Monday, October 9, 2017

Follow the Twitter Backchannel from the 2017 Australian International Education Conference from October 10-13, 2017 in Hobart, Tasmania #aiec2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

LIVE WEBINAR - Defending the Value Proposition of Education Abroad with Dr. Anthony Ogden at 2:00pm EST on October 13th!

Melibee Global has an excellent live webinar coming up at 2:00pm EST on October 13th with Dr. Anthony Ogden.  During this webinar, Dr. Ogden will critically examine the value proposition of Education Abroad and ask whether we need to rethink how we articulate the purpose and goals of our work.
 Thanks to the generous sponsorship by CISAbroad, Melibee Global is able to offer a full time student and underemployed/unemployed rate of $99.

You can learn more about this Live Melibee Global webinar with Dr. Anthony Ogden here.

*A portion of the proceeds from the webinar will be donated to The Fund for Education Abroad.

Disclaimer:  I receive no compensation for this post.  I am also a board member of the Fund for Education Abroad.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Starting New Position as Assistant Provost for Global Education at Columbia College Chicago

After 17 years at the Univ. of Chicago last Friday was my last day. This coming Monday, October 2nd I start a new position as Assistant Provost for Global Education at Columbia College Chicago.

After 3 days of work I fly to Australia as I was invited to speak as well as sit on a panel at the IEAA Research Roundtable (full program available here) in Hobart, Tasmania and I will stay the rest of the week to attend the AIEC conference. This opportunity is not related to my work at Booth nor Columbia College but is, of course, international education related. After the conference I will be heading home to hire a new director of study abroad and a new director of international student and scholar services!

I'm very excited for this new professional opportunity but incredibly sad to be leaving some really great people that I have grown very fond of and will miss dearly!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Follow the Twitter Backchannel from the 2017 IIE Summit on Generation Study Abroad from October 1–3, 2017 in Washington, DC #IIESummit2017 #GenerationStudyAbroad

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Apply Now is Too Late in Education Abroad

The following is a guest post from Samantha Martin, CEO and Founder of Via TRM.

In a time where international educators are called to increase participation in education abroad at the institutional and national level (e.g. Generation Study Abroad and 100,000 Strong), the message of “Apply Now” comes too late for eligible students who were interested at one time but who had little or no engagement with education abroad messages prior to the call to apply.

 “Apply Now” is the student decision phase that offices have historically been able to support operationally. However, the lack of a strategy, resources, and supporting systems for the “just curious” and interested student is a missed opportunity and means genuinely interested students are not adequately tracked, understood, or engaged.

The challenge is that education abroad offices are not equipped to scale, operating with limited staff and inefficiencies such as tracking student interest on paper and across multiple systems. Given that support for education abroad is inconsistent across academic departments, most colleges and universities lack a cohesive strategy for early-stage academic planning for education abroad as well.

What can be done to reach the early-stage interested student?

In addition to aligning education abroad and the home campus curriculum and following well-established best practices, education abroad practitioners can build, cultivate, and provide value to students far before an application decision is reached. This requires an openness to learning new models, developing professional skills in ethical sales & marketing tactics, and support from leadership to define success metrics around engagement and not just applications.

Practically speaking, education abroad offices can reach new student populations and create more consistent advising and application experiences by establishing a distinct brand identity, defining the target audience, and tailoring messages to specific student segments prior to the big ask of “apply now”.

Education abroad offices might consider doing away with gate-keeper policies that require students to attend in-person group sessions or clearly define academic and professional goals before speaking to a full time advisor. An alternative is building an advising culture defined by availability and service to all students, regardless of application readiness.

There is, of course, not just one way to build an all-inclusive advising culture that aims to reach not only every demographic and academic segment, but also across psychographic and behavioral segments that can be defined in one way by a student’s “readiness”.

Shifting advising targets to serve the entire pipeline (sometimes also referred to as a “funnel”, see diagram below) means clearly defining advising roles & responsibilities, creating a strategy & plan that includes serving early-stage students, and implementing systems to track interest and engage students prior to an application. 

If the education abroad office accepts that their core mission is to help every student make an informed choice about education abroad opportunities, the most important metric of success is not the number of applications and participants, but the number of students who were reached.

     The message of "Apply Now" as a primary (or sole) call to action excludes key populations of interested students from starting the education abroad process.
     Growth in education abroad (as in all industries) relies on cultivating the entire funnel, and not just focusing on people close to the 'conversion point' (i.e. submitting an application)
     Create a marketing and advising strategy to engage the "just curious", first-year, and unsure student. Resource that strategy with new and/or updated technology systems and cross-departmental collaboration.

Samantha is the CEO and founder of Via TRM, next generation software for education abroad. Previously, she developed & facilitated online courses for students and staff and worked as a Study Abroad Advisor at SUNY New Paltz and as a Program Coordinator at IEP at Jacksonville University. Samantha completed an MA in peace and conflict studies from the University of Ulster in Derry, Northern Ireland on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. Her original inspiration for starting a career in international education was a semester study abroad program in Cyprus on a Gilman Scholarship.