while collaborating across common interests. Success was ultimately measured by the value added to the institutions staff, faculty and students. In the international education arena, the range of consortia relationships varied from long term partnerships across multiple areas of interest to short term, project focused ventures. Some included members from different countries while others were U S based institutions. There was also variety in the models of funding and administrative support for these collaborations. Some had dedicated staff while others relied on dedicated faculty, and revenues sources included public funding from the U S international funding, or direct support from member institutions (Godbey & Turlington 2002). Among the key ingredients for successful international consortia, Anderson (2002) identified high level leadership, committed staff resources, shared understanding of decision making processes, effective planning, documenting and marketing of the value of consortia activiti es to the member institutions. English Language Dominance Monolingualism in American education was a barrier to international competitiveness ( Committee for Economic Development, 2006; NAFSA: Association of International Educat ors 2003). There was a decline in enrollment in foreign languages from 16% during the 1960s to less than 9% on the 2000s. In 2001, 27% of four year institutions required a foreign language for all students. That was down from 90% in 1965 and 67% in 1995 There was also a dramatic difference between the percentages of students who were enrolled in critical languages such as Chinese, Russian and Arabic versus Spanish, French, German, Italian and American Sign Language (Welles,
39 200 4 ). Later research revealed an upward trend in enrollments between 2006 and 2009 with Spanish French and German maintaining their lead (Furman, Goldberg & Lusin, 2010). To address this problem of low foreign language enrollment the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs initiated the Critical Language Scholarships Intensive Summer Institutes in 2006. Since its inception, the program grew from 165 scholarships in six languages to 575 scholarships in 13 languages in 2010 (Critical Language Scholarship Pr ogram, 2010). Paradoxically, research has shown support for foreign language study by high school students who are college bound (Green, 2005). At the same time data indicated study abroad programs were dominated by English speaking countries and the majority of Asian students, the largest market for international students, studied in three English speaking countries. English dominance emerged as a cause for concern around issues of equity in the international arena (Hughes, 2008) and issues of national security and competitiveness on the national scene ( NAFSA: Association of International Educators 2003.) Foreign students had to take a language proficiency test, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), to gain admission to most institutions English Language competence was a concern for graduate international students who were required to provide instruction in English as a part of their programs (Haddal, 2006). Foreign Students Spaulding, et al. (2001) posed critical questions that highlighted policy issues related to foreign students. These revolved around the optimum number of foreign students an institution should serve, difference in fee structure for foreign students and
40 concerns over competition between local and foreign students for academic spaces. Additionally, the use of foreign students as teaching and research assistants, and the types of counseling services required to meet their specialized needs were important considerations for institutions serving foreign students. In the dia log on foreign student mobility concerns about brain drain, compromised quality and increased commercia lization of higher education were also expressed (Rivza and Teichler, 2007). This section explores the broader contexts of the foreign student market, f oreign student recruitment and the benefits of hosting foreign students against which these issues had to be considered. Foreign Student Market As one component of international education, foreign students were recognized as integral to U.S. economic and foreign policy interests. Increased competition for foreign students in the global market was the topic of discussion for participants at a forum on global competitiveness, convened by the Comptroller General of the United States in 2006 (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2007b ). Competitors included universities from Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom as well as countries of the European Union (Peterson et al., 1999). The Institute of International Education (2011 a ) reported as many as 3.3 million foreign students in the international education marketplace. Of the top eight countries hosting foreign students worldwide, t he U .S. led with 20% The United Kingdom was second with 13% and France was third with 8%. Germany, China and Australia each hosted 7% of international students worldwide, while Canada and Japan trailed at 4%. Within the U .S., total enrollment of foreign students at all higher education institutions had experienced a steady increase from 564,766 in 2005 2006, t o 690,923
41 total students in 20 092010 Against these worldwide and national trends in international student flows, community colleges also tapped into the international student mark etplace with enrollments of 94,175 foreign students in 20092010 (Institute of International Education, 2011c). In spite of these numbers, experts warned that the U S had lost its dominance in the world market and called for attention to reducing barriers and increasing access to U S education for foreign students. There was a realization that Americas higher education response to ever changing global scene had been slow and that international students were no longer limited in their options for higher education. Competitors such as Australia and the United Kingdom had develope d coordinated, strategic approaches to attracting foreign students (Altbach & Bassett, 2004; Basile, 2005; Johnson, 2006). The 1987 ERASMUS cooperative, SOCRATES and The Bologna Agreement were such approaches that streamlined the ability of students to mov e more easily across European states (Teichler, 2004). The Bologna Agreement is worthy of further mention as it emerged as a significant operative in international higher education. It was designed to facilitate compatibility between the diverse European educational systems by addressing issues such as credits, degrees, and quality to promote mobility for students. The potential to increase the success of European higher education in the international marketplace added to the challenges for U.S. higher educ ation (Schatzman, 2005). With an emphasis on cooperation, Bologna stood in contrast to the increasingly competitive nature of international markets (van de Wende, 2003).
42 The playing field in international education was not level. The inequities between the developed and developing regions were reflected in the flow between nations and institutions with movement from the developing to the developed. The resulting loss of intellectual capacit y and potential for developing countries was a cause for concern (Ma rginson, 2006) with approximately 80% of foreign students worldwide originat ing in Asian countries (Altbach & Bassett, 2004). Pan (2010) described the factors that influenced the movement of academics between China and other nations and the efforts of the Chinese government to encourage Chinese nationals trained abroad to return home. Foreign Student Recruitment At the national level the U.S. Government Accountability Office (2007a) identified issues that affected U S ability to attract international students. These included increased competition from other countries through expanded educational products, increased access to higher education through technology based distance learning opportunities, the growth in the number of branch campuses established by American institutions in foreign countries, the high cost of American educational programs, and restrictive visa policies and procedures since September 11, 200 1 Additionally, shifts in global financial fortunes resulted in currency devaluation and impacted affordability (Peterson et al., 1999). At the institutional level, college and university recruitment efforts varied based on institutional interest and resources. Recruitment strategies included direct mail to high schools in countries of interest, a fee for service contract and passive presence at foreign fairs through print and video materials. The development of outreach materials relevant to a foreign student market, coordination through other established programs
43 such as sister cities and partici pation in recruitment fairs coordinated through national associations, government agencies and private companies were recommended strategies for student recruitment (OConnell, 1994). With the success of foreign student recruitment and the increasing numb ers of international students over the decades, the need to provide coordinated services that addressed unique challenges of this population became apparent by the middle of the 20th c entury. NAFSA : Association of International Educators was founded in 1948 to promote the professional development of American college and university officials responsible for assisting and advising the 25,000 foreign students who had come to study in the United States after World War II. The academic institutions, government a gencies, and private organizations that combined to form NAFSA: Association of International Educators knew that meeting the needs of students from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds required special knowledge and competencies (NAFSA: Association of International Educators, 2008). They were focused on ensuring high quality educational and social experiences for these foreign students in the U S (Bevis & Lucas, 2007). Benefits of Hosting Foreign Students at U.S. Colleges and Universities A survey of a broad cross section of Americans designed to measure perceptions on international education including global preparedness, study abroad, language learning, knowledge of other cultures, and international students revealed that Americans valued increas ed opportunities for interaction with international students. They reported an appreciation for the benefits of having international contacts through students at U.S. institutions and participating in study abroad experiences (NAFSA: Association of International Educators 200 6 ; 2008).
44 Foreign students supported the campus environment in a variety of ways. They accepted teaching assistant positions that were declined by U S students who opt for more financially rewarding employment opportunities in their f ields and participated in research efforts at their institutions (NAFSA: Association of International Educators 200 6 ; Peterson, et al., 1999). Additionally, by taking low enrollment science courses foreign students made it possible for colleges to offer a wider variety of courses (NAFSA: Association of International Educators 2008). The presence of foreign students on U S campuses increased diversity and enriched the educational experiences of American students through personal contact as well as provided exposure to other cultures, histories and global issues. They helped to create diverse environments where differences could be acknowledged and respected, and stereotypical thinking confronted resulting in an increased understanding of the interdependenc e of nations and states (American Council on Education, 2002; Lamkin, 2000; NAFSA : Association of International Educators 2008; OConnell,1994; Peterson et al., 1999; Frost 2002). A distinction between the benefits experienced by colleges that enrolled significant numbers of foreign students versus low enrollment institutions was reported by Fitzer (2007). Those that enrolled larger numbers indicated academic and financial benefits where those with lower numbers showed no impact in these areas. Academic benefits included increased retention and persistence rate and an enhanced level of academic discourse. Both types of institution identified cultural benefits through a diversified campus and cultural exposure.
45 The federal government underscored the forei gn policy benefits of hosting foreign students at U.S. institutions. The opportunity to understand American political values, nurture individual relationships between future leaders and establish a sense of good will that will accrue to future foreign poli cy relations was cited as immeasurable benefits (NAFSA: Association of International Educators 2003). The American Council on Education (2002) pointed to world leaders such as General Kofi Annan who served as the Secretary General of the United Nations fr om 1997 to 2006, President Vicente Fox who served as president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006 and Jordans King Abdullah II, who all attended U.S. universities. Foreign student presence in the U.S. had become a multibillion dollar enterprise. Not the least i mportant was the positive impact to the budgets of higher education institutions through tuition and fees (NAFSA: Association of International Educators 2010 ; Peterson et al., 1999; Dellow 2002). During 200920 10 academic year, NAFSA : Association of International Educators (20 10) estimated a $18 78 billion economic impact to the U.S. economy from the presence of foreign students and their dependents. This figure estimated the cost of accommodation, tuition, fees and miscellaneous expenses F unds provided to a student from a U.S. college or university, private sponsor and e mployer of the U.S. government w ere considered U.S. support and w ere n ot included in the estimate. NAFSA : Association of International Educators collected international student data from the Institute of International Educations Open Doors 2010 report and figures for tuition, living and other costs from Wintergreen Orchard House. The majority of funds for foreign students, approximately 70%, came from personal or nonU.S. government support. It was evident that foreign students
46 ma de a significant contribution to the s tate and local economy where they chose to study through their spending on accommodations, food, books and supplies, tr ansportation and health insurance for the mselves, and for their families (NAFSA: Association of International Educators 201 0 ). This chapter synthesized the history of international education in the United States. It began with a review of the literature on globalization and internationalization within the cont ext of higher education. Globalization and internationalization were characterized by increased competition in open markets supported by technological advances that enhanced communication and connected regions that were previously disconnected. Active part icipation in the global environment by higher education institutions around the world was dominated by the research intensive universities, with the notable exception of undergraduate and vocational training institutions such as community colleges in North America. Specific attention was paid to the evolution of the international education policy arena from the early 20th century and background on the internationalization of community colleges was explored. A historical review of international higher educa tion in the United States documented early interest and activity in international students presence at U.S. higher education institutions. Shifts in policy rationales and the effect of key legislation impacted the development of international education in the 20th century. During this period, national interests moved from peace and mutual understanding of the WWI era, to the heightened focus on national security in the period following WWII, to a blend of public and private financial support for international programs and the rise of national associations as policy advocates on behalf of
47 international education At the beginning of the 21st century, concerns continued to revolve around the need for a comprehensive national policy on international education. Community colleges were also active players in the international education arena. Also reviewed were contemporary iss ues in international education. These included a regulatory environment that was burdensome and restrictive, a highly competitive global higher education marketplace, the emergence of consortia as a model for maximizing institutional capacity, and the effects of expansion of English as the dominant language of international education in Europe and the U nited S tates Finally, an examination o f foreign student mobility, a broad overview of recruitment efforts, and the benefits of hosting foreign student underscored the importance of this component within the larger context of international education.
48 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This study sought to gain an indepth knowledge about The Consortium It was framed by the following research questions: 1. What were the important features of The Consortium model? 2. What were the benefits of The Consortium ? 3. What were the challenges and how were they addressed? 4. What factors influenced the success of The Consortium ? Research Design Qualitative Research Methodology To gain an in depth knowledge about The Consortium this researcher selected a qualitative research design. Glesne (2006) described the exploratory and descriptive nature of qualitative research. She highlighted the assumptions of qualitative research where reality is socially constructed and variables are complex, interwoven and difficult to measure (p. 5). Merriam (2002) talked about the appropriateness of qualitative research in increasing understanding of complex worlds that are not fixed, single, agreed upon or measurable (p. 3). Creswell (2003) built on the work of Rossman & Rallis (1998) in describing the characteristics of qualitative research. He emphasized the interactive and humanistic approaches of this method that sought to build rapport and credibility with individuals in the study. He noted a fluid process where the questions evolved out of the process as new information was revealed. Interpretive in nature, it required the researcher to filter the data through a personal lens that is situated in a specific sociopolitical and historical moment. Reflection on his/her relationship to the study, that led to introspection and acknowledgement of biases, values and interests was typical of qualitative research where social phenomena are viewed holistically. Complex
49 reasoning that was multi faceted, iterative and simultaneous was criti cal to this primarily inductive process, although it was necessary to employ both inductive and deductive logic (p. 180181). Glesne (2006) explained that most qualitative research adopts a primarily constructivist philosophical approach. In the constructivist paradigm there were many realities and understanding was created by interaction with the subject in their natural setting (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994). In defining the underlying nature of what we know and how we come to know, constructivists view reality as created and ever evolving Glesne (2006) elaborated, human beings construct their perceptions of the world, that no one perception is right or more real than another, and that these realities must be seen as wholes rather than divided into discrete variables that are analyzed separately (p 7). Case Study In a case study the researcher undertook detailed examination of a program, a single entity such as an event, activity, process or individual. The length of time and activities related to the research defined a case study. Typically research was collected over an extended period using a number of different procedures for data collection (Stake, 1995) Case study offered the advantage of uniqueness, with the capacity to understand complexity in particular contexts. Conversely, it suffered f rom the disadvantages inherent in making generalizations from a single case. Researchers have agreed on several elements of case study methodology. It had as its purpose describing, interpreting, and explaining a specific case, without making value judgments or effecting change. While findings c ould be used to initiate change, the researcher s intent was a complete enquiry that did not change the situation (Bassey, 1999). It allow ed
50 researchers to retain the holistic and meaningful characteristics of real life events (Yin, 2009, p. 4). Stufflebean & Shinkfield (2007) elaborated on the case study as a method that examined context, goals or aspirations, plans, resources, unique features, important, noteworthy actions or operations, achievements, disappointm ents and needs. Because the purpose of this research was to gain an indepth knowledge about the factors that influenced the success of a single organization the case study was selected as the most appropriate strategy of inquiry. Through the examination of one case, the researcher sought to describe the organizations important features benefits, challenges and factors that influenced its success in recruiting international students. A research paradigm is a network of coherent ideas about the nature of the world and of the functions of researchers which, adhered to by a group of researchers, conditions the patterns of their thinking and underpins their research actions (Bassey, 1999, p 42). In an interpretive research paradigm, the researcher operates from the standpoint that reality is a construct of the human mind. While there is similarity in the ways in which people perceive the world, it is not necessarily the same. As a result, the sharing of accounts of what had been observed is always to som e extent problematic. Usually richer in language data gathering methods may include field notes, transcripts diaries and reports (p. 43). In the search for leadership perspectives this study employed a qualitative process of case study research that was grounded in the experiences of its participants. It was conducted from an interpretive research paradigm, aimed at advancing knowledge by describing and interpreting the phenomena (p. 4344).
51 Limitations of Case Study Design The ability to generalize fi ndings from a single case study across a broad area of practice has been identified as a weakness of this method of research. Schum acher and McMillan (1993) noted that researcher s must use detailed descriptions in one situation to increase understanding in another that is similar, rather than generaliz e results Selection of Case Study Participants A purposive sampling approach was used to select this case. Creswell (2003) explained the idea of purposefully selecting participants that will best serve to illuminate the problem and the research question. Through formal research and informal inquiry the researcher identified international student recruitment as one aspect of international education that could benefit from further academic research and located The Consortium as a unique case for study. The Consortium was unique in that it was a collaboration between five community colleges located in diverse communities across the U S that formed a self governing organization to collaborate efforts toward international student recruitment. It had experienced some measure of success as defined in terms of the organizations purpose as set out in the organizations bylaws t o actively support enrollment management goals Evidence of the accomplishment of this goal was gleaned through an analysis of enrollment reports. Enrollments were the quantifiable measure of success for the organization. They were carefully tracked and used as a basis to inform other decisions. The organizations enrollment data included a variety of spreadsheets that tracked student enrollments by country, by agency, by institution and by new and continuing students.
52 An analysis of enrollment reports revealed the success of The Consortium in increasing its international enrollments. Insti tutional data tracked enrollments for the period 19992000 through 20092010. A cumulative assessment of the data indicated an overall increase of 43% from 1999 to 2010. History and Characteristics of the Case The Consortium was a unique collaboration b etween five community colleges located in diverse communities across the U .S. that formed a self governing organization to collaborate efforts toward international student recruitment. It was a single organization governed by bylaws that outlined its visio n, values, mission and purpose and provided for its composition, governance, roles and responsibilities, and recruitment policies. The Consortium existed for almost a decade prior to becoming a formal self governing organization in 2003. In its early years, The Consortium was not a formal organization, but began as the idea of one individual who reached across the country and connected several institutions to partner together in securing his services to conduct joint international student recruitment on t heir behalf. There were no organizational documents from that early period. This study was focused on the period 2003 to 2010. It was useful however to reconstruct some history of its inception to provide context for the evolution of this new structure. This researcher relied on the recollections of current presidents, midlevel executives and administrators who were with The Consortium from its inception. In its early days The Consortium was led by an individual consultant who was a retired vice president from one of the member colleges. There were three original member colleges selected through a netw ork of personal relationships. From all
53 accounts, the organizational structure was very informal. Work was led by the consultant who was paid to do the rec ruiting. The Consortium membership was later increased from three institutions to five to share the burden of the expenses. B ased on recollections, the self governed organization was born about a decade later out of a convergence of a series of events tha t included the retirement of the indi vidual consultant who worked independently on behalf of the institutions, the exiting of one of the original five member institutions, the entrance of another to replace that one, the desire on the part of the staff to become more directly involved in recruitment, and a recognition that there may have been a more cost efficient way to recruit international students. The model was changed from the hired consultant to the formalized, self governing organization that was es tablished in 2003. The case under study was this self governed, single organization that was made up of five member institutions. North College was a semi rural, multi campus college located in Washington State. The unduplicated credit headcount for 20092010 was 6,500. It served a county region with a population of 118,000. North College offered small classes and individualized support for students as well as options for either oncampus dormitories or home stay housing. The estimated average cost of attendance for international students for 20092010 year was $16,000. This included housing, tuition, fees and books, health insurance and miscellaneous expenses According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators (20 10) economic impact data North College hosted 216 international students in 20092010. T he estimated economic impact of international students from North College was $5.12 million.
54 South College was a 150 acre, multi campus college located in Florida with an unduplicated credit headcount f or Fall 200 9 at 8, 313 Serving a regional population of approximately 504, 000, South College hosted international students from 27 different countries. It offered a range of services that included h ousing computer labs with internet and email service, n ew i nternational s tudent o rientation, i nternational student advising tutoring assistance career planning, assistance with university t ransfer v isa and i mmigration advising, airport pick up service, and opportunities for on campus employment. The estimated cost of atten dance for international student s for 200 9 2010 Fal l and Spring semesters was $16, 500 This included housing, tuition, fees and books, transportation and health insurance According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators (2010) economic impact data South College hosted 97 international students in 20092010. T he estimated economic impact of international students from South College was $2.4 million. East College was a 123 acre, multi campus college located in Pennsylvania. The undupli cated credit headcount for Fall 2009 was 1 2,237 East College hosted i nternational students from more than 5 4 different countries and offered flexible scheduling that included accelerated programs and distance education options. The range of services to international students at East College included free airport pick up, a multi level English as a Second Language program, assistance with securing homestay or apartment housing through an oncampus housing coordinator, full time staffed international student services office, free tutoring and a Laptop Lending Program, advising with v isas and immigration, academic advising and assistance with university transfers to more than 40 partner Institutions.
55 The average cost of attendance for international students f or 200 9 2010 Fal l and Spring semesters was $19,000 This included housing, tuition, fees and books, health insurance and miscellaneous expenses. According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators (2010) economic impact data East College hosted 208 international students in 20092010. T he estimated economic impact of international students from East College was $5.79 million. West College was a rural, multi campus college located in California The unduplicated credit headcount for 2009 20 10 was 1 2 00. It offered a range of support services for international students including tutoring, advising, airport pick up service, university transfer center and on campus dormitories. The average cost of attendance for international students for 2009 2 010 was $ 12,418. This included housing, tuition, fees and books and health insurance. According to NAFSA : Association of International Educators (2010) economic impact data West College hosted 95 international students in 20092010. T he estimated economic impact of international students from West College was $1.67 million. Central College was located on 290 acres in Illinois, close to a large metropolitan area. The unduplicated credit headcount for Fall 2009 was 12,237. Central College hosted international students from m ore than 48 different countries. Its international program services featured free airport pick up, new international student orientation week, housing specialist staff to assist with securing host home or apartment housing, fulltime International student advisors, advising with visas and immigration, academic advising and assistance with university transfers, free tutoring, social activities and a conversation partners program.
56 The estimated average cost of attendance for international students for 200 9 20 10 Fall and Spring semesters was $16,000. This included housing, tuition, fees and books, transportation and health insurance Services to international students included a homestay program. According to NAFSA : Association of International Educator s (2010) economic impact data Central College hosted 262 international students in 20092010. T he estimated economic impact of international students from Central College was $6. 22 million. Data Collection Case studies rely on many sources of evidence wi th data needing to converge in a triangulating fashion (Yin, 2009, p. 18). Research for this study began with a literature review to glean current themes related to international education. Identification of themes guided the research focus toward issues in international student recruitment. Data collection was then guided by the research questions to help to gather information relevant to the objectives of this study. Relevant data was collected through organizations documents such as budget reports, an nual reports, meeting minutes, bylaws, websites, promotional materials, and presentations. This study also applied standardized, openended, individual interviews with the organizations key leaders and administrators. The purpose of interviewing, then, is to allow us to enter the other persons perspective (Patton 1987, p. 109). In this study, interviewing provided leadership and administrative perspectives on the factors that influenced the success of The Consortium Ten interview questions were desig ned to directly address the research questions thereby maintaining the purpose and clarity of the study (Appendices A, B & C)
57 Standardized, openended, individual interviews were conducted in person and over the telephone from August through October 201 0. Each respondent was mailed an informed consent letter (Appendix D) requesting their participation in the study Interviews were scheduled at the convenience of the respondent. Each interviewee was asked the same core set of nine questions. The president s were asked one additional question. Interview questions were provided three days in advance of the scheduled interview. The interview protocol was piloted with a subgroup that included one president, one midlevel executive and one administrator taken f rom the sample. Based on the pilot the researcher added one question to the presidents protocol and edited one question for clarity. A follow up interview with respondents from the pilot study was conducted to address the edi ts to the interview questions. All other respondents were asked the same questions. During the interview the researcher probed for clarification or elaboration as needed. Each interview began with description of the research question and reiteration of the confidentiality of the interv iew (Appendix E) Access The researcher gained approval from the Executive Council and the Board of Presidents to conduct the study. This approval provided 100% support from the organizations leadership and staff and allowed the researcher access to org anizations documents (Appendix F ) The researcher worked through an assigned point of contact to assemble organizational documents. The research study was approved through the University of Florida Institutional Research Board Protocol Number 2010U 0615.
58 Data Analysis Patton (1987) explained the two processes involved in analyzing and interpreting qualitative data. Analysis is the process of bringing order to the data, organizing what is there into patterns, categories, and basic descriptive units. Interpretation involves attaching meaning and significance to the analysis, explaining descriptive patterns and looking for relationships and linkages among descriptive dimensions. (p. 144) Data analysis for this study was an ongoing process that intertwined wit h data collection. Patton (1987) noted the improved quality of both collected data and analysis when these processes overlapped. He cautioned researchers to exercise care not allow preliminary analysis to li mit additional data collection. Data analysis for this study began immediately after the completion of the each interview. The researcher personally transcribed each recorded interview. The researcher confirmed accuracy by simultaneously listening to the audio while rereading the corresponding transcript. References to names of people and institutions were removed in transcription to preserve anonymity. Further, transcribed interviews were sent back to the participants for member checking to ensure that their ideas were accurately reported. The process of transcribing and rereading allowed the researcher to become fully immersed in the data and begin to develop a heightened understanding of participants perspectives. Microsoft Word software was used to transcribe data and Microsoft Excel was used to assist in data management as the researcher grouped and regrouped, color coded, highlighted, bookmarked and added comment fields for each individual interview. In vivo coding, descriptive coding and memos were used to identify and sort themes that emerged from the data (Saldana, 2009). This iterative process continued
59 until the recurring themes were saturated. The researcher conducted a comparison of the data within and across the three groups of interviewees presidents, midlevel executives and administ rators to identify categories and recurring themes, and distill similarities or differences among the data. The f indings from this proc ess are described in Chapter 4. Reliability and Validity Fran e kel and Wallen (1996) defined validity in qualitative res earch as the appropriateness, meaningfulness and usefulness of the inferences that researchers make based on the data they collect. Reliability is consistency of these inferences over time (p. 461). Lincoln and Guba (1985) elaborated on the idea of establishing trustworthiness suggesting techniques that ensure credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability (p. 301329). Included in those techniques was triangulation through the use of different sources for data collection. Yin (2009) talked about establishing construct validity utilizing more than one source of evidence, establishing a chain of evidence, developing a case study protocol, maintaining a case study data base and having research participants review a draft of the study. Data for this study was collected from multiple sources including a range of organizational documents (e.g. meeting agendas and minutes, annual reports, bylaws, mission statements) as well as open ended interviews. Study design provided for the compil atio n of a case study data base to provide an evidentiary base for the findings Additionally, a random selection of study participants representing the three levels within the organization (presidents, midlevel executives and administrators) w ere given the opportunity to review research findings (Appendix G ) The findings of this study may
60 be most useful when applied to institutions with a similar mission to that of case members. Role of the Researcher In qualitative research, the identity of the researcher impacted the data collection and analysis processes (Gunasekara, 2007). There was a misconception that qualitative analysis could not be neutral because the researcher inevitably carried assumptions and predispositions into the research process (Harper & Kuh, 2007) which devalued this research method. Janesick (2000) suggested that all research had bias. It was therefore important for researchers to explicitly state any potential for bias that may have existed in reference to the work under study (Creswell 2003) and to affirm researcher attention to objectivity in the conduct of this study. This researchers knowledge of a member institution may have been cause for concern. Berger and Kellner (1981) reminded that the social location, psychological consti tution and cognitive peculiarities of an interpreter are inevitably involved in the act of interpretation and will affect the interpretation. Researchers must first understand their own feelings and perceptions and then bracket these so as to listen openl y and attentively through the research process. As a result, the researcher was sensitive to and exercised caution at every stage of the data collection and analysis. Use of Anonymity Glesne (2006) explained participants have the right to expect that when they give you permission to observe and interview you will protect their confidence and preserve their anonymity (p. 138). Yin (2009) explained the two levels of anonymity that exist within a case. A study may conceal the identity of the whole case or of individual participants in a case. The disadvantage of full disclosure was noted where readers of
61 the final report would not have the opportunity to review source materials included in citations. On the other hand, t he purpose of anonymity is to protec t the participants from any unintended consequences that may result from their participation in the study. Attention to anonymity is also important when writing the findings of a study. Fictitious names and/or the modification of descriptive characteristic s are therefore used to protect identities of research participants (Glesne, 2006). Anonymity was maintained in this study. The Consortium is a pseudonym for a not for profit organization made up of five member community colleges. These institutions, also referred to by pseudonyms, are called North College, South College, East College, West College and Central College. Interview participants were referred to by their level within the organization as president, midlevel executive or administrator. Each inst itution was a regionally accredited community, junior or technical college with a comprehensive international student service program and committed financial resources for international student services.
62 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS This purpose of this study was to gain an indepth knowledge about The Consortium It was framed by the following research questions: 1. What were the important features of The Consortium model? 2. What were the benefits of The Consortium ? 3. What were the challenges and how were they address ed? 4. What factors influenced the success of The Consortium ? In order to gather a range of viewpoints, these questions were examined from the perspectives at the leadership and administrative levels of The Consortium Data were gathered through 16 in dept h interviews with members from the three leadership levels in the organization. There were five community college presidents who made up the highest level of leadership, three vice presidents, an executive director and an associate dean who served at the m id level executive leadership and five directors and an assistant director who represent ed the administrative level.2 In this study the interviewees were referenced as president in the text and P in quotations, midlevel executive in the text and M LE in quotations, or administrator in the text and A in quotations as appropriate to preserve their anonymity while indicating their respective level of leadership. All but one of the interviewees w ere currently involved with The Consortium Their te nure ranged from 1 to 12 years. One of the interviewees was a recently retired vice president who was actively involved with The Consortium from its inception for eight years. Each interview lasted approximately 45 minutes, with some lasting as long as 2 In this study the interviewees were referenc ed as president in the text and P in quotations, midlevel executive in the text and MLE in quotations, or administrator in the text and A in quotations as appropriate to preserve their anonymity
63 one hour. In addition, multiple consortium documents were analyzed. These included mission statement, bylaws marketing materials, website, country reports, enrollment reports, budgets and meeting minutes. A full listing of doc uments is included in Appendix G This chapter presents the findings from the interviews and document analysis. There are four major sections which address the research questions. They are the important features of The Consortium model, the benefits of The Consortium the challenges and how they were addressed, and the factors that influence the success of The Consortium respectively. Important Features of The Consortium Model Throughout the interviews the researcher listened for interviewee comments that described important features of The Consortium model in positive terms. An important feature was identified as something that was structural to the organizations design. An analysis of the organizations most recently revised bylaws and its operating standards and procedures was crossreferenced with interviewee comments to validate the key features that were identified. Among the important features of The Consortium model, respondents at all levels described the assets of the three tiered organizational structure, shared costs and co mposition of the organization. Organizational Structure A review of the organizations bylaws revealed The Consortium was established with a threetiered governance structure. It included a board of presidents made up of the presidents of each of the member institutions and an executive council made up of two representatives from each institution. One of the executive council representatives was at or above a dean level position and was the voting member of the council. The
64 second representative was at the director level and was responsible for the day to day implementation of The Consortium program The board of presidents provided leadership and guidance to The Consortium and was the final approval body for all policy and budgetary matters. The executive council provided direction for day to day operations on all issues related to budget and recruitment. The executive council reported annually to the board of presidents at regularly scheduled meetings. A minimum of one board of presidents meeting and two executive council meetings per year was prescribed in the bylaws. Each member was required to participate in scheduled annual meetings and consortium recruitment activities. The chair of the board of presidents was elected every two years and served as th e liaison with the executive council. The officers of the executive council were the chair person vice chair person and secretary. They were elected every two years by the executive council. Interviews revealed satisfaction with the structure of the organi zation. One midlevel executive observed, the thinking that went into the organization when they formed it and along the way has really been excellent. The bylaws are good. T hey are not unduly complicatedI think the structural things that could be done t o eliminate or alleviate any unhappiness with The Consortium have really been done (MLE 1). Another explained, w eve got five country directors. Each one has a country that he or she is responsible for in terms of directing the marketing and recruitment efforts, doing the market analysis and research, maintaining the budget, developing the budget, reconciling the budget for that country (MLE 2). One administrator referred to the structure as an efficient way to operate (A3). Not all the administrators agreed with the effectiveness of the structure. With respect to
65 maintaining balance, one noted the stress placed on the institutions with small staff when country directors have to divert their attention from institutional responsibilities to do consortium travel or work. Another explained, t he way that The Consortium gives out responsibility is basically its done once a year in April. Thats when we decide who will do what. We try to forecast what the workload is going to look like for The Consortium and if its doable in the context of the institutional workload. Its not a perfect science (A3). Shared Costs Each member was an equal partner in The Consortium and contributed equally to the budget and to shared business expenses. The bylaws spelled out a fiscal formula that provided for new members to pay 10% of The Consortium s budget expenses for the first year or year and a half of membership, depending on when the institution joined. After the first year, membership costs were based on an equal divisi on of business expenses 1) Eight percent of the total approved annual operating budget was allocated to staff support and that cost was also shared equally among the members. 2) Each institution paid a prorated percentage of recruitment related expenses based on their total enrollment of consortium students for the previous term. 3) A one time, $10,000 deposit fee, refundable when the institution leaves The Consortium 4) A 15% commission fee to be paid to agents based on each institution s individual enrollment of student s referred through the agent. The fee was calculated as 15% of the tuition earned for the first year of each students enrollment with the institution. Additionally, there was a stated expectation that each member would maintain funds in their institutional budgets for consortium related expenses. A midlevel executive observed,
66 t he sharing of the financial burden is very fairy ou pay a certain base rate to The Consortium for being a part but then there is, the more students you have, th e other part of the formula recognizes that some of us get more students than others (MLE1). There was agreement among the interviewees regarding the financial benefits of cost sharing. It was captured in this statement, i f we had to tackle the countries that we have recruited in over the years as a solo institution, the c ost would have been prohibitive (MLE 2). Composition The composition of the organization was defined by its size and the make up of its members. The bylaws provided for the composition o f the membership to retain The Consortium s geogr aphic balance. The five members were located in Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Washington and California. All members had to be regionally accredited community, junior or technical colleges. Through an electoral process new members that met consortium criteria could be added. One president commented on the strength of this geographic diversity. In retrospect it has worked out well given the geographic representation across the country. We dont compete wit h each other. We all have our different strengths and our locations bring different positives so we dont really compete and weve got the country pretty well covered (P2). The size was also viewed as a positive by the presidents. Another stated I think one of the things that have made us as successful is the small size of The Consortium We only have five members and all five of us can sit around and talk about this pretty easily (P5). A mid level executive agreed, the size of The Consortium makes it e asy to work things out. In other words you have different viewpoints, but you dont have twenty different viewpoints (MLE1).
67 A dministrator s also commented on the size and geographic diversity of the members. W e are founded on the premise that we would not be competing against each other. We are located in five different states and five areas of the U.S. Were in the East coast and the South, MidWest and the West coast. When we are overseas doing our outreach we dont have to, we never find ourselves competing against one another. Once a student, or a family, has made a decision as to where they would like to send the student that pretty much takes care of itself (A5). Among the administrators comments about the size of the organization revealed an interes t in exploring the possibilities of adding new members. Some speculated about the advantages of additional resources if others were invited to join The Consortium for example, one director shared, in my opinion, quite honestly you would get more resourc es, if you had six you would have a sixth college paying (A4). Another administrator pondered on the group dynamics and how that might be impacted by increasing the membership. But I often wonder what it would be like if there were ten of us rather than f ive. I mean because in a way were all used to one another and we, Im going to use the word friends, were friends of each other. If you had, as they say when something grows larger and larger that camaraderie could go away and it would become more of a b usiness than a family. It hasnt happened yet but it is something that I often t hink about (A2). It seemed that while the size and geographic makeup of the organization had remained stable for more than a decade, and was seen as an important feature and benefit to The Consortium there was interest at the administrator level to explore the possibility of expanding the membership. This interest in expansion was not directly expressed at the midlevel executive and president levels.
68 Benefits of The Consortium The study explored interviewee perceptions about the benefits of membership in The Consortium M ajor themes that evolved from interview ees comments were leveraged financial resources and collaboration. Additionally, interviewees were specifically asked t o comment on the return on their investment in international student recruitment through The Consortium These themes are discussed below. Leveraged Financial Resources The majority of the presidents interviewed commented on the leveraging of financial re sources that allowed the members to accomplish more through the power of sharing. They agreed that an important benefit of membership in The Consortium was a more cost effective way for them to pursue international student recr uitment. One president noted, if we were recruiting international students on our own I think it will be a much more expensive proposition (P3). Another president equated the impact that they had collectively through these leveraged financial resources with the potential of big univ ersities, we do not have the resources of big universities for example, but it allows us, this consortium, to act in many ways with the kind of knowledge and impact that a larger institution might have in the marketplace in terms of advertising, in terms o f our website presence, in terms of developing relationships with agents within markets and having the fiscal resources to be able to pursue all of the various things that allow us access to markets that might be a little more difficult for each one of us independently (P1). Mid level executives also pointed to cost effectiveness as a benefit of membership and elaborated on its impact on the enhanced scope of their international reach. Organizational records indicated that The Consortium had maintained some recruitment activity in Korea, Hong Kong, China, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Japan, Sweden, Brazil, Poland, and was actively exploring new markets in
69 Vietnam, Europe, and China. O ne mid level executive noted we could never afford t o go to place like Japan, China, Russia, Sweden, Hong Kong, Brazil and many other countries depending on our college outreach budget (MLE4). Another agreed, it provides an opportunity for the college to pool its various resources, financial resourcestog ether in what I would call a very efficient and effectiv e, and even a very credible way (MLE5). One midlevel executive offered a slightly different point of view that, while it supported cost effectiveness, minimized the extent of this benefit. I would say we definitely have an advantage in terms of cost by being in The Consortium I wouldnt say that that is the most compelling reason or that there is a huge benefit in cost. If we were to take the money we put in The Consortium and do something else wi th it, you know we might have fewer students but it wouldnt be dramatically fewer, I wouldnt think (MLE1). All administrators spoke of cost effectiveness as a benefit of membership. Their comments were summed up in this one remark, overall the cost of r ecruiting is quite expensive and our combined efforts reduce that cost significantly (A2). There was consensus across all levels regarding the benefit of leveraged financial resources. Interviewees spoke in positive terms of this benefit that resulted i n cost savings, broader global reach and greater impact for less financial input. Collaboration Collaboration emerged as a major theme throughout the interviews and the organizational documents. It was the foundation of the operational relationships between the member institutions. It was defined in terms of shared responsibilities, shared knowledge, and relationships.
70 Shared responsibilities Only one midlevel executive commented on the benefit of shared responsibilities H owever this comment was notew orthy as it provided further insight into the scope of the responsibilities that were shared among the administrators and highlighted the benefit to the institution. Weve got five country directors. Each one has a country that he or she is responsible for in terms of directing the marketing and recruitment efforts, doing the market analysis and research, maintaining the budget, developing the budget, reconciling the budget for that country. That would be a tremendous amount of extra work outside of what each of these individuals does at their home institution, and, frankly, could not be done. If my director had to handle five countries for us, he could not do his own job. Id have to hire somebody else, and thats not necessarily something that we could do (MLE2). Not surprisingly, comments about benefits of shared responsibilities came primarily from the administrators. These were the staff most frequently engaged in day to day communication and planning for The Consortium s work. Their comments about sharing the responsibilities revealed the complexities of international recruitment work and the value derived from sharing the workload. One administrator explained, w eve been able to have relationships with many new people abroad that we probably would not have been able to achieve as an independent institution. Because we do the group trips and we travel together and share those responsibilities weve been able to cultivate real relationships over a long period of time with some key partners and those relationships have been strengthened and enhanced by the group of us working on those relationship rather than one person. And weve been able to have more relationships because there are more people working on those relationships (A6). Beyond the benefit o f enhanced relationships, another administrator described how labor intensive it was to work in a market, having to learn the demands and nuances of that local market, and manage financial resources effectively to maximize recruitment efforts. This a dministrator observed that t he sharing of responsibility, allows
71 each one of the five directors to specialize on several markets rather than trying to be an expert in everything (A4). Shared knowledge Several presidents saw great value in the sharing of knowledge among the member institutions. They described that sharing as a part of the give and take of dialog among the staff both formally and informally, as one president noted, we can just pick up the phone and call somebody, and of course we have regular meetings on an ongoing basis where we share that expertise and that knowledge and experience (P4). The Consortium afforded them ready access to a support group that provided expertise in the area of international education. One president said, we c an turn to people who may have had some of the issues we have had and that s a w onderful thing to be able to do (P5). Others concurred, its not necessarily just one person but really a team of individuals who we can tap i nto at any given time to assist (P4), and they really have an opportunity to talk and know what the other colleges are doing, what are their best practices in terms of working with these students (P1). Mid level executives shared the viewpoint that shared knowledge was an important benefit. One described the variety of areas in which knowledge was sh ared. S ome directors are very knowledgeable in SEVIS which is the student exchange visa program and some of them understand a great deal the concept of college program certification, some directors are more familiar wi th the new policies that are now in place with Homeland Security (MLE4). Another explained that the sharing of knowledge and expertise extended beyond the specifics of international recruitment to other aspects of internation al program work in this way: I think the interchange that occurs among The Consortium participants when we meet, not just in formal meetings but socially, at dinners or
72 lunches and so forth, as basic as that, I think the idea sharing that occurs. Not just about how do we recruit international students more effectively or broadly, but the discussion spills over into other aspects of our institutional service delivery. That idea exchange happens more frequently in that setting. I most likely would not be pick ing up the phone and calling someone at an institution on the opposite coast of the country to ask about the integration of their student services with regard to admissions and financial aid. If I am sitting down at dinner with that vice president, I very well may have that conversation. I think thats an important spinoff of The Consortium s work (MLE2). Similarly, the value that was placed in their ability to share their expertise was revealed in comment s from administrators such as were also making our program stronger because weve got these other people to bounc e ideas off (A1), and we really benefit from the four other colleges who might have a little more long term experience in the field (A3), or e xpertise from one area that I might not necess arily be very versed, one of my other four colleagues may have more knowledge (A4). Another administrator further highlighted the value of collaboration in the context of the unique nature of international student recruitment within the community college setting. Its a very challenging task to think about how do you market an unknown community college in the world. The local PR and marketing office really is geared towards the district and our offices are geared toward the entire world. There are some pretty significant challenges in analyzing the marketplace, so being able to share that information and discuss it and reflect on it and try to build positive strategies is another big benefit (A6). Relationships A number of presidents affirmed the impor tance of collaborative relationships to the work of The Consortium One president declared, at the end of the day really for all of us its all about relationships. The relationships that are built between our staff members who are delivering these program s and these services, and the relationships theyve built in these countries and with people in these countries (P4).
73 From their point of view, they attributed successful outcomes to successful relationships among the staff as evident in the comment the v ice presidents and directors, who seem to have a great working relationship. I think thats what really makes it a success. They seem to get along well, they cooperate well (P2). While the strength of relationships within collaboration emerged as a theme across the levels there were differing perspectives on these relationships. The presidents seemed to be insulated from some of the day to day struggles of relationship building that were identified in comments by midlevel executives and administrators. One mi d level executive admitted to some pretty intense moments of disharmony because of the disparate personalities (MLE2). Within the comments there was an implication that it took time for the group to develop a sense of mutual trust and respect that was necessary for successful relationships. Anoth er mid level executive observed, so you have to be able to trust each other and you have to be able to confront and if there are issues or concerns you have, either because someone said something or did some thing, you have to be able to be open about it, discuss it, and try to work through it. And I think the group has done that over the years And then as people are out on the road together and theyre working together and communicating together, its import ant when issues of trust, integrity, credibility or whatever issues come up and you deal with that (MLE5). A ll the administrators spoke to the strength and depth of the relationships that were cultivated among consortium members. This was succinctly descr ibed by one administrator this way, Im not going to necessarily share trade secrets with a school just north or south of here but sharing best practices with a consortium partner thats a different issue (A1). Another administrator affirmed, w e see eac h other among The Consortium as partners ; we dont see each other as competitors or adversaries (A5).
74 There was no pretense among administrators that these relationships were without their tensions or that they were developed without due effort. There wer e several comments that acknowledged personality conflicts (A4), and the need to overcome the intrinsic competitive nature of the work. One commented, t heres not another group like us that were quite aware of that were recruiting for all five of our i nstitutions at the same time. Usually this is an individual school effort to recruit for their school. So the tradition of being competitive and working for your own school was stronger in the beginning on some level than it is now because over time the cu lture thats evolved in our group has been that we put The Consortium and our support for each other on some level above our own interest in recruiting for our own institutions only. (A6). The nurturing of these relationships of trust and respect was descr ibed within the context of the way the members worked together. For example, there was a conscious decision to place the collective needs of the group ahead of the individual needs of institutions as described in this way, we really make the shift intern ally in our thinking about it, we all get committed to the idea that Im happy if another institution gets students and that is a value and a priority I think thats evolved over time and weve openly talked about it. Thats one of the interesting things about our group.Weve actually decided to prioritize our collective goals rather th at some of our individual needs (A6). Another administrator stated, it is a really fine line to distinguish between consortium interests versus institution interests. Essentially, many times that Ive been placed in a situation that I have to decide one or the other I normally have placed The Consortium over the institution (A5). There was consensus across all levels regarding the benefits of collaboration. Themes of shared responsibility emerged as an important feature of collaboration among the administrators. At all three levels, shared knowledge and relationships were identified as other key features of collaboration among consortium members.
75 Return on Investment Return on investment was another way to gauge the benefits of membership in The Consortium Interviewees were specifically asked to comment on the return on their investment in international student recruitment through The Consortium Responses fell into two broad categories, financial return on investment and intangible return on investment that came to the institutions as a result of increased enrollments through The Consortium s recruitment activities. Financial return on investment All the presidents acknow ledged a financial return on investment in The Consortium but were quick to emphasize the intangible returns as a more important outcome. One president stated explicitly in terms of return on investment, in terms of dollars, to tell you the truth I really dont spend a lot of time on that and worrying about it because Im more concerned about the experience that students receive and the experience that the other students receive and benefit from having an opportunity to interact with these students from di fferent backgrounds and different cultures (P4). Another reinforced, o ur goal was not to make money we dont want to lose money on this and went on to explain, we more than cover the costs of our participation in The Consortium so, it is actually a pro fit center, if you will, in the business sense. And there is a financial return on investment. But thats not what motivated us, at least motivated me. I think our return on investment is the benefit that our native students get. And hopefully the benefit that the international students who come here get from the education that we provide (P3). A third president reiterated, Im going to be real honest with you here, it s a way of increasing operating funds here at the institutionit becomes a way for us to latch onto a little bit more operating funds even after we give the services to the international students (P5).
76 The presidents acknowledgement of a financial return on investment was supported by the research and the national data that indicated a signi ficant return on investment for international student recruitment. There was a positive impact to the budgets of higher education institutions as well as the U.S. economy. (NAFSA : Association of International Educators 20 10 ; Peterson et al., 1999; Romano, 2002). During 2009 2010 academic year, NAFSA : Association of International Educators (20 1 0 ) estimated a n $1 8 8 billion economic impact to the U.S. economy from the presence of foreign students and their dependents. Economic impact data for 20092010 in t he states where The Consortium member institutions were located range d from a high of $ 2. 8 billion in California to $412 million in Washington. Pennsylvania, Illinois and Florida received economic benefits estimated at $ 887 million, $ 869 million and $ 826 m illion respectively from the presence of international students and their dependants. The majority of the mid level executives also commented on the financial return on investment in agreement with statements made by the presidents. One noted, were definitely benefiting, just in terms of dollars. Even if you look at the tuition they pay, and the cost, even if you add up all the indirect costs of serving them. So, in that sense, bottom line is, even on a dollar figure a plus (MLE1). Another mi d level exec utive quantified, j ust looking at our last fiscal year, our return on investment was over 600% and went on to explain, I calculated that by looking at the recruitment budget we had set aside and adding the costs of my employee benefits and salaries and subtracting that from the tuition dollars generated. And thats just tuition dollars. That doesnt even count fees. It was over 600% return on that investment. Thats just this past year. So compound that over time, its been tremendous. Its really self sustaining in terms of the recruitment activities, and its sustaining for the office and the staff and the benefits costs, so really, in addition to all the outlay of money to support, this certainly, and I hate to sound crass, but
77 were reaping quite a profit from the tuition dollars generated by The Consortium students, and thats just consortium students (MLE2). Administrators also acknowledged the financial return on investment. They elaborated on the higher rate of tuition that international student s paid compared to local students and how that positively impacted the bottom line. One stated, t hey are paying a lot higher tuition so to get just one student brings in a lot more money. Its about three and a half domestic students. (A4). Another explained, o ne trip abroad typically could cost, for example five thousand dollars. The work thats done on that one trip is less than one years tuition cost for a student. Its almost about one semester (A6). Intangible return on investment While there was consensus regarding the financial return on investment, there was an even greater emphasis among the presidents placed on the intangible return on investment to the member institutions. One president stated, we see The Consortium as being that vehicle, that focal point for recruitment of international students and thats the way to diversify not only the student body but the culture and everything else here at the institution (P5). Another president noted, thats not one of those things you can put a pri ce tag on, what that brings to an institution when you bring these individuals from different countries and different cultures and the richness that brings to a college campus (P4). The Consortium was described as a good and relatively inexpensive way to be able to pursue what is our objective, a broad range of different countries and cultures to come and interact with our students on our campus. Thats th e first and most important part (P 1 ). The use of financial return to help support enhanced programs and services that benefited the whole institution was highlighted in this comment,
78 those resources are sufficient not just to take care of the needs of our international students but actually build some additional program and support program capacity that we proba bly wouldnt be able to afford (P1). The mission statements of the individual institutions and The Consortium and interviews with presidents, midlevel executives and administrators all sug gested that achieving diversity was a key driver for cons ortium members in pursuing international recruitment. The mission, vision and/or core values statements of the individual colleges all in some way acknowledged their commitment to a diverse educational environment. One president affirmed its a natural f it given our mission and what we are doing with The Consortium is aligned and supports the mission of the college (P4). Another president added, more and more businesses are competing globally and exposing native students to more cultures was considered one important way to prepare students for world of the future (P3). Phrases like celebrate diversity, and encourage mutual cultural understanding, inclusive environment, global society and local and global communities that we serve were part of di fferent colleges mission and vision statements and affirmed the individual institutional commitment that was reflected in comments regarding the intangible benefits of increasing the diversity on the campuses The literature indicated that the presence of foreign students on U S campuses increased diversity and enriched the educational experiences of American students through personal contact as well as provided exposure to other cultures, histories and global issues. They helped to create diverse environments where differences could be acknowledged and respected, and stereotypical thinking confronted resulting in an increased understanding of the interdependence of nations and states (American
79 Council on Education, 2002; Fitzer 2007; Lamkin, 2000; NAFSA : Association of International Educators 2006, 2008; OConnell,1994; Romano, 2002). Mid level executives also described the impact of intangible benefits that accrued to their campuses as a result of increased enrollments of international students through their membership in The Consortium In terms of the learning environment and the things that are provided by the presence of international students, I think its difficult to quantify that because there is probably literally no other way to provide that to the number of students that we can. We have very few students who can afford, whether financially, or afford the time away from their families to go study overseas, or even to take a summer trip or whatever. And so this contact with these students is one of the few ways that they would have a direct interaction with people from the rest of the world (MLE1). Another midlevel executive concurred, w e all realize that a lot of our domestic students who enroll are fairly provincial and not necessarily predisp ositioned to want to go to these other countries and learn about these other countries, or learn other cultures and customs, so we need to bring it to them (MLE2). There was agreement among the administrators as well. Their comments reflected similar thoughts as those expressed by the midlevel executives. A lot of our students might be from more provincial families or cultures. They might be local yokels who have been here all their life and will never leave the community and so the fact that were bringi ng students from such dramatically different cultures to the college is an education for those students who will never have the opportunity to travel into those cultures. (A3). T o be able to sit in the classroom with maybe two students from another part o f the world with different perspectives and become friends with them and learn something about multi cultural communication is really good investment in the future of our students. So that is a really big nonmaterial marker (A4).
80 There was consensus acros s all levels in The Consortium that diversifying the student body was the greatest intangible benefit to members from The Consortium s international recruitment activities. Challenges and How They Were Addressed T he study also explored the challenges of Th e Consortium and how they were addressed. Interviewees were asked about external conditions that impacted positively and negatively on their work and how they dealt with those that presented the greatest challenges. The leaders interviewed in this study perceived a variety of challenges to their work that were beyond their control. These fell into the broad category of the external global environment and included themes such as the economy, sociopolitical events and the United States image abroad. Several internal organizational challenges were also identified such as availability of housing for international students and administrative challenges. Global Environment The e conomy The local and international economy loomed as an important theme across the int erviews. Many noted the inverse relationship between economic factors and international student enrollment. A robust economy was seen as favorable to The Consortium s work, while periods of reduced economic activity posed significant challenges. Presiden ts pointed to the direct impact any movement in the world economy, whether up or down, had on their enrollment numbers. Economic factors unquestionably have an impact and weve seen that the last couple years, with the global recession (P3).
81 Another attr ibuted the drop in enrollments at his institution to the international economy. He stated, one of the reasons we had 250 international students two years ago and we have 155 this year, I am certain is the more precarious state of the international economy both in Asia and in Europe. He went on to explain the relationship between enrollments and the economy had to do with the question of how well people are doing and therefore how many people are there in each of these areas that have the families that have the financial wherewithal to pay the full cost of this kind of Amer ican educational experience (P1). The ripple effect of local economic pressures due to state budget reductions was also identified as a challenge by one president in this statement : i n this s tate we have experienced some pretty drastic reductions in our funding overall and at our institutions and this institution here certainly didnt escape that. That has a ri pple effect across all programs (P4). The majority of the mid level executiv es commented on economic challenges as well. One remarked, t he whole international recruitment scene has changed over the year s and will continue to changei t changes based on economics (MLE5). Another talked about the im pact of currency devaluation, we ve seen during the economic downturn the Korean currency for example lost a lot in relation to the U S currency. That has a huge impact on enrollmentits all elastic according to cost (MLE1). A number of administrator comments reinforced the theme. One explained the simple equation, If foreign currency is doing well against the dollar we see more students ; if its not, we see fewer students (A3). One pointed to the impact on international students. When worldwide economic situation was happening the Korean currency just plummeted against the dollar where potential students, current students, they were suddenly having to pay twice as much as what they were a year ago. Not that our costs went up it was just the exchange rate
82 plummeted so drastically that they were having to send twice as much Korean currency to cover the same amount of costs that it was a year ago. So that can be a negative and a positive depending on which way the exchange rate is going. You get students saying Ive got to return home, I dont know if Im going to be able to come back, is there a payment plan I can do (A1). This administrator summed it up succinctly, the recession is hurting us in some places ( A6). Global s o cio political e vents Global sociopolitical environment and t he competitive climate in which The Consortium operated included political issues related to the U .S. and international regulatory environment, global competition for international students and social issues related to health epidemics. Some of the presidents addressed the regulatory environment in other countries and how that impacted st udent mobility. One observed, t hey have policies and rules and laws that we hav e to work within as best we can, in some cases its very difficult for students to get what ever they need so that they can come here, from their own government (P4). Another noted t hat within the United States t hings like the visa process, and whether that becomes more or less difficult (P3) was particularly challenging, especially after Sept ember 11. Mid level executives also acknowledged the challenges in navigating the regulatory environment. One midlevel executive noted that challenges in securing visas also occurred as a result of negative bias about community colleges (MLE1) compar ed to big name universities among the U S State Department staff who were responsible for granting U S visas.
83 Other challenges identified were health epidemics and competition for international students as other countries enhanced their presence on the world market for international students. One midlevel executive clearly explained the nuances, the fact that many countries like Australia and Britain are really doing much more to encourage students to study in their country, establishing country polici es and making it easier for them financially to enroll (MLE5). She also noted that sending countries also worked more diligently to retain their students by increasing local educational opportunities. Other midlevel executives commented on experiences w ith the global health epidemics such as severe acute respiratory syndrome ( SARS) and the Influenza A virus H1N1. While presidents and midlevel executives touched on the sociopolitical and economic issues related to the global environment, it was the administrators who provided greater detail in identifying the variety of global factors that had a direct impact on their recruitment efforts. One administrator enumerated w e also have external conditions that we have no control of through unpredictable c yclical events including 911, SARS, the war in Afghanistan Swine Flu epidemic, global economic downturn. All of those affect our bottom line and the work that we do overseas and theyve all have impacted to a certain degree ho w productive we can be overseas (A5). Another administrator explained further, a fter 9 11 the U S became stricter with issuing student visas, with SARS in Hong Kong several years ago, people werent travelling. We actually did not go to one of our Spring trips becaus e we too were concerned about getting SARS (A4). They also elaborated on competition for international students. They identified both the changing demographics of sending countries and the competition from other major international education destinations. One administrator observed, Japan is now experiencing a point where the college aged population isnt what it used to be; therefore there is space in the universities within Japan
84 to educate students rather than, you know, what used to happen was that there werent enough spaces in the Japanese universities so it was forcing the college aged population to think about other places to study (A2). Another explained, in the European Union they have this ERASMUS agreement so theres somewhat less interest in European countr ies sometimes studying because they can study now in each others countries for lesser cost. The marketing strategies of other nations, what Australians are doing, what the Canadians are doing, what the New Zealanders are doing, those impact us quite bit. Our competition within the United States, what other colleges are doing, what other universities, English language schools, nonprofit and profit schools (A6). United States image abroad The United States image abroad emerged as a theme primarily among the administrators. It was a challenge they had to deal with first hand in their international contacts. Their comments revealed how precarious the image of the United States had become among potential international students and how that image was influenc ed by politics and the media. Some students get turned off. They are not interested in our schools. Weve heard first hand in Sweden where they students say we dont want to go there. Essentially not in these words but you guys are war mongers. We dont want to go to a country that has preemptive military exercises overseas. We will hear that first hand when we go out there (A5). Another administrator pointed out, anytime a city gets good press, that influences students decisions. They might read an ar ticle in Hong Kong about Philadelphia and that might peak their interest in attending a school near Philadelphia (A3). Organizational Challenges Availability of housing for international s tudents Housing was addressed as a local challenge that impacted the different member institutions in different ways based on their capacity. One president pointed out that,
85 w e have a person dedicated to finding home stays but its difficult because we are not near good transportation out here in the suburbs. That creates a problem so we may ha ve some built in limitations of our own (P2). Mid level executives and administrators offered more details on the challenges of securing adequate housing for international students and how that was addressed. Housing is not just a pr oblem for us. Its particularly a problem for my college but also for East College and West College. North College is at a point where they have filled up their residence halls and other options that they have so they are looking at that too. Im not sure about South College, if they are at that point yet but they certainly could get to that point (MLE5). Housing became an important consideration as The Consortium continued to increase enrollments One administrator recalled, were going to enroll more st udents, but does each college have the infrastructure to support that ? Will they grow out of the housing arrangements? Some almost did in Fall of 2008 (A3). Another administrator situated the challenge of providing housing in the context of their commitm ent to providing ser vices to international recruits; when you recruit students you have to have as strong of a commitment or a stronger commitment to providing the services that these students need. In our case our office is responsible for the housing so when were successful with recruiting we have more demands to provide services. Thats a little bit of a conundrum, if were successful with recruiting we are challenged more on the home front in providing those services at the same time (A6). Organizational documents also revealed The Consortium s ongoing efforts to analyze and address this challenge. The Consortium conducted an extensive national survey of community colleges that provided housing for international students in an effort to identify altern ative solutions. They also conducted detailed analysis of member processes that revealed different approaches to addressing housing for each member institution. Differences included housing guarantees to international students provided by some institutions and dedicated staff assigned to addressing housing needs during
86 peak periods. The type of housing arrangements also differed from college owned dormitories, to host families, to arrangements with local apartment complexes. While housing continued to be an individualized challenge for each member institution, The Consortium adopted a collaborative approach to problem solving as they worked together to find solutions. Administrative challenges S everal administrators discussed the challenges that were parti cular to their role within the organization. These included c ommunication and workload management. Communication challenges resulted from the geographic distance between the member institutions. One administrator explained, sometimes I would just long to walk out of my office and talk to somebody instead of writing an email or leaving a message or knowing that if I want to talk to a colleague in another time zone I have to wait the time frame (A4) Another described the impact of distance on the group dynamic, because of the fact that we are spread across the United States and when we get back to our own campuses the synergy thats created when we are together sort of dissipates. (A2). Other administrative challenges arose from workload management. In addition to the scope of responsibilities outlined in the country director job description that each administrator performs, they also have responsibilities associated with their roles as international education officers at their institutions. One administrator described the stress of balancing those roles ; were doing it over time, on a shoestring, sometimes were doing it while we are meeting students housing needs and a lot of other demands. I do believe we need to stay connected with students and the stud ent experience and we need to always have that connection with the person doing the marketing but theres a lot more to do and we probably need more staff in order to help us do it (A6).
87 Another administrator explained, We are a two person office, if one or the other of us is out of the office or working on consortium matters the entire rest of the responsibilities of the office falls on one person. And you know, it is actually a source of conflict right now within the office and you know recently there was a trip that fell over the beginning of the semester and it was extremely stressful for me because I was the one left in the office trying to deal wi th 238 students with no support (A2). Dealing with the Challenges In describing how they dealt with those c onditions that posed the greatest challenge, interviewees revealed several strategies that allowed them to be resilient in a changing environment. Some reinforced a lack of control over the conditions and seemed resigned that they could do nothing to direc tly impact those factors. An analysis of interviewee comments revealed that The Consortium was quite proactive in developing a strategic response to the vagaries of the global environment. This study identified specific strategies described by the interv iewees that coalesced into a targeted recruitment approach. These included exploration of new markets, being responsive and flexible, image management and the use of international education agencies. These were all confirmed through further analysis of str ategic planning documents, meeting minutes and recruitment schedules. Exploration of new m arkets The presidents talked about the exploration of new markets. Through an ongoing monitoring of market trends and analysis of consortium data market strategies were evaluated and adjusted. One president stated, based on the data analysis and watching the trends and whats happening with our recruitment efforts, we make decisions to either continue pursuing those countries in those areas or not (P4).
88 Another pres ident explained how they monitored shifts in the world economies in order to identify potential new markets. He added, we keep looking at what other nations are in a position where they may be seeking opportunities and we can create new markets and awareness of us as an opportunity (P1). This deliberate effort toward market diversity was reflected in the comments of this president, I would hold up starting a recruiting effort in Brazil for example as one of those countries where were trying to see if we can make some headway for students coming here. Weve been pretty open. We tried Mexico without a lot of success yet and we tried some places in Eastern Europe without a great deal of success but I would say that we keep hunting for those places that look like theres potential and that is one of the ways that were trying to adapt together and figure out where there might be markets that could help us despite our traditional markets having a tougher time because our traditional markets are having economic troubles (P1). Mid level executives also talked about new markets. They identified new markets as one of the critical and very deliberate decisions they make. One m id level executive explained, when countries stop producing students, or there are problems with agents or whatever, we bring it up and talk about itwe make very conscious decisions about wh ere to allocate resources (MLE 1). I think the decision to establish a research and development period for new markets has been a good decision on our part because we realize you cant make a difference necessarily in one year when youre going into a new market. You really need to begin, year one, in getting the lay of the land, getting the sense of the culture, whats the best way to reach students and fami lies, what are the barriers, what are the benefits of operating in a market. And we all agreed that we need to give a new country three years. If in three years the market is not producing or showing signs of potential, cut your losses and move on. That was important. That was a systematic decision (MLE2). Administrators noted that shifts in the global environment moved them to explore new markets for international students as traditional markets yielded fewer students.
89 We are looking at other countries w here we can potentially say if things are going bad in Hong Kong, or if there is a demographic shift in Japan occurring, then maybe we can be working in Turkey or in India (A5). Another explained, we are moving from that paradigm which was, continue working closely with established partners in established markets, to The Consortium courting people in new markets, courting new agents (A3). Exploration was not limited to uncharted territory. Even in a mature market such as Japan, efforts to expand to di fferent parts of the country demonstrated another approach to dealing with the challenges through market expansion. One administrator described this approach in Japan. F or years weve been doing two group trips to Japan, and it was decided this past meeting that Japan is such a mature market and its a market that has changed a bit, where years ago Japan used to be one of the highest countries for enrollment and now its dropped just because of their changing demographics Lets do one group trip, but lets keep the other trip a country director trip and allow the director the chance to go to Japan and because of the changing demographics explore a different area of Japan. Maybe going up to or to Sapporo because we have a couple agents that have bra nch offices up there, maybe the country director goes up to Sendai, and does an exploratory to see if those areas in an already established market might be beneficial for later on, the whole group to come on (A1). Responsiveness and f lexibility Administrat ors most frequently highlighted the need to be responsive and flexible as they addressed challenges. Flexibility was reflected in comments about the members response to challenges such as the economic crisis. One administrator commented Its like being on a rocky boat and trying to keep it steady, trying to keep it afloat. I think each instance requires its own flexibility (A3). Interviewee comments revealed a flexible approach that also included the decisions about the types of programs offered. Adminis trators noted that
90 responsiveness to the changing global environment required the ability to adjust their services to accommodate the needs of the students as reflected in this comment, were are noticing in some countries the market for ESL training is v ery high and so we want to market our schools as intensive ESL pr ograms (A4). Another administrator commented, o ne thing that The Consortium is doing to respond to that is looking into different types of programs. Because the Japanese students can get int o the universities that ten years ago they could never get into, theyre only interested in doing short term programs to some extent. The way were responding is by investigating some of these short term program s, were looking into summer programs for the m so they can still come over and experience our colleges and return (A4). Image management Already discussed above, interviewee comments revealed how precarious the image of the United States had become among potential international students and how that image was influenced by politics and the media. Image management emerged as an important strategy in dealing with the challenges posed by the unpredictable nature of the global sociopolitical environment. An analysis of organizational documents revealed an emphasis on refining marketing efforts as a future strategy in the strategic plan. Marketing materials for each of the five member colleges as well as joint consortium materials were also analyzed. Materials were produced in multiple languages. They inc luded student testimonials, tuition comparisons with four year institutions and descriptions of unique services offered by member institutions such as conversation partners programs and airport pick up and housing. Presidents acknowledged the new marketing emphasis and direction. One stated, were going to move in some different directions in terms of how we do our marketing and our advertising and all those things and we made some decisions recently about
91 how best to do that (P4). Mid level executives and administrators discussed the various ways they worked together to manage the image of The Consortium A mid level executive noted, the name change, the emphasis put on the website, creating the video, gives the information that people need and it also g ives them a chance to see the colleges, to see the type of students (MLE3). Another explained, j ust as the United States students are not using the same methods of gathering information, they are using social networks, they are using ipads and iphones, we are finding we need to beef up the us e of technology as a consortium (MLE2). Across all levels there was consensus that the recent name change of The Consortium was a most effective marketing strategy. One administrator commented, so far all the feedback we have received has been very positive so this to o, in itself was a really important decision because it gives a lot more visibility and credibility to our mission and to what we are doi ng as far as our work overseas (A5). The administrator s placed this strategic marketing emphasis on image management in the context of their need. One explained, It i s very difficult at this point in the game to court new partners without good marketing materials. Fifteen years ago there werent as many competitors, we didnt need to court people with really good marketing materials, but when you talk about going into a market like Sweden or Brazil or even Vietnam where there are already lots and lots competitors, we need something to get their attention (A3). Another administrator observed, f or a very long time we were behind the eight ball. We were still using very outdated methods of marketing tools. So I think thats where a lot of the focus is for improvem ent over the next year or so (A2). Use of international education a gencies Mid level executives and administrators highlighted the central role of agents. International education agencies were used both as a response to global challenges
92 and a proactive recruitment strategy. One midlevel executive admitted There would be no way going there even as a consortium, just because of the language barriers and everything else. There would just be no way to function without agents (MLE1). In describing one example of new market exploration another midlevel executive explained, thats one of the challenges of starting in a country, is that you have to find that reliable source that knows the school system, that knows the government well enough that you can trust themI think the key was not having that agent or that connection that could get past road blocks, or make relationships that will help (MLE 3). There seemed to be some consensus that in selecting which agents to work with The Consortium had developed a very good process for analyzing, vetting them, being sure that they are appropriate, that their motivation and their ethics are something that we are comfortable with (MLE1). Agents also helped The Consortium with its image management. One administrator described the implementation of the agent visitor program where con sortium schools coordinated a multi state tour of all member institutions for selected agents from targeted countries. it was really important to get an agent that we felt was a strong agent to come here and actually see firsthand what weve been talking about. Sometimes you can talk till youre blue in the mouth on how great community colleges are; unless they actually are seeing it for themselves, it just doesnt sink in. And so theyre able to see the facilities, to see the size of the classrooms, they re able to see the dedication of the teachers and you cant talk about that, its so mething they almost have to see (A1). Administrators emphasized the benefit of first hand experience and face to face contact. One commented, t he idea that group trips are essential, and that means face to face connection with agents abroad, thats a key decision (A6). Others reinforced the face to face connection with parents and students. Theres also something very
93 comforting to parents, and students saying, ok I met that person at that school and I want to go there (A4). Administrators acknowledged the critical role that agents played in connecting them to potential students, they know where students are going to get information, they know what websites theyre going to, they know what magazines theyre looking at (A1). While the advantages of recruiting through agents were unanimously described among administrators, caution was also expressed. Basically anywhere from 50 to 100 different agencies approach us thr oughout the year looking for a partnership with us. So we need to do our due diligence and vet them. (A3). Interviewee comments identified the reputation of agents, their ethics, and ease of working with them as important considerations. s ometimes we wil l just have an agent that is just very difficult to work with.o r sometimes they just have been unethical (A4). One administrator noted however, at the end of the day to have one strong agent who we feel will work hard for us is definitely a benefit (A1 ). Administrators pointed out that working with agents was a two way relationship that r equired trust. One administrator stated, at the end of the day we have to trust that agent to go back and represent us well (A1). Another elaborated, considering that we work in Asia where trust is a major factor for business success, it can take years and years and years to develop good business relationships and to develop that trust. I think our partners really like us and that matters a lot, and they trust us, and we h ave a good working relationship (A3). These specific characteristics gleaned from interviewee comments described a philosophy behind The Consortium s targeted recruitment approach. They included the exploration of new markets, responsiveness and flexibility, image management and the use of international education agencies. These were all confirmed through further
94 analysis of strategic planning documents, meeting minutes and recruitment schedules. Some interviewees provided examples of the activities that were undertaken in the context of this philosophical approach which included the utilization of international trips, seminars, recruitment fairs, specialized advertising materials and research and development. Factors That Influence the Success of The C onsortium The study sought to identify the factors that influenced the success of The Consortium There was no consensus on any one factor that emerged as a singular and most compelling driver of success. I nstead, interviewees offered a variety of factors that included shared organizational values, relationships with agents diversity experience and leadership support Shared O rganizational Values For mid level executives and administrators one feature that emerged as critical to success was shared values. For these interviewees, the idea of collaboration extended beyond merely the sharing of resources and the division of labor to impact cost effectiveness. It was undergirded by relationships built on mutual trust and respect. There were many comments in the interviews that indicated the importance of feelings of mutual trust and respect that existed between and among the levels. Administrators made several remarks such as, Our vice presidents trust us ( A3). A n other commented, the vice president s and pr esident s do really trust our judgment (A2) and, They seek out our judgment and our opinions (A 1) In a similar vein one mid level executive remarked of the administrators if they didnt trust each other and know eac h other that would be a problem. The success of The Consortium is as good as the trust and the communication th at goes on between these people (MLE 3)
95 An administrator confirmed, I think the biggest thing is to respect what can and cannot be done as a consortium (A4) while another affirmed, that trust is key to anything we do in The Consortium (A 3). Interviewee comments mirrored the values of respect for all and collaboration in action that were included in the values and philosophy statement of The Consortium s bylaws. This respect appeared to have cultivated an environment that facilitated cross pollination of ideas and careful and deliberate reflec tion and dialog about the work. This was consistent with the literature that identified respect and understanding for the individual operations, cultural norms, limitations and expectation of each partner in a collaboration (Mattessich et al. 2005). Relationships with A gents Interviewees spoke of relationships as a benefit of The Consortium and as key to their success. T hey attributed successful outcomes to successful relationships among the staff and agents One administrator explained, i f youre an agency in Asia, or anywhere in the world you have 4,000 options in the U.S. in terms of who youre going to work with, so we need to do o ur best to develop good relationships, to have people like us, and us like them and trust each other, I would say thats key (A3) Some midlevel executives and administrators identified the role of the agents as key to the success of The Consortium One m id level executive stated, there is no question that they (agents) provide a number of students that we could not get otherwise (MLE 1). An administrator elaborated, o nce they sign an agreement, after that is really when we try to develop a good working relationship with t h em and it can take years to really reach a certain comfort level with them and its been the case in the past where we thought we had good partners and after two or three years the relationship just fizzled out because we found out we w erent compatible. That was ok, and we just moved on and focused on a different agency (A3)
96 The importance of that agent relationship to the success of The Consortium was further highlighted in this comment, y ou really cant be in a country like Korea a nd not use an agent. Hong Kong is like that. Japan has been like that in the past. And even a lot of the European countries are that way so its really, a lot of times its the agent thats even directing them to the school that theyre gonna go to. We jok e, is it the parent or the agent making the decision, oftentimes its really the agent that leads that discussion (A1). Diversity The diversity of membership that was built into the organizations design at its inception was identified as a factor if its success. Some interviewees remarked on the strength of that diversity. One president noted, I think its the diversity of the institutions that is a part of it (the success) They are diverse in the sense that theyre in urban areas, suburban areas, rural areas (P3) A mid level executive explained that this diversity was integral to their composition and would be retained, even if the membership was expanded, that was a very strategic decision and they havent added to that original core, the core of f ive if another college wanted to get in The Consortium it would really have to be different than the other ones (MLE 3) Another elaborated, t he diversity of the members and the geographic diversity we all bring to the table in that respect as well. For ex ample if we were in a consortium with all schools from our geographic area, we would be very limited in terms of the appeal, plus we would be competing for the same students because we are all in the same region. Whereas, the fact that we have this nice ar ray of choices from very different parts of the United States makes us stronger and richer for the students abroad (MLE 2) Beyond the geographic diversity, the diversity of the staff was also identified as an important component of success. One administrat or observed, the different skills that each director brings to the group. You have everyone thats had a slightly different background and history. You have someone thats been in international programs for over 20 years, you have someone thats traveled abroad and done a Fulbright, someone w ho has been on the
97 agency side, I think we have five directors with very different backgrounds that bring strong, very good experience to the group and I think that influences how we succeed or dont succeed (A1) A mi d level executive agreed, in talking about the diversity of the group we have 11 very different people. Everybody is coming with a different background and experience and perspective and when we get into our discussion in meetings, whether it is teleconfer ence or in person meetings, there is a lot of give and take and there are a lot of ideas that are put forth and we wouldnt have if it were just a small group of one two schools, or just the vice presidents trying to figure this out. That would be a disast er (MLE 2) Experience Added to the diversity of perspectives was the depth of experience of the staff. Many interviewees discussed this experience both in terms of years in the field and scope of expertise. One midlevel executive spoke of the expertise w ithin the group; weve got quite a few folks who have been at this for a while (MLE 2) Another noted that the long history is obviously a plus, a long history with a lot of twists and turns, which for the most part are an advantage in the sense that we had to make changes. And we learned from that (MLE5). The advantages of the depth of their expertise in multiple countries around the world was highlighted and another remarked, w e rely very heavily on the folks who are primarily involved in the recruitm ent and directing these country activities for their expertise and their opinions (MLE 2). L eadership Support The administrators identified support from the leadership as another factor that influenced The Consortium s success. One administrator observed, because of the way were set up with the president s council and the executive council and the directors, because of the way were set up the directors really feel like we have the support of those two upper tiers (A1).
98 Another confirmed, I dont thi nk our consortium could be successful without that type of process that stamp of approval coming from the very top (A3). Other comments further reinforced the strength of the support that the administrators thought was critical to their success. Ive had several community college directors and staff members call to ask how we run this consortium and what has made it successful and I always say the number one thing you need, absolutely, is the support from administration (A5). Mid level executives acknowl edged the support of the presidents with comments such as, c ertainly the support of the college presidents. If they didnt want this, it wouldnt happen ( MLE 2) and another major one [ factor of success ] is the com mitment of the presidents (MLE 3).
99 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSI ONS This chapter presents a summary of the study which includes a review of the purpose of the study, the methodology and a discussion of the findings in terms of the research questions It then draws conclusions with implicatio ns for practice a nd offers recomme ndations for further research. Summary of the Study Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to gain an indepth knowledge about The Consortium The study was framed by the following research questions: 1. What were the important features of The Consortium model? 2. What were the benefits of The Consortium ? 3. What were the challenges and how were they addressed? 4. What factors influenced the success of The Consortium ? Methodology Because the purpose of this research was to gain an indepth knowledge about a single organization, the qualitative case study was selected as the most appropriate strategy of inquiry. Research for this study began with a literature review to identify current issues of interest rela ted to interna tional education This led to a research area of focus on international student recruitment The Consortium was selected as a unique case based on its documented success in recruiting international students to its five member colleges. Enrollments were the quantifiable measure of success for the organization and were carefully tracked by country, by agency, by institution and by new and continuing students. An analysis of enrollment reports revealed the success of The Consortium in increasing its international enrollments defined by a 43% increase in international student enrollments
100 over a ten year period. Institutional data tracked enrollments for the period 19992000 through 20092010. Data collection was guided by the research questions to help gather i nformation relevant to the objectives of this study. Relevant data was collected through the organizations documents such as budget reports, annual reports, meeting minutes, bylaws, websites, promotional materials, and presentations. Sixteen standardized, openended, individual interviews were conducted with presidents, midlevel executives and administrators in person and over the telephone. Prior to the interview, each interviewee was given a short overview of the study. Additionally, each interview beg an with an oral review of the studys purpose and a confirmation of confidentiality of the interviewees responses. I nterviewees were all asked the same set of standard questions (Appendix A & B) Where necessary, the researcher probed for clarification and elaboration. Interviews were recorded and were subsequently transcribed by the researcher. All identifying references were removed from the transcribed interviews. Audio recording s were deleted as agreed in the protocol. Interview transcripts were preser ved for future reference. Analysis of the data included invivo and descriptive coding and the use of memos to sort themes that emerged from the data. Throughout the process, the researcher adhered to best practices of qualitative research. Review of Findi ngs Important Features of The Consortium Model The study revealed a very structured organizational model with established guidelines for its governance, policies and procedures The first important feature built in to the model w as a threetiered reporting structure with clearly defined roles and
101 responsibilities T he board of presidents provided leadership and ma de policy decisions, an executive council provided managerial oversight and upper level decision making, and administrators engag ed in day to day operations. There was participation at every level of the organization from each of the five member institutions, with responsibility for leadership rotating among the members according to prescribed policies. This structure was congruent with t he literatur e which confirmed that successful collaborations included participation from all levels within partner organizations ( Mattessich et al., 2008) A second feature of the model was the financial arrangement f or cost sharing established through the bylaws wh ich provided for an equal division of the fixed operational costs among the members There was an additional prorated percentage based on each member institutions total enrollment of international students recruited through The Consortium for the previous term E ach member institution was also responsible for the agreed upon 15% commission to be paid to agents based on the institutions individual enrollments. Interviewees applauded the cost sharing as a fair and equitable way to cover expenses A third ke y feature of The Consortium was the selection of five members that represented diverse geographic regions across the United S tates It was believed that the geographic diversity worked to eliminate competition among members while it also provided a variety of educational choices within the U.S. making The Consortium more attractive to prospective students There was agreement that limiting membership to five institutions had served the organization well At the same time, administrators expressed interest in exploring the possibility of inviting new members. Among the
102 organizational documents there were provisions in the bylaws for adding new members. The re was a general consensus among the p residents, midlevel executives and administrators that these were important features of the organizations structure that served the m well in the pursuit of their goals. Benefits of The Consortium Leveraged financial resources and collaboration were identified by the presidents, mid level executives and administrators a s benefits of membership in The Consortium Additionally, interviewees reported significant financial and intangible returns on their investment. Leverag ed financial resources L everag ing their financial resources was a more cost effective approach to pursu ing international student recruitment. It allowed The Consortium members to have a greater reach into more global markets than each institution could accomplish individually Collectively, not only could they recruit in more countries, but their recruitmen t efforts yielded better results. Collaboration Collaboration emerged as the common theme across all interviews as a benefit. This was supported in the literature that identified i ncreased collaboration among higher education institutions as one response to the increased competition as institutions worked across boundaries to gain an advantage over common obstacles (Baus & Ramsbottom, 1999; Green et al 2002). Collaboration was characterized by interviewees specifically as shared responsibilities, shared knowledge and establishing strong r elationships Administrator s described specific examples where the members sharing of responsibilities and knowledge provided individual benefit to their institutions.
103 As the frontline staff engaged in day to day communi cation and planning for The Consortium s work they identified the complexities of international recruitment work and the value derived from sharing the workload. There was also recognition among the presidents and midlevel executives that the pooling of expertise made them a stronger organization. The importance of relationships within the collaboration emerged. Presidents spoke of relationships in positive terms while midlevel executives and administrators acknowledged the challenges experienced in nur turing those relationships. Their comments revealed the deliberate effort required to develop a se nse of mutual trust and respect. The Consortium was able to establish a culture of collaboration, and nurture productive relationships that satisfactorily promoted mutual reward with in the sphere of international student recruitment work which was by its very nature, competitive. Return on investment The study revealed financial and intangible benefits as a return on investment in The Consortium Interviewees confirm ed the significant financial return on investment, but were reluctant to share detailed financial data. Their comments were congruent with the national data t hat reported a n $18. 8 b illion economic impact through the presence of international student s. T here was an even greater emphasis placed on the intangible return on investment in the form of enhanced diversity to the member institutions student body. Interviewee comments suggest ed that there were significant benefits to the diversi fying of thei r campuses through international student recruitment but these comments were not supported by any specific data that was collected through this study.
104 Challenges and How Were They Addressed The study also sought to identify challenges and how they were addressed. Findings revealed a set of challenges to the organization that were beyond the members direct control and an approach to addressing those challenges to mitigate the negative impact on the organizations outcomes. These fell into the broad categor ies of the external global environment and internal organizational challenges. Global e nvironment While th e presidents focused on the global challenges m id level executives and administrators acknowledged global challenges, but added o rganizational chall enges as well These included addressing the availability of housing for international students and administrative difficulties. O utcomes of international student recruitment were particularly sensitive to global cur rency devaluation and the impact of the worldwide recession, especially for countries that sent international students to America. Locally, the ripple effect of economic pressures due to state budget reductions also impacted member institutions. Consistent with the literature that explored c hallenges in the regulatory environment and the resulting increased burden for educational institutions, interviewees noted the struggles around working with students to secure visa s. G lobal competition for international students came from the sending countries working to retain their students as well as from competing nations positioning themselves to attract a greater share of the market. Social is sues were also discussed. Unpredictable world events such as heal th epidemics, war and terrorist attacks add ed layers of complexity that had to be negotiated as The Consortium responded to the challenges of its global environment.
105 Administrators pinpointed the United States image abroad as a challenge they had to deal with first hand while working abroad. Thei r comments revealed how precarious the image of the United States had become among potential international students and how that image was influenced by politics and the media. Organizational c hallenges At the organizational level, all interviewees discus sed the challenges of providing for the housing needs of international students. The Consortium guaranteed housing assistance to new students. As enrol lments increased there was an increase in the need to identify and secure adequate housing for students a s some members began to reach their capacity. W hen there was a slight downturn in the economy, the pressure was alleviated; however, housing continued to loom as a potential limitation that, if not addressed, could have eventually impact ed the ability to g row their programs. From the perspective of the administrators, communication presented another organizational challenge. As discussed earlier, geographic diversity worked to eliminate competition among members while it also provided a variety of education al choices within the U.S. making The Consortium more attractive to prospective students. At the same time, the geographic distance between the member institutions presented some communication challenges for administrators and strained their ability to maintain the group synergy that was created when they were face to face. Administrators also reported the stress of manag ing their workload. Striking a balance between the institutional responsibilities and their roles as country directors for The Consort ium emerged as an area of conflict.
106 Dealing w ith the c hallenges In describing how they dealt with those conditions that posed the greatest challenge, interviewees revealed several strategies that allowed them to be resilient in a changing environment. Thes e included exploration of new markets, being responsive and flexible, image management and the use of international education agencies. As the economy changed, The Consortium made a conscious decision to diversify their markets and not rely on the traditional Asian countries that were their original source for international students. They maintained that a responsive and flexible posture was necessary in dealing with the global environment. A strategic marketing approach was developed to help shape a posit ive image of The Consortium and mitigate negative impressions of the U S abroad. There was a heavy reliance on international agencies as a central part of The Consortium s recruitment strat egy. This gave them the advantage of having an advocate and repr esentative in the targeted countries on a year round basis, versus a limited presence when they ma d e recruitment trips abroad. At the same time, interviewees reported challenges working with agents and the need for a sound system to vet selected agencies Factors that Influenced the Success of The Consortium The study also sought to identify the factors that influenced the success of The Consortium Each interviewee had a different perspective about what was central to success. Collectively, their comment s revealed a variety of factors that included s hared organizational values, relationships with agents, diversity, experience and leadership support
107 Shared o rganizational v alues There was agreement that the foundation of relationships built on mutual trus t and respect was essential to their success. These values were outlined in the organizations bylaws and manifested in its operations Noteworthy were the comments made that evidenced a level of trust placed in the administrative staff by the leadership. This seemed to have empowered the staff in day to day performance of their duties This mutual trust and respect cultivat ed an environment where open dialog, careful and deliberate reflection, and problem solving about the work thrived. Relationships with a gents Relationships among staff and ag ents were also vital to success. It was striking to note the level of influence agents had over a students selection of what country or institution to attend. Some interviewees discussed t he effort required to culti vate those relationships with agents. One can appreciate the challenges described in working across cultures in the international arena and the need for cross cultural savvy in establishing and maintaining effective relationshi ps. One interviewee also desc ribed the competition in the global marketplace that afforded agents a range of choices in selecting higher education institutions with which to partner Diversity Success of The Consortium was further enhanced by t he diversity of membership that was bui lt into the organization s design at its inception. That diversity added value to The Consortium s offerings when competing for students. Interviewees also talked about diversity of skills and perspectives among the staff that added a layer of strength to the organization. These varied perspectives enhanced the success of their decision making process.
108 Experience Another important success factor to emerge from this study was the role of the collective experience that shaped the organization as it evolved over the course of its history. Interviewees spoke of the experience learned as they journeyed through their development as well as the individual expertise that key staff accumulated. This expertise in targeted recruitment focused on specific internat ional regions became a n important resource for the organization and contributed to its success. Leadership support It was evident that the presidents were not figure heads in this organization. T hey participated actively in the organization through the board of president and engaged in policy decision making. This level of support was recognized by the midlevel executives and administrators as essential to the success of The Consortium Conclusions There were several conclusions that could be drawn fr om the findings in this study that can also serve to inform practice for community colleges interested in expanding international student recruitment efforts. First, the threetiered, self governance model was an effective framework of operation for The Consortium T he geographic diversity of the membership promote d noncompetiveness and supported a spirit of collaboration. T he small size of the organization seemed to have served it well up to that point Interest in expanding the membership expressed by administrators was worthy of attention. Was that interest driven by a need to share the burden of the workload or the costs? Legitimate concerns expressed over the impact that adding members would have on group dynamics needed to be examined. This present ed an area for Consortium review. Additionally,
109 pooling efforts toward international student recruitment was a cost effective approach to addressing member institutions goals for increasing international enrollments on their campuses. Second, The Consort ium provided benefits of leveraged financial resources that allowed member institutions to have a greater reach into more global markets than each institution could accomplish individually; collaboration resulted in enhanced international relationships, sh ared expertise over more global markets and a ready resource of best practices among colleagues. Additionally, there was a very high financial and intangible return on investment for members of The Consortium This was supported by national research that i ndicated significant economic benefits to institutions and communities that hosted international students (NAFSA: Association of International Educators 2010; Peterson et al., 1999; Dellow 2002). The positive impact of international students on the diversity and internationalization of the campus climate was also supported in the literature (American Council on Education, 2002; Fitzer, 2007; Lamkin, 2000; NAFSA : Association of International Educators 2006; 2008; OConnell,1994; Frost 2002). Third inte rnational student recruitment was very susceptible to internal challenges and external global conditions that were beyond the control of the organization. Th e influence of global dynamics on international education was found to be true across the literatu re (Altbach 2006a, 2006b; Marginson & van de Wende, 2007; Peterson et al., 1999; U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2007a, 2007b; Wagner, 2004). Fourth, factors that were most critical to The Consortium s success were the relationships among members b uilt on shared organizational values of mutual trust and
110 respect, the relationships cultivated with international agents, diversit y, organizational experience and leadership. There was evidence in the literature that supported the importance of these factors in effective collaborati ons (Anderson, 2002; Mattessich, et al. 2008) Based on the findings of this case study it is reasonable to conclude that community colleges interested in diversifying their campuses by increasing the numbers of international st udents could benefit from participation in a collaborative enterprise that is based on the structure and tenets of The Consortium Such a situation would additionally enhance the ability of small institutions to develop an effective vehicle for recruiting international students. Implications for Practice In addressing the underutilized capacity at U.S. higher education institutions to accommodate international students, the American Council on Education (2009) encouraged cooperation among institutions towar d a shared goal of international student recruitment. Community Colleges interested in beginning i nternational student recruitment through participation in a collaborative partnership c ould benefit from best practices employed by The Consortium Colleges t hat are already engaged in international student recruitment could further expand their global reach through similar partnerships Colleges will need to be t houghtful in developing the framework to guide the governance, policies and procedures of the partnership. It would not be sufficient to simply have a common goal of increased international student enrollment or to be singularly motivated by financial reward. It would be imperative for community colleges
111 interested in collaborating on international student recruitment to establish core values to which they all subscribe as a foundation for practice A focus on building strong relationships at all levels in the institution will be critical to success. Colleges would need to develop a model of coll aborat ion that transcended self interest. There would need to be a high level of agreement among the leadership and administrators th at revealed common philosophies and direction Additionally, active involvement by college presidents and participation from mult iple levels within partner organizations will be important ingredients for success. Community Colleges will have to be strategic and resilient in their approach to developing a targeted recruitment strategy in order to maintain a competitive advantage and navigate the unpredictable global environment. R ecommendations for Future Study This study provided an indepth look at The Consortium from the perspectives of its leaders hip and administrators gleaned through personal interviews, as well as an analysis of organizational documents It suggested a number of recommendations for further study on international student recruitment. International student recruitment is a specialized activity within international education. A cross analysis of consortium member campuses with community colleges that conduct inde pendent recruitment activities would add value to understanding the impact of membership in an international student recruitment consortium. The voices of the international students who were recruited through The Consortium were not included in the scope of this study. Additional research that explored the experiences and perceptions of students who were recruited through The Consortium could lend another layer of detail to the effectiveness of recruitment str ategies. Similarly, further study into the experiences and perceptions of international agents who were identified as central to The Consortium s recruitment strategy
112 could provide insight into best practices in nurturing the agent institution relationship. The activity of recruiting international students raises the question of what happens once the student is admitted. Another area for future study would be to explore any difference s in the retention rate of international students who are recruited through the consorti um compared to those who are recruited through passive armchair methods B ased on interviewee comments regarding intangible return on investment, the ways in which increased presence of international students directly influenced campus diver sity is worthy of further investigation. Based on the level of activity and interest in international student recruitment, further research on policy implications at the local, state and national levels is warranted. Finally, an analysis of the practice am ong higher education institutions to use commissioned international agents in international student recruitment is worthy of study.
113 APPENDIX A INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR PRESIDENTS 1. How does your institution benefit from membership in The Consortium ? 2. What is the return on your investment in international student recruitment? 3. From your perspective what factors influence the success of The Consortium ? 4. What are the most critical external conditions that impact positively and negatively on your recruitment strategy? 5. What are you doing internally to deal with those that have given you the greatest challenge? 6. How do you strike a balance between the individual needs of member institutions and the collective goals of The Consortium ? 7. What have been the most important decisions made as a consortium in relation to international student recruitment? 8. What are The Consortium s future goals for improving its international recruitment strategies? 9. Thinking back to the very beginning of The Consortium please share with me som e history on how it began, and how it fits into mission of your college. 10. Is there anything else you would like to share with me related to The Consortium s work in recruiting international students?
114 APPENDIX B INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR MID LEVEL EXECUTIVE S AND ADMINISTRATORS 1. How does your institution benefit from membership in The Consortium ? 2. What is the return on your investment in international student recruitment? 3. From your perspective what factors influence the success of The Consortium ? 4. What are the most critical external conditions that impact positively and negatively on your recruitment strategy? 5. What are you doing internally to deal with those that have given you the greatest challenge? 6. How do you strike a balance between the individual needs of member institutions and the collective goals of The Consortium ? 7. What have been the most important decisions made as a consortium in relation to international student recruitment? 8. What are The Consortium s future goals for improving its international recrui tment strategies? 9. Is there anything else you would like to share with me related to The Consortium s work in recruiting international students?
115 APPENDIX C DESIGN OF INTERVIEW QUESTIONS IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE RESEARC H QUESTIONS Research Questions Intervi ew Questions What were the important features of The Consortium model? 3, 6, 9, 10 What were the benefits of The Consortium ? 1, 2, 7, 10 What were the challenges and how were they addressed? 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 What factors influenced the success of The Con sortium ? 3, 4, 6, 7, 10
116 APPENDIX D INFORMED CONSENT LET TER Dear Interview Participant: I am a graduate student at the University of Florida School of Human Development and Organizational Studies, Higher Education Administration. I am in the research gathering phase of my dissertation which focuses on international education. Specifically, I am looking at the recruitment strategies employed by The Consortium that impact international students access to US higher education at its member institutions. I am interested in the perspectives of the leadership about the factors that influence the success of The Consortium in carrying out its objectives. I am requesting an interview with you as the president, vice president or program director of one of the f ive member institutions of The Consortium. The interview will last approximately 45 minutes. The interview questions will be sent to you prior to the scheduled appointment. You will not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. Your interview will be conducted by phone after I have received a copy of this signed consent from you in the mail. With your permission I would like to audiotape this interview. Only I will have access to the tape which I will personally transcribe, removing any identif iers during transcription. The tape will then be erased. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law and your identity will not be revealed in the final manuscript. There are no anticipated risks, compensation or other direct benefits to you as a participant in this interview. You are free to withdraw your consent to participate and may discontinue your participation in the interview at any time without consequence. If you have any questions about this research protocol, please c ontact me at (352) 2843782 or my faculty supervisor, Dr. David Honeyman, at (352) 2734315. Questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant may be directed to the IRB02 office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611; ( 3 52) 3920433. Please sign and return this copy of the letter in the enclosed envelope. A second copy is provided for your records. By signing this letter, you give me permission to report your responses anonymously in the final manuscript to be submitted to my dissertation chair and committee as part of my final dissertation. Sincerely, Jillian Daniel Ramsammy UF Doctoral Student I have read the procedure described above for the dissertation research on international students access to US higher educati on. I voluntarily agree to participate in the interview and I have received a copy of this description. _________________________________ ___________ Signature of participant Date I would like to receive a copy of the final "interview" manuscri pt. _____YES ______NO
117 APPENDIX E INTERVIEW PROTOCOL I appreciate you taking the time to share your perspectives with me on the work of The Consortium As you have agreed, I will be tape recording our conversation tod a y. I want to reassure you of the c onfidentiality of our conversation. In reporting my data I will remove all individual and institutional identifying references and will keep the audio and written transcripts of our interview in a secure place. The audio files will be erased after transcri ption. The focus of my research is what factors influence the success of The Consortium In our conversation I am interested in learning your perceptions about The Consortium s features, strengths and challenges in recruiting international students. I am interested in as much rich detail as you can share.
118 APPENDIX F LIST OF ORGANIZATION AL DOCUMENTS Bylaws of Incorporation S tandard Operating Procedures Guidelines and Procedures for New Entrants into The Consortium S trategic Plan 2008 The Consortium G o als/ A ccomplishments for 200405 Roles and R esponsibilities for C ountry D irectors Minutes of the Executive Council Minutes of the Board of Presidents Recruitment S chedules Enrollment R eports 20002010 Annual Budget History 20002010 Country Reports Agent R e ports Marketing and Promotional Literature ( B rochures, C orrespondence etc.) Consortium Website/Web B rochure
119 APPENDIX G PAR TICIPANT THANK YOU L ETTER Dear [Interview Participant]: I would like to thank you again for taking the time to share your perspectiv es of The Consortium When we spoke, I indicated that I would forward a copy of the findings of my research to you. One of the ways the validity of qualitative research is enhanced is by providing the subjects of the study the opportunity to review the f indings and determine their accuracy, fairness, and validity. Basically, are the findings credible? I am enclosing a copy of the findings of my dissertation study for your review. Please take the opportunity to review these findings and let me know what y ou think. You may contact me by phone at (352) 2843782 or email at email@example.com. Again, I thank you for your assistance on this project. Sincerely, Jillian Daniel Ramsammy
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131 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jillian Daniel Ramsammy was born and raised in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. She began her career as a high school teacher in her native country before moving the United S tates to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in television and f ilm from Pratt Institute, New York. After completion of her und ergraduate studies in October 1987, she went on to earn a Master of Arts in communication from Hunter College, New York in Sept ember 19 8 9. Combining her interests in the arts and education she served in the field of community arts development first as a Grants Administrator and then as the Chief of Education and Outreach for the Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. S he returned to the field of education in 2002 to serve at the College of Central Florida, first as the Manager of Operations for the Cultural and Conference Centers, and then as the Director of the Hampton Center. Ms. Daniel Ramsammy is the Executive Direc tor of College and Community Relations at the College of Central Florida. She obtained her Doctor of Education from the University of Florida School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education in May 2011.