Thursday, March 26, 2009

NAFSA Task Force on Standards and Responsibilities (1980)

As I was searching my research notes I came across something that I thought IHEC Blog readers who enjoy a little history with their international education may find interesting. The following is a description of the NAFSA Task Force on Standards and Responsibilities from the early 1980’s:

“NAFSA convened the Task Force on Standards and Responsibilities in early 1980. This task force considered many alternatives. It acknowledged that self-regulation was more desirable than government regulation of standards of practice. It also considered and rejected a program of accreditation that would first formally endorse programs that met established standards and then police them through periodic evaluation and any necessary censure. What the task force finally chose was a complete program of self-regulation, which involved endorsement by the NAFSA board and support by other major educational associations and agencies. As part of the new program, NAFSA published “Principles for International Educational Exchange” in 1981 for endorsement by all NAFSA members. The Principles were also formally endorsed by the Commission on International Education of the American Council on Education, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and Land Grant Colleges. In 1983, NAFSA published the first edition of this self-study guide with dealt with the principles.”[1]

This is just one of the efforts in the field of study abroad to develop a set of standards of good practice. You can learn more about this in the chapter I'm writing with my colleague Martha Merritt on the assessment of and standards for study abroad in the forthcoming A History of US Study Abroad: 1965 to the Present edited by Stephen DePaul and William Hoffa which is scheduled for publication later this year.

You may also be interested in the History of Standards of Good Practice in Education Abroad Bibliography I compiled last year for the 3rd edition of the Forum on Education Abroad Standards of Good Practice in Education Abroad.

[1] Description obtained from NAFSA Self-Study Guide: The Assessment of Programs and Services for International Educational Exchange at Postsecondary Institutions (1994) written by Harriet L. Marsh.

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