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FutureSTATE 2015 Progress Reports
ENHANCE STUDENT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
Initiative: Establish a Study Abroad Office that reports to the Office of the Provost in order to increase study abroad participation at MSU. (2007-08)
Achievements of the past year:
- Dr. Gilbert wrote a proposal (attached) to the President to start a multi-year effort to develop a centralized study abroad office at MSU. Because of the expanded support of International Services in the Office of Admissions and Scholarships, it was proposed that the Study Abroad effort be located in Student Affairs. The attached plan calls for a naming of a part-time Study Abroad Coordinator for the fall of 2008 as Phase I of the process. Phase II would be to create a permanent position of Study Abroad Director in the fall of 2010.
- Study abroad activity increased over the past year with several new faculty-led initiatives, including the Korea Study Tour and a trip to Thailand. Also, MSU is participating in the effort sponsored by the provosts of the Southeastern Conference and has signed an agreement that makes study abroad programs at other SEC schools available to MSU students at in-state rates. MSU has advertised an opportunity for a scholarship for an undergraduate student to take part in a semester in Northern Ireland in spring 2009. Selection of the recipient will be in the fall of 2008.
- Dr. Gilbert accompanied the head of Foreign Languages, Dr. Jack Jordan, and the head of International Business, Mr. Brian Watkins, to the Office of the Consulate General of Japan in New Orleans to explore opportunities for students to take part in the JET program. Contacts are in place for further cooperation between the Consulate General and MSU in order to make opportunities in Japan available to our students.
Goals for the next year:
The goals for next year will be to increase the study abroad opportunities for students as a new, part-time Study Abroad Coordinator is named. It is hoped that we can increase the number of students in study abroad from approximately 200 per year to 275 per year in the next year. The goal for Phase II starting in 2010 would be to increase the numbers in study abroad to 480 students per year.
Constraints to full implementation of this initiative:
Funding for the initiative as well as space for a study abroad office will both be constraints related to implementing this initiative. It is believed that once a central point of contact is established and students and faculty have access to this resource, the number of study abroad participants will increase sharply.
Proposed modification of the initiative:
The original recommendation called for the proposed Study Abroad Office to report to the Office of the Provost. However, it now appears that Student Affairs may be better equipped to handle the demands associated with a study abroad office.
Overall assessment of the status of the initiative or other comments:
Much progress has been made in addressing international education and study abroad with the Regional Ambassadors group and the International Council. Certainly additional progress will be attained upon the creation of a centralized Office for Study Abroad.