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Riverhawks Look to Spread Wings Internationally

International Program Proposal Going to Board of Trustees in November

An international program was proposed to College Council by Jason Aase, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Oct. 14. The proposal was well-received with the biggest concerns were initial cost and housing, Aase said.
“The idea of an international program has been a bee buzzing around in Jason’s bonnet for a while,” Nick Tratz, World Languages instructor, said.
The idea is the continuation of the vision of Peter Bober, former director of Workplace and Community Education, according to Roxanne Kelly, vice president of instruction. The idea of having an international program came from the Open World Delegation that Bober brought to campus. Aase traveled to Ukraine in 2012 and began drafting ideas for an international program.
“Pete had a vision and Jason caught the bug,” Kelly said. Kelly has taken on a support roll in this project, she said.
An international program would bring students from around the world to UCC. Designated faculty and staff would be actively recruit students from around the world, according to Aase.
“For me, it’s about being forward and involved in the open world. It feels like the right time. An international program would help enrollment and cultural experience is invaluable,” Aase said.
Aase hopes this program will pilot in the 2014-15 academic year with the hire of a director and assistant to begin actively recruiting international students. The anticipated costs for the pilot year are around $209,000, according to Aase, which will come from the general fund. The costs for the first years are to include the director and assistant salaries and recruitment expenses. The costs the second year will increase as more staff is needed and students begin arriving.
For the 2015-16 year, Aase anticipates 15 students, whose tuition and fees will bring in nearly $143,000. From there, annual income from the program will increase as more international students attend UCC.
While the upfront operational costs will be borrowed by the general fund, Aase’s hope is that the program will be self-sufficient by 2018-19, with all debts settled to the general fund.
An international student will pay $218.50 per credit, including the new “legacy fee” and all other existing fees, according to the UCC website as of Oct. 16.
Lane Community College’s international program brings in 450 students from around the world and brings in over $4 million for the college, according to Aase. Recently, Lane’s international program donated $1 million back to the general fund, according to Aase.
Aase hopes in the future that if an international program is started on campus, a donation will be made towards remodeling infrastructure. Aase noted that funds may also be used for summer activities, training, staffing and faculty/student trips overseas for recruiting.
“With this program, it is all about relationships. Parents don’t send their kids to an institution; they send them to a person,” Aase said.
International students will have unique needs that Aase hopes to have a separate section of faculty and staff to address. “The goal is for all student services to be handled within the international program,” Aase said.
Linh Tang, pre-med student, said, “International students will bring culture and diversity and a lot of benefits. The support I have received from faculty and advisors has been great.” Tang started attending UCC during summer term as an international student.
Aase anticipates the necessary additional staff training will be handled by the incoming director. There will also be an Intestine English Second Language, IESL, course offered to international students to help facilitate learning English for new students.
“The goal is for students to experience a wide range of cultures, students are like you, but not like you. Different but similar, yet from another place. We are interconnected across the globe,” Kelly said.
President Joe Olson supports the program, “I support diversity and think this will be a great asset to our campus,” Olson said. The program must be approved by the board and will be on the agenda for an upcoming meeting.
The Board of Trustees had a work session about the international program in October. Aase plans to bring the proposal to the Executive Council before the final Board of Trustees vote in November.