News & Press: Press Release

Pilot Project of New Diversity Assessment Tool for International Education Offices

Monday, September 22, 2014  
Posted by: Ryan Rounds
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September 22, 2014


Berkeley, CA. — This fall, five U.S. institutions will pilot a new assessment tool developed to evaluate practices within education abroad offices pertaining to access, diversity, and inclusion. The Access, Inclusion, and Diversity in International Education Scorecard (A.I.D. Scorecard) serves as a set of guidelines for diversity and inclusion good practices in education abroad. This innovative tool will serve as a guide for professionals implementing policies and practices that are both aspirational and practical, and ultimately lead to greater access to education abroad for diverse and underrepresented students.

Beginning this October the George Washington University, Morehouse College, North Dakota State University, University of Connecticut, and University of Minnesota will pilot this unique self-assessment tool. The A.I.D. Scorecard examines the diversity within the education abroad office, how the office conducts outreach, advises, provides financial guidance, and addresses health and safety risks of diverse students, and how the office collaborates with different campus units, works with third-party organizations, and much more. This pilot project will lay the foundation for the A.I.D. Scorecard’s release to institutions of higher education early next year and a version for education abroad service providers in late 2015.

Completing the A.I.D. Scorecard is the first step in identifying how an office's practices can encourage or discourage participation amongst under-represented student groups in education abroad. Andrew Gordon, President and Founder of Diversity Abroad, says, “The Scorecard facilitates a self-evaluative process that equips education abroad professionals with the tools needed to recognize and implement access, inclusion, and diversity good practices on their own campuses or within their organizations. This practical tool provides a road map for education abroad offices, which allows them to focus their energy and resources on implementing the good practices that lead to increased access for students from diverse backgrounds and ensure a successful education abroad experience.”

These guidelines are informed by the Access, Inclusion, and Diversity in International Education (A.I.D.) Evaluation created by the Diversity Abroad Network in 2011. The A.I.D. Scorecard places specific emphasis on ethnically/racially diverse students, students with high financial need, students with disabilities, and first generation college students, and is designed to:

  • Provide a framework for understanding diversity and inclusion in all areas of the education abroad field;
  • Enable meaningful comparisons over time and across offices at different institutions using a common set of measurements, create incentives for continual improvement toward diversity and inclusion; and
  • Facilitate information sharing about higher education diversity and inclusion practices and performance.

The A.I.D. Scorecard is an important component in Diversity Abroad’s broader A.I.D. Initiative aimed at providing the information, tools, and guidance needed to advance diversity and inclusive good practices in international education and exchange.