Tag Archives: Educational Leadership

3 Min Research Intro: New Pre-departure Course for International Students which also Recruits and Retains

Interested in learning why U.S. higher education is now offering pre-departure academic and cultural college prep courses to international students in foreign countries? Student success, international recruitment, and retention rates are definitely some benefits.

This video provides a 3 minute introduction to the research that led to today’s revolutionary international study abroad prep-classes.

First tested at a U.S. research university, then applied to HLSL Institute’s 2014 International Education Tour in South Korea and China, and now offered at U.S. schools, “U.S. Academics and Culture”, is an online or hybrid pre-departure school readiness class that strengthens academic performance, communication skills, and cultural adjustment. This student support effort also helps international students be healthier, safer, happier, and more professionally prepared in the U.S.

Because this classes teaches international students more accurate expectations about study, life, language, and work during first year experiences in the USA, high schools and universities can provide it simultaneously address recruitment, integration, and retention issues. Research findings indicated that international students are more confident (less stressed) to leave home and study in the USA, gain U.S. cultural knowledge and U.S. academic skills, better communicate with US natives and build more U.S. friendships, gain networking and small-talk skills, and better understand the importance for campus engagement and support resources.

U.S. institutions are now offering and/or requiring this class to prospective and newly admitted international students and domestic students before study abroad.  Sierra Nevada College was the first private college who made the online class available to any international student in efforts to welcome and encourage them to the USA.

P.s.  This class can also be effective for first-year international students who are already in the U.S. to aid with their transition, adjustment, and integration.

Contact me to learn how your U.S. high school or university can offer a pre-departure class like “U.S. Academics and Culture”.

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Why study YOU before attending college?

After many years of teaching university students, the most powerful and influential lessons the undergraduates and graduate students preferred were the assignments which encompassed personal reflection and experiential learning.  These students described that studying the course’s learning objectives with personal exploration pedagogies, challenged their original worldviews, felt liberated from previous subconscious mental programs, and more confident to apply their new knowledge in everyday life decisions.  Many students reported that the self-awareness contributed to a clearer understanding of how they would move forward after the course to intentionally advance their professional and academic careers.

One student’s evaluation submission summarized the consensus nicely,

“For the four years of college courses I have experienced, this was by far, the most rewarding on every level and one of my favorites. I have never experienced such valuable information in a class that comes up in everyday life. The extremely eye-opening experiences and class material helped me stretch myself as an individual during the papers and class activities. I came out of this class with observations and feelings that I never knew I had.  I not only gained knowledge to apply to my future career, but I gained more self-confidence and really pushed myself to grow as a person.”

As an educator, there is no greater joy than witnessing my students demonstrate new skills, knowledge, and self-awareness.  Although my courses focused primarily on law, educational leadership, multiculturalism, and societal studies, many of the students reported that their experience was the closest thing they had ever had to a formal Self-Study course. 

Instead of waiting until adulthood to formally study the Self , what if actual “Self-Studies” courses were incorporated into elementary, middle and high school educational programs alongside required subjects like reading, writing, and math? Would it make a difference on the student’s development, their worldview, ethics, community engagement, health, grades, career choice, interpersonal relationships, financial stability, emotional intelligence, and long-term achievements? How would studying the Self influence the educational system, the city, state, nation, and planet?

Before we go any further, let’s understand the term “Self-Studies” to represent a formal course, grounded on legitimate peer-reviewed, tested, published research, and facilitated by well trained and highly qualified instructors whose aim is to foster individualized identity development and personal growth through self-reflection and experiential learning to encourage emotional intelligence, purposeful living, goal achievement, healthy lifestyles and interpersonal relationships, environmental awareness, and community contribution.

Based on that definition, that not one of my own alma maters had offered a Self-Studies course in my programs of study.  That’s a big deal considering that I have earned a high school diploma, college degree, and multiple graduate degrees (M.A.; Ph.D.).  How much more powerful would my academic, personal, and professional contributions be if my primary and secondary schools had offered courses like Mindfulness; Personal Habits and Behaviors; Core Principles and Values; Family and Cultural Influences; Healthy Relationships; Emotional Intelligence; Identity Exploration; My impact on Modern Society and the Environment; My Culture and how it Compares to others; and Financial Goal Planning? If I, as a young person, had studied where I came from, what I stood for, who I believe I am, how I would contribute my value to society, and who I wanted to share my life with, how would things be different today?

Only now, after 31 years, I’ve finally completed my first formal Self-Study program and recognize the tremendous power it provides.  The self-discoveries are tremendously helpful to grasp why I live the way I do and how I want to live from this point forward to achieve a clear, laser-focused goal.  We are seeing a movement across the United States of personal success courses emphasizing self-study, goal planning, networking, communication, and professional skills development to generate healthy, happy, skilled members of our society and workforce.  PSI Seminars, is one personal success educational organization that provides Self-Study courses that teach personal exploration to enable students to live with a better understanding of who they are, what they want, and how they can apply their unique abilities in daily life and achieve long-term goals.  Another organization, called One Life Fully Lived, is an example of personal development through self-study aiming to develop identify, core values, and personal life goals.

Because I’m an academic junky and educational advocate, I recommend Self-Studies as an early means to generate self-awareness that supports a lifetime of academic, professional, spiritual, social, emotional, physical, and financial successes. 

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Educational Leadership: Dale Erquiaga, NV Superintendent of Public Instruction

Dale Erquiaga, the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Nevada’s Department of Education joined my students and me at the University of Nevada yesterday.  I teach Educational Leadership in Modern Society and Educational School Law courses.  Dale generously contributed his time to help support my students’ (future NV teachers and administrators) professional development by responding to their questions (posted below).  His responses to their questions are found in the comment section.

1. Please share your thoughts about the NV teacher & administrator evaluations. (Please include some short-term and long-term benefits, challenges, concerns.)

 

2. Please share about the Common Core State Standards Initiative. (Please include how it will be implemented and used.)

 

3. Please share your thoughts about the new NV higher education funding formula. (Please include some short-term and long-term benefits, challenges, concerns.

 

4. What are some recommendations for future teachers/administrators entering into public NV K12 positions?

 

5. How can college students get more involved with legislative decisions impacting Nevada education?

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Cultural Studies & International Education

Middle school

What impact does cross-cultural and international education have on the individual, the U.S. and the world? What are some benefits that come from cultural education and self-reflection? Is there any relationship connecting cultural awareness to personal development, social justice, international business, environmental sustainability, and world peace? If so, should more K-12 curriculum introduce multicultural studies and international education?

These are a few questions I challenge you to consider and then share in the comment section below. Feel free to provide resources that stimulate thought about this subject. We can all learn something from others. This is your opportunity to discuss an increasingly important and popular subject in the educational system.

Interesting resources include:

Programs like The Global Classroom in Portland, Oregon and the K-12 Global Education Outreach at Texas Tech University suggest that cultural studies are critical elements to well-rounded educational programs.

The short videos, Education: Culture Matters, Multiculturalism in the Modern World, and The Audacity and Beauty of Multi-Cultural Education also share the importance about culture based education.

Thank you for taking the time to invest in this subject matter.

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Online Higher Education: A brief article review

No Financial Aid, No Problem. For-Profit University Sets $199-a-Month Tuition for Online Courses, is a Chronical of Higher Education article introducing a revolutionary higher education model about for-profit online education.  I analyzed the article using political, structural, human resource, and symbolic organizational frames recommended by Bolman and Deal (2008).  The article addressed the benefits, obstacles, and controversy surrounding online education.  Even though the article stated that its online student enrollment has increased 30 to 40 percent each year, what are some other confounding variables that affect students and higher education?  Furthermore, how do employers perceive an online degree and will that perception help or hinder an online graduate’s probability of being hired?  The increasingly popular online education system provides a self-paced model creating flexible student schedules and a pay-as-you-go payment plan.

The article mentioned that online, for-profit universities are also changing the role of faculty.  Instead of a professor, faculty members are “Course Mentors”.  Their primary responsibility is to teach with little or no advisement requirements.  Furthermore, “Course Mentors” have no grading responsibilities.  “Graders” are outsourced staff with the sole responsibility to assess and record student grades (having no instruction responsibilities).  Like the online education revolution, almost every major organizational change is accompanied by new policy, new problems, and new solutions.  The question is, will educational leaders resist or embrace the changes?  Information Technology (IT) and Social Business (SB) will continue to synergize with higher education.  It will be the innovators and educational leaders who study and restructure the use of IT and SB to produce our most desired outcomes.

We will witness many intended and unintended consequences resulting from for-profit, online education.  These changes will transform traditional scholar, instructor, administrator, and employer roles.  As we redesign the college experience to fit a 21 century culture, let’s reevaluate our mission and policies from a structural, political, symbolic, and human resource organizational frame.  This strategy will help us plan and implement new initiatives contributing to the most efficient, effective, and streamlined hybrid higher education system.

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Sticky Campus

Sticky Campus does not describe a college or university covered in gum or taffy.  It is a concept that college students and Student Affairs personnel should be aware of because it encourages student success. Sticky campus is a term referencing a college or university’s ability to engage and involve its students in curricular and extracurricular activities. Research suggests that students who are involved with campus study groups, clubs, sports, organizations, internships, part-time jobs, volunteering, etc have greater success in college.  If students get involved on campus they will meet other students, become familiar with campus resources, and practice leadership skills; thus developing into a more competitive professional.

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