Cal State Fullerton has been selected to receive the 2016 Excellence and Innovation Award for International Education from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The award will be presented at the opening session of the organization’s annual meeting in late October.
The University program, Access to and Advocacy for Study Abroad at a Hispanic-Serving Institution, was named an exemplary model “that can set the standard for other institutions and help advance practices in the field.” Program coordinators are Mary Ann Villareal, associate vice president for strategic initiatives, and Kari Knutson-Miller, dean of University Extended Education and associate vice president of International Programs & Global Engagement.
According to AASCU, the award not only recognizes outstanding international programs, but documents the success of institutions in infusing international programs into one or more aspects of the university community. This may include curriculum, student/faculty exchanges, study abroad and more.
At Cal State Fullerton, an increasing emphasis was placed on high-impact practices that advance global perspectives and support student engagement, retention and graduation.
Study abroad programs are one high-impact practice that the University supports, with a particular emphasis in supporting first-generation students or those with limited financial means. Key initiatives included the launch of the International Programs & Global Engagement unit, as well as the announcement of a President’s Strategic Fund to support study abroad opportunities. Both International Programs and the President’s Strategic Fund, along with the Study Abroad office, fund such programs.
Since 2012, through the end of the 2015-16 academic year, study abroad participation has increased by 83 percent and is expected to continue growing.