by Jim Hundrieser, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
In recent years, several PSU faculty, staff, and administrators have started initiatives to build our international enrollments. Enrolling students from other countries is a way for PSU to build a more diverse campus and bring other perspectives, cultures, and experiences to our US students. This past year we enrolled 245 students from 42 countries in our graduate, undergraduate, and ELS programs. This number represents both on-campus and online enrollments.
As we work to finalize our strategic plan, the Planning, Budgeting, and Leadership Group (PBLG) and others have discussed an enrollment goal of 430 international students by 2020. To get there, we have deployed a team focused on international recruitment, a second team focused on academic support services, and another team focused on exploring how we can build our own English as a Second Language (ESL) program.
Dick Hage and International Programming Coordinator Jessica Pine have developed numerous international agent/counselor partnerships with connections around the world. Dick continues to work closely with our partner Bluechip Education that, in concert with our men’s head soccer coach Rob Wright, continues to cultivate relationships and enroll some of our very best students from Sweden. In addition, we have had two successful trips to China conducted by College of Business Administration Dean Trent Boggess and languages and linguistics faculty member Jonathan Higgins. Their most recent trip has lead to the enrollment of three students for fall. Dean Boggess and Jonathan Higgins also connected with a boutique agency that strongly aligns with PSU’s mission and vision of enrolling high-quality students who are seeking to be actively engaged in our living and learning communities.
This fall, we will hire an international recruiter to focus our efforts and expand our partnerships and relationships. We have learned this past year that relationship building is key to building our enrollments. We are seeking ways to establish more formalized partnerships with three leading firms throughout the world. Their resources and our campus team will work to revise our transcript review processes, determine ways to streamline wait times, and develop a robust communication plan to engage international inquiries with our new customer relationship management system. In addition, the International Steering Committee will narrow its focus toward enhancing ways the international dialog can be further promoted and enhanced within our curricular structures.
Our goal is to find ourselves next year with solid relationships that provide a pool of robust candidates for admission that enrich both our graduate and undergraduate educational experience.