Developing an INTO-wide Professional Development Program for University Partners

At INTO North America’s first partners’ conference in Washington, DC in October of 2017, one of the topics that generated broad interest among partner institutions was how to create opportunities to share best practices for faculty members teaching international students. Now that academic year 2017-18 has come to a close, it is time to revisit this issue and bring the partners together to discuss how our INTO Centers and their Academic leadership and instructors can play a role in this important aspect of faculty development. Because of their disciplinary training and often their own personal experiences, center instructors are uniquely positioned to design and deliver educational programs in partnership with the offices on campuses that provide pedagogical development opportunities for faculty members (Centers for Teaching and Learning, Teaching Excellence, etc.). Creating a faculty development program that is a collaboration between INTO’s Centers, center instructors, university faculty and universities’ Centers for Teaching and Learning addresses a significant need on partner campuses and adds to INTO’s reputation as an innovative leader in the area of international student recruitment and education. In addition, this program would raise the visibility of INTO Centers on partner campuses and further integrate them into the core of their universities. It also reinforces the practical value of attendance at future partner conferences. For university partners, such a program could help to address an important issue using existing resources at little to no additional cost. One initial step will be to ask attendees what is currently happening on their campuses with respect to faculty development. It would be helpful if attendees would review resources on their campuses before the conference so that they can share resources at the meeting. The panelists also seek to gauge the interest of center and academic directors on this topic and if they find sufficient interest, they can work together to develop a fuller proposal that will be presented to INTO and at least 2-3 partners universities interested in piloting the project. The group will explore convening a meeting of center leads and the Directors of Centers for Teaching and Learning on the pilot campuses and ask them to develop a flexible curriculum that could be easily adapted to the needs and culture of each campus.