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Diversity Network Member Highlight: Arizona State University

Posted By Erica Ledesma, Friday, September 23, 2016
Updated: Friday, September 23, 2016

Institution name

Arizona State University


Arizona; Online


Institutional Profile

Large (over 15,000) 

Why did your institution join the Diversity Abroad Network?

Arizona State University (ASU) joined the Diversity Abroad Network because as an institution, we have a commitment to representation and inclusion is prevalent in the university’s Diversity Plan. In addition, ASU is committed to excellence, access and impact in everything that it does. Currently, the Study Abroad Office is in the middle of a five-year strategic plan and one of our eight "Strategies for Growth" is "increase the number of underrepresented students going abroad." Due to this strategy, we felt we have been sought out additional resources to help the office make study abroad more accessible to ASU's diverse student population and the Diversity Abroad Network has been instrumental in supporting us and providing invaluable tools for both our students and faculty.


How long has your organization/institution been a member? 

2 years


What Diversity Network resource has been most useful for you and your colleagues in advancing diversity & inclusive excellence in global education? 

We have thoroughly enjoyed the webinars that the Diversity Abroad Network has provided to our staff and colleagues. We also had the privilege of spending a day with Diversity Abroad's Founder and President, Andrew Gordon, in which he helped us take a deeper look at how we can continually improve upon our services for underrepresented students as it relates to study abroad resources. Our advising teams also utilize the country diversity climate notes and the diversity/inclusion advising manuals. Lastly, we are going to complete the Access, Inclusion, Diversity (AID) Roadmap this fall 2016 semester.


How has membership with the Diversity Network helped your institution make global education more accessible to students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds? 

As members, we attended our first Diversity Abroad Conference in 2015 and left the conference with a list of 30 ideas that we heard from other institutions focusing in on diversity and inclusion. From that list, we have already implemented many of the ideas, and are working on the others. For example, our website now contains material for the following populations of students who are considering study abroad: Online student, First-Generation students, GI-Bill Benefit recipients, International Students, LGBTQIA students, Non-Traditional students, Racial & Ethnic Minority students, Student Athletes and Students with Disabilities. 


Please describe any innovative initiatives related to diversity and inclusion in global education that your institution is currently undertaking.  

Here are a few innovative initiatives that we have developed over the last couple of years related to diversity and inclusion.

1. ASU Planning Scholars: The ASU Study Abroad Planning Scholarship provides first-generation college students with the opportunity to also be the first to study abroad by reducing the financial barrier that may prevent some students from considering study abroad. If an ASU student receives the Planning Scholarship, the student will have five (5) semesters to use it after his/her freshman year. A team of two professional staff from the ASU Study Abroad Office facilitate 2-3 workshops per semester for the recipients and are the point of contacts from our office. We just awarded 60 scholarships to cohort

2. Cohort 1 (awarded in July 2015) has already experienced a lot of success with 1/2 of the recipients already studying abroad since receiving their scholarship. We designed a new position for the Study Abroad Office - Management Intern for Diversity and Inclusion - and had it funded starting in academic year 2015-2016. The same intern is now on year two with us and her entire 20 hours a week is focused on activities and initiatives related to diversity matters. She presents to underrepresented study abroad student populations about study abroad, makes sure that our marketing materials include all students, works to educate the Study Abroad Office professional staff on offices on our campuses that work with underrepresented student populations and so much more.

Tags:  Diversity  education abroad  members 

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Global Student Leadership Summit Alumni Profile: Carmeisha Huckleby

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 19, 2016

GSLS Alumni Profile: Carmeisha Huckleby

Where do you call home?

Detroit, MI

Where are you currently living?

Albany, NY

Where did you go to school for undergraduate/graduate studies?  

Michigan State University 

Please describe your current career/educational endeavors. Where are you currently employed/studying? What are your future plans?

I'm currently a study abroad program coordinator at the University at Albany SUNY 

Please describe your past international experiences. How have these experiences impacted your current career/personal goals?

I've studied abroad in Japan, but have also visited Dubai, Egypt, Ghana, Abu Dhabi, China, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Taiwan, and Canada. These experiences prepared me for my current position by helping me gain intercultural competence, teaching me about the challenges people face while abroad, and showing me how much personal growth can happen while abroad. I am excited to be able to share these experiences with my students. 

When did you attend the GSLS?

I attended the conference in New Orleans in 2015.

Please describe how your experience at GSLS has impacted your current professional path. 

Attending the conference not only gave me the chance to meet professionals in the field and network with them, but it also provided me with the opportunity to improve my presentation skills. 

What advice would you give to college students about taking advantage of international travel?

In a globalized society, taking advantage of international travel is very important because it prepares you for diversity within the workforce, helps you gain cultural understanding and patience, and is a great opportunity for personal growth. 

Tags:  education abroad  global education  Global Student Leadership Summit  professional skills 

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Diversity Network Member Highlight: University of Minnesota

Posted By Erica Ledesma, Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Institution name

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 


Minneapolis, MN 


Institutional Profile

Large (over 15,000) Asian-serving Institution  

Why did your institution join the Diversity Abroad Network?

Before Diversity Abroad existed, there was not a space to have discussions solely focused on diverse student identities. It was something that wasn't really discussed in the field. We found that Diversity Abroad aided us in enhancing what we were doing in regards to inclusiveness and engaging under representation which has been a part of our Curriculum and Career Integration work. Lastly, we at the Learning Abroad Center believe in this work and want to be at the forefront of these discussions. 

How long has your organization/institution been a member? 

Since Diversity Abroad's inception 


What Diversity Network resource has been most useful for you and your colleagues in advancing diversity & inclusive excellence in global education? 

The resource that we have most taken advantage of would be the webinars presented by the Diversity Network. After watching/listening to the webinars, we have had many discussions post webinars that have helped drive future diversity initiatives at the University of Minnesota.  


How has membership with the Diversity Network helped your institution make global education more accessible to students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds? 

Membership to the Diversity Network has given us better insight and understanding of the various identities of the students we are trying to support. 

Please describe any innovative initiatives related to diversity and inclusion in global education that your institution is currently undertaking. 

One of the initiatives that we are proud of is our Dialogues on Diversity series. In these Dialogues, we invite a cultural informant from one of the countries/cultures come into the office to speak on what makes up diversity in their country and address the complexities that students may face in that location.


Tags:  education abroad  members 

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Where Do We Go From Here? - Reflection on Open Doors 2015

Posted By Andrew Gordon, Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Every year, international educators have the opportunity to review trends related to student mobility. The Open Doors Report, administered by the Institute of International Education, provides necessary data to help us understand the status of study abroad participation among US college students and incoming international students. As an organization solely focused on access, diversity and inclusion in international education, every year Diversity Abroad eagerly awaits the release of the Open Doors report to see the impact that our member institutions and others have had in creating equitable access for all students to education abroad. Similar to other years, the 2015 Open Doors Report contains encouraging results and also highlights continued areas for growth with respect to participation of diverse and underrepresented students. Here are a few observations from the perspective of diversity and inclusion within education abroad:

  • Year over year participation of students from non-white racial and ethnic backgrounds increased to 25.7% in 2014 from 23.7% in 2013.

  • African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino/a and Multiracial students saw increases in the rate of participation year over year, 0.3%, 0.4%, 0.7% and 0.6% respectively

  • There has not been any notable increases in participation among students identifying as American Indian and Alaska Native over the past 10 years.

  • Students in the STEM field made up 23% of the study abroad population

  • Participation based on gender identity has remained static over the past 10 years with roughly 65% female and 35% male participation.

  • With a record 10% increase in international student enrollment (over the last year), more students from this demographic will likely pursue education abroad while studying at US institutions.

The results are encouraging. In 2014 students of color comprised 25.7% of the study abroad population, their largest proportion of the overall study abroad population to date. STEM related majors are now the most represented majors of study abroad participants. As organizations, institutions, and professionals who have been committed to ensuring more diverse and underrepresented students have equitable access to education abroad we should be proud of our contribution to this growth. What we’re doing is working. The message that study abroad is for everyone and when done right, is an investment in one’s future and not a luxury, is beginning to resonate with students of color and their families as well as with other underrepresented populations. However, as we continue to extol the benefits of education abroad to students, parents, and the public and private sector, and frame education abroad as an essential experience that can prepare young people for success in the 21st Century, the question arises; are we doing enough to achieve equitable access to education abroad for all students?

Getting to the Tipping Point

The excitement of seeing more diverse students participate in education abroad is tempered by the reality that we have a long road ahead to achieve representative participation by diverse students in education abroad. To reach participation goals in education abroad, be it doubling the numbers nationally or more modest goals set by individual institutions, and for these increases to reflect the rich diversity of students at US colleges and universities, institutions and organizations must develop strategic approaches to diversity and inclusion. Individual activities, be it targeted diversity scholarships, marketing campaigns, etc, while impactful on a micro scale, will not lead us to our goals. To reach the tipping point where diverse students are seeking education abroad as an investment in their future and participating in representative numbers, we as higher education professionals must address access, diversity, and inclusion in education abroad, not as a separate initiative or campaign, but as a strategic imperative and an integral part of every facet of our work. What does this look like? For many years the challenge of increasing access to education abroad among diverse students has been addressed by specific initiatives or campaigns. Through such initiatives or campaigns there has been relative success in increasing participation among diverse students at a particular institution or within a specific organization. However, such initiatives are often an extra, separate tasks added to the workload of increasingly busy professionals, instead of being woven into the fabric of every aspect of our work in education abroad. This ‘strategy’ is not a recipe for success. If, however we evaluate the overall education abroad process and integrate diversity and inclusive good practices into the fabric of the education abroad process, we will develop an environment on our campuses that will foster increased participation of and support for diverse students in education abroad. Innovative and accessible tools, such as Diversity Abroad’s AID Roadmap have been developed to help institutions develop holistic strategies that weave diversity and inclusive good practices into eleven strategic areas of education abroad.

Meaningful education abroad has the potential to be a transformative experience that can change the lives, not only of the students who participate, but their families and communities as well. In an increasingly interconnected world where the skills developed through education abroad can determine who is successful in the labor market and who is not, we as educators must continue to our upmost to ensure all students have equitable access to international education. There is no silver bullet. Through strategic planning and continual and intentional implementation of diversity and inclusive good practices we will reach our goals of increasing participation, achieving representative diversity and adequately supporting all students in education abroad.

Tags:  education abroad 

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Community Colleges and Access to Study Abroad

Posted By Trixie Cordova, Friday, April 17, 2015
Updated: Thursday, July 28, 2016

It’s extremely important that students of all backgrounds and life experiences have access to information about going abroad. During the Go Global Tour, I travel across the country visiting colleges of different sizes, in rural and urban areas, with diverse student populations.

I am so grateful when I have the opportunity to visit community colleges. Unlike some larger 4-year colleges or universities, community colleges don’t necessarily have the same resources, professional support (for example, a study abroad office or advisor), or program options. And of course, students continue to cite financial constraints as the primary barrier, either real or perceived, to considering study abroad as an option.

The 2013 IIE Open Doors Report shows that the majority of community college students going abroad are still overwhelmingly white and female. The Institute for International Education further verifies what we all know to be true of the community college experience:

Community college populations are historically comprised of non-traditional students, including minority students, those with high financial need, and first-generation college students, all populations that currently are largely underrepresented in study abroad. If this trend is allowed to continue, these underrepresented groups will remain on the sidelines and will not have equal access to the life-changing opportunities that will prepare them for today’s global society.1

Additionally, community college students are sometimes older, work full-time to support their families, and in part choose to attend community college due to its affordability. For this reason, it isn’t necessarily a surprise to know that very few students are going abroad at the community college level.

So what kind of real solutions currently exist to support increased funding opportunities and program options that are both realistic and affordable for community college students? There are lots of state and nation-wide consortia committed to making education abroad opportunities feasible for community college students. Some examples include the California Colleges for International EducationCommunity Colleges for International Development, and the Washington Consortium of Community Colleges for Study Abroad.  

But with initiatives such as Generation Study Abroad, coupled with President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative, in which he proposes making community college tuition-free for two years, it is my hope that more programs and funding opportunities with specific regard to the needs and concerns of community colleges become available.

If you work at a community college and have a success story about students from your campus, please tell us!

1Expanding Education Abroad at U.S. Community Colleges:

Tags:  community colleges  education abroad  Education Abroad Diversity  Study Abroad 

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