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Coming Soon to a Campus Near You! Diversity Abroad Passport Tour

Posted By Diversity Abroad, Monday, September 12, 2016
Updated: Monday, September 12, 2016

About the Passport Tour

Diversity Abroad's Passport Tour (TPT) is a nationwide campus-based initiative designed to introduce study abroad resources and opportunities to students, faculty and administrators, particularly from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

Since 2008, TPT has visited more than 75 different college campuses across the country. Each campus visit looks different, but can consist of various on-campus outreach initiatives such as tabling at a study abroad fair, hosting information sessions, moderating alumni panels, making classroom visits, and more.

Diversity Abroad is delighted to welcome Daneen Johnson to the team. In her role as the Community Engagement Coordinator, Daneen will be spearheading campus visits with the Passport Tour. Additionally, Diversity Abroad is excited to have 6 Campus Fellows hosting events at and around their campuses throughout the year. 

Wondering where you can connect with the Passport Tour in your area? More details available on the Events Calendar.
  


Meet the Passport Tour Team

 

Community Engagement Coordinator

Daneen Johnson

Daneen JohnsonDaneen is the Community Engagement Coordinator for Diversity Abroad. She oversees The Passport Tour which is a nationwide campus-based initiative designed to introduce study abroad resources and opportunities to students, faculty and administrators, particularly from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. 
 
As a Student Affairs Professional, Daneen has experience working with student-athletes, first generation, STEM, honors, low income, and international students. She has also worked within a university career services department where she assisted both undergraduate and graduate students with career readiness and employability skills. Prior to joining the Diversity Abroad team, Daneen worked as an Advisor at Seminole State College of Florida where she worked within a grant program that sought to assist and increase underrepresented minority  students pursuing STEM degrees. 
 
As a two time Alumna of the University of Central Florida, she completed her undergraduate degrees in Hospitality and Restaurant Management. During that time she studied abroad in Italy with an Italian Culture and Cuisine program. She continued her education at UCF completing a M.A. in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Higher Education. During graduate school Daneen completed a mission trip with her church to Cape Town, South Africa. 

Daneen is a proud Take Stock in Children Scholar--a nonprofit organization in Florida with a mission to break the cycle of poverty for low-income, at-risk students by offering college scholarships and provide caring volunteer mentors. In her role at Diversity Abroad, she is able to give back to the local and global community that inspired her career. 


Campus Fellows 

Amira Beasley
Miami University, Ohio
Oxford, OH
Major: International Studies; Latin American Studies; Spanish Minor
Studied in: Spain, Argentina 

Arielle Crook
Xavier University of LA
New Orleans, LA
Major: Biology/Pre-med; Chemistry; Spanish minor
Studied in: Costa Rica, Cyprus

Arielle Hankerson
College of William & Mary
Williamsburg, VA
Major: International Community Development; Public Health Minor
Studied in: Australia, Interned abroad in Ghana

Austin Joseph
Morehouse College
Atlanta, GA 
Major: English; Multimedia minor
Studied in: Semester at Sea; volunteered in Rio for 2016 olympics

Maggie Kelley
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA
Major: Public Policy
Studied in: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Tauri Tomlin
Georgetown University
Washington, DC
Major: Science & Technology; International Affairs; Japanese minor
Studied in: Japan

 

Tags:  Diversity  Minority Students  Outreach  Passport Tour  Underrepresented Students 

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Getting the Word Out: Is it Enough?

Posted By Erica Ledesma, Monday, July 13, 2015
Updated: Thursday, July 28, 2016

Through participation in the Global Access Pipeline (GAP) and other venues, many organizations are committed to connecting students from diverse backgrounds to the prospect of international experiences as they move along the “pipeline” from K-12 through college. This “pipeline” provides innumerable opportunities to convey the message that international experiences are valuable and attainable for all students, especially for those from traditionally underrepresented communities. As professionals seeking to advance diversity and inclusive excellence within international education, awareness of how students move through this so-called “pipeline” from K-12 through college is imperative. International Educators at the higher education level often wonder if students are exposed to information about education abroad throughout their educational careers, at different stages along the pipeline. But is it enough to expose students from diverse backgrounds to these messages during their formative years? Or do we also need to consider who is delivering these messages?

A quick review of the demographic background of public school teachers and faculty members across the country indicates that students from diverse backgrounds are taught primarily by white educators. The National Center for Education Statistics indicates a mismatch in today’s classrooms. Now that “minority” students constitute the majority of public school students, the teaching force remains over 80% non-Hispanic white. Within higher education, faculty statistics are even more dismal. Not only is the faculty predominantly non-Hispanic white, Native American faculty member participation has been stagnant while faculty participation among Black males has actually been decreasing in recent years. Anecdotally, we know that students from diverse backgrounds are often drawn to study abroad when they are encouraged to do so by a faculty member, particularly when the faculty member represents the student’s background.

While research examining the academic impact (see here and here) -- often measured through test scores -- of same-race teaching instruction is inconclusive, many argue for other benefits.  

Leslie T. Fenwick, Dean of the Howard University School of Education, outlined some of the benefits to African-American and Hispanic/Latino students in schools with large percentages of same-race teachers in her recent Diverse Issues in Higher Education article entitled “Who’s Teaching Whom?”:

Tremendous benefits accrue to African- American and Hispanic/Latino students who attend schools with high concentrations of African-American or Hispanic/Latino teachers. These students are less likely to be expelled or suspended; more likely to be recommended for gifted education; less likely to be misplaced in special education; and more likely to graduate high school in four years.

Likewise, in the recent New York Times article “Where are the Teachers of Color?”, professor of education at Stanford University, Thomas S. Dee, said, “When minority students see someone at the blackboard that looks like you, it helps you reconceive what’s possible for you.”

Professor Dee’s statement is particularly relevant to our efforts to encourage students to consider international opportunities along the pipeline. For many of the traditionally underrepresented groups within international education, students are coming to college as the first in their families. This often means that they have not had role models at home who have pursued international study and other such opportunities. It is paramount, then, that the International Education community (from K-12 to higher education) prioritize hiring and retention practices to ensure that student backgrounds are proportionally represented amongst their educators. If we are taking the statistics and related implications seriously, there is no time to wait. Here are some areas for consideration:

What other resources and initiatives have been effective at your institution/organization to promote diversity and inclusion within global opportunities?

Tags:  global education  inclusion  Minority Students  Outreach  Study Abroad 

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Minority-Serving Institutions & Access to International Education

Posted By Erica Ledesma, Thursday, December 18, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The United States is home to more than 500 Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI’s) including: Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU’s), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI’s), and Tribal Colleges & Universities (TCU’s). While open to students from all backgrounds, MSI’s occupy an important space within higher education, especially in the context of increasing access to educational opportunities. This blog post intends to highlight some of the trends, research, and debate specific to MSI’s in the context of internationalism.

Currently, there are more than 100 HBCU’s in the U.S. According to the US Department of Education, an HBCU is defined as “…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans…” Despite President Obama’s 2010 executive order renewing the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, controversy over the Potential Contraction of HBCUs has been making headlines. At the highest national level, however, the historical significance of these institutions, as well as the present-day role they can play to address inequities in the education system continues to prevail. Specific to international education, the American Council on Education (ACE) published a report, Creating Global Citizens: Challenges and Opportunities for Internationalization at HBCU’s, detailing the comprehensive internationalization efforts at several of the country’s HBCU’s. The report was compiled to serve as a resource for other HBCU’s as they internationalize their campuses. Not surprisingly-- given the well-documented underfunding of MSI’s -- the report indicated a need for additional financial and human resources to support successful internationalization efforts.

The National Center for Education Statistics lists more than 30 TCU’s within the U.S. For Native students studying at non-Tribal Colleges & Universities, some schools are working to identify appropriate means to help Native American students feel at “home” on the campus. This can be difficult, especially, when Native students constitute a small percentage of a large student body. Many Native students are more comfortable attending a TCU because of the efforts made to preserve native traditions and language. Likewise, reports indicate that student success at TCU’s, when compared to Native students at non-TCU’s, is high. Recognizing the important role of TCU’s and other K-12 educational institutions in native communities, President Obama recently announced the Generation Indigenous Initiative, an effort to support Native youth as they prepare for college and future careers. Anne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, noted that TCU’s “do an extraordinary job, often on a shoestring budget, in what they are doing to transform lives to empower the next generation of leaders in a whole host of fields, including our future educators.” In 2012-2013, only .5% of the almost 290,000 U.S. students who participated in study abroad identified as American Indian or Alaska Native. Given this statistic, it is incumbent upon the international education community to consider new ways to reach out to Native students and TCU’s.

HSI’s are defined in federal law (the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Title V, 2008) as accredited, degree-granting, public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education with 25% or more total undergraduate Hispanic full-time equivalent (FTE) student enrollment (Excelencia in Education). In 2012-2013, the HSI Center at Excelencia in Education, a national educational advocacy nonprofit, identified 370 HSIs in the U.S. within 15 states and Puerto Rico. California has the most HSIs (127), followed by Texas (68), and Puerto Rico (59). In an IndyStar article, Deborah Santiago, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Policy at Excelencia in Education, stated that “Latino students are much more likely to attend colleges where they make up at least one-quarter of the student body, such as the University of Texas at El Paso.” This assertion is also supported by the data: In 2012-2013, 59 percent of undergraduate Hispanic/Latino students were enrolled at MSI’s as compared to 46% twenty years ago (Excelencia in Education). Recent research out of Vanderbilt and Florida State University comparing graduation rates of Hispanic students with similar backgrounds, revealed roughly equivalent graduation rates at HSI’s as at non-HIS’s. This research seems to confront some of the predominant discourse claiming that MSI’s are not performing as well as their non-MSI counterparts.

Diversity Abroad is committed to working collaboratively with MSIs to increase access to and services for students on their campuses. As part of our involvement in the Generation Study Abroad initiative to double study abroad participation over the next 5 years, Diversity Abroad has announced plans to develop a capacity building program geared toward higher education professionals at MSIs. Annually, Diversity Abroad will bring together representatives from 7-10 MSI campuses to engage in virtual and in-person training sessions hosted in partnership with non-MSI Diversity Network member institutions. Additionally, through our annual Go Global Campus Tour (GGT), we will increase our campus visits to MSIs to provide information, resources, and training to students who may not readily have access to information about education abroad options. Each year over the next five years, we will add more diverse campuses (e.g., HBCUs, TCUs) to our campus visits providing pre-departure and returned student resources in the form of student presentations, tabling, and classroom visits.

MSIs, particularly HBCUs and HSIs, prepare and train the majority of African-American/Black and Hispanic/Latino professionals entering the workforce. As such, their engagement in doubling study abroad participation is critical to ensuring that the student population going abroad is also representative of the diversity of the U.S. population.

Tags:  HBCU  HSI  international education  Minority Students  Tribal Colleges and Universities 

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More Scholarships Is Not the Answer

Posted By Andrew Gordon, Friday, September 30, 2011
Updated: Thursday, July 21, 2016

Why don’t more ethnically and racially diverse students study abroad? This is a common question asked among international educators. For too long the response has been that lack of funding is the main reason why these diverse students don’t study abroad. Unfortunately the idea that funding is the main reason why underrepresented students don’t pursue education abroad has masked other systemic issues that contribute to dismal participation in study abroad programs by diverse student groups.

First, let me be clear, I am not by any means against more scholarships for study abroad. In fact, even though Diversity Abroad is not a scholarship granting organization, we’ve had the opportunity to award thousands of dollars in scholarship funds for underserved students. We are always looking for opportunities to offer more. We applaud the many successful scholarship programs administered by providers, institutions and NGO’s that help to fund study abroad. These programs have helped send thousands of underserved students abroad. Scholarships, however, are effective tools for students who are already considering study abroad. What about the thousands of students who feel study abroad is not for them? Will more scholarships help convince these students to study abroad? If students fail to see how they fit into the activity that the scholarship is associated with, in this case study abroad, the scholarship monies will not be a motivating factor in pursuing this facet of their education. Scholarships by themselves will not drastically change the demographic of the study abroad student if they aren’t coupled with targeted outreach that demonstrates the educational, personal and professional benefits of education abroad for diverse students.

Underrepresented students need to see how study abroad applies to them. It’s essential that in addition to scholarships we evaluate how we articulate to under-served students and their families what study abroad is, as well as its present and long term benefits. We all do well to ask ourselves if the messages we send through our printed materials and online about who studies abroad and the benefits thereof are attracting or discouraging underrepresented students from pursuing these opportunities.

Scholarships are important and essential to expanding study abroad. However, scholarships will only do so much without targeted outreach to help underserved students and their families understand and appreciate the value of education abroad. We may not be able to give money to help our students study abroad, however I challenge all of us to look for opportunities at our institutions and organizations to promote study abroad and its immense benefits to a more diverse population of students. I’m confident that with a collective effort to reach out to a more diverse student population we will see wider participation in education abroad among traditionally underrepresented groups.

Andrew Gordon is the founder and president of Diversity Abroad. He is a graduate of the University of San Francisco, where he studied business, economics and Spanish. He has studied, traveled and worked throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and South America. He started Diversity Abroad in 2006 with the focus of increasing global awareness and engagement among students and young people with an emphasis on diverse and under-served populations.

Tags:  Diversity Abroad Conference  education abroad  Minority Students  Scholarships  Study Abroad 

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First Lady Michelle Obama Encourages Study Abroad to China With 100,000 Strong Initiative - Special Emphasis Put on HBCU's & HSI's

Posted By Andrew Gordon, Thursday, January 20, 2011
Updated: Thursday, July 21, 2016

With China’s President Hu Jintao in Washington for a State Visit, First Lady Michelle Obama used the occasion as an opportunity to encourage American high school, community college and university students to pursue study abroad. Speaking at Howard University, Mrs. Obama pressed the importance of American students pursuing study abroad as a whole, and specifically study abroad in China.

“Studying abroad isn’t just an important part of a well rounded educational experience,” Mrs. Obama said.“It’s also becoming increasingly important for success in the modern global economy.”She also emphasized that study abroad does not just help individual students, but also the United States as a whole. “Studying in countries like China is about so much more than improving your own prospects in the global market… When you study abroad you’re actually helping to make America stronger.”

While the First Lady did an excellent job in highlighting the individual student and national benefits to study abroad, she was also keenly aware of the challenges we face in increasing the number and diversity of students studying in China. “There are too many students here in the United States that don’t have that chance (to study abroad) and some that do are reluctant to seize it. Maybe they feel that study abroad is something only rich kids do or maybe kids who go to certain colleges.” The Diversity Network agrees with the Obama administration that not only is study abroad to China important, but also that it is essential that diverse and underrepresented students take advantage of international education opportunities to China and other countries.

Reaching the goals of the “100,000 Strong Initiative” to increase the number and diversity of students studying in China will require that we as international educators accept the challenge and work to be more effective in recruiting and advising underserved students for study abroad to China. To be successful in this endeavor, we must do a better job in communicating to diverse students and their parents the positive impact a study abroad experience can have on their future academic and career goals. Reaching the 100,000 Strong goals will also require the nation’s Hispanic Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities to increase capacity to provide more of their students with international education opportunities to China.

The 100,000 Strong Initiative’s goal to increase the number and diversity of American students studying in China is exciting. To fully realize this goal will require innovative approaches for reaching underserved students who traditionally have not taken advantage of international education opportunities. The Diversity Network and its members are committed to supporting the 100,000 Strong Initiative and any other initiative, which aims at diversifying the locations and the students who pursue international education.

Andrew Gordon is the founder and president of Diversity Abroad. He is a graduate of the University of San Francisco, where he studied business, economics and Spanish. He has studied, traveled and worked throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and South America. He started Diversity Abroad in 2006 with the focus of increasing global awareness and engagement among students and young people with an emphasis on diverse and under-served populations.

Tags:  100000 Strong Initiative  China  Education Abroad Diversity  First Lady Michelle Obama  HBCU  HSI  Minority Students  Study Abroad 

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