International Education Committee
The International Education Committee held a meeting in September to prepare for our annual screening of Fulbright student applicants and interviews and mentoring of Rhodes Scholar applicants. We also made a few changes in the revisions for the Faculty Senate bylaws section regarding the International Education Committee that have been submitted to the bylaws committee. In addition, we discussed a plan for increasing awareness about international experience opportunities and services available to students, and increasing the number of student applicants.
Although The University of Tennessee, Knoxville has a high success rate when students apply for awards for experiences abroad, we have a relatively low number of students who seek out such experiences. Students receive excellent support from faculty members. Well developed orientation, mentoring, and other services are provided by the Center for International Education, and the Faculty Senate's International Education Committee members. However, the committee believes that we do not identify and encourage an appropriate number of eligible and interested students to begin preparing for the process early enough. For example, the University of Montana has the 5th highest number of students from public institutions in the U.S. who receive Fulbright awards. They identify Freshmen students and begin a program of support that continues through the Senior year when students apply for this award.
In an effort to increase the number of students from UTK who benefit from Fulbright, Rhodes, Marshall and other international awards, the International Education Committee is planning to implement additional procedures to increase the number of students identified early in their programs on campus. We intend to develop a form for use by faculty across the university and within advising centers. These forms will be used to nominate students as potential applicants for these types of awards. The forms will briefly describe experiences abroad, the types of support that the Center for International Education and the International Education Committee can provide students. A part of the form will be given the nominated student by the faculty member so that they will have the information they need to seek services on campus. Another part of the form will be returned to the Center for International Education so that staff can contact these students directly. As always, any self identified student intending to apply for such an award will have the same services available. These services include consulting and information, workshops for exploring options and developing proposals, mentoring during the application process, screening and interviewing as appropriate and/or mandated by the application process for a given award.