A global model for higher educational institutions to increase the enrollment of minority and international students

Fazil Najafi, Dennis Jet, Nick Safai

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The overall mission of a higher educational institution must include increasing the enrollment of minority and international students within its student population. The population of the United States is very diverse, yet many universities lack diversity within their student population. This paper presents a model that incorporates growth in the number of minority and international students within the existing student population as part of a university's overall mission. The proposed model focuses on university student enrollment and presents a step-by-step procedure of how to increase the number of minority and international students within the overall student population. To enhance the existing diversity of a university, the model looks at the existing university student population and sets a target number to achieve over a planning horizon. A realistic target number can be established by looking at the existing minority and international student population and the rate of change over the past ten years. A realistic yearly rate can only be established if the university already has an aggressive recruitment and retention program. The success of the model depends on how the university's overall mission treats diversity in its future growth. In the overall growth picture, a diversity strategy should be included with a strong commitment to increase the number of minorities among the student body, faculty and staff. This model includes programs such as recruitment, retention, orientation, and professional development workshops. To increase the number of international students, the model looks at institutional centers such as Lain American studies, International Food and Agriculture Science studies, joint university research institutes, the Peace Corps, Centers for European, Asian, Middle Eastern, and African studies, as well as study-abroad programs, ambassador programs and recruitment, and orientation and retention of international students and scholars. Allocation of resources plays a vital role in the implementation of the diversity model. The model includes two parts, one for each of the undergraduate and graduate populations. The programs need to be actively incorporated and coordinated within each department of the various colleges under the main umbrella of the university's overall mission. The program coordinators work as a team in competitive cooperation to successfully implement the mission for diversity under the goals of the institution of higher learning. The team members' aggressiveness, motivation, creativity, interpersonal skills, financial support and recognition of the importance of diversity within the student population play a vital role in the successful implementation of this program. The model includes an assessment feature and provides a mechanism that gives feedback from all colleges within the university for continuous monitoring of program assessment and improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2008
Event2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Pittsburg, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2008Jun 24 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering

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