In recent years, studies have examined the connection between high impact activities -- such as education abroad -- and academic success. For students from racial and ethnic minorities, first generation college students, and other groups traditionally under represented in the education abroad population, this connection can be particularly impactful. This webinar will begin with an examination of recent research on the relationship between education abroad and academic success. Then, two case studies will be discussed. At the University of Maryland, the inclusion of Education Abroad has been a key component of the roadmap to success for black and latino males enrolled in the College Success Scholars Program. For students at the University of San Diego, the Center for Student Success collaborates with the International Studies Abroad Office to offer the Second Year Experience, which includes education abroad as a key component.
- Increase understanding of the relationship between academic success and education abroad.
- Explore ways to build cross-departmental connections to promote international experiences and academic success.
- Learn about innovative programming models that prioritize education abroad as a key factor impacting student academic success.
Dr. Heather Barclay-Hamir - President & CEO, IFSA-Butler
A career international educator, Heather has led efforts to expand study abroad participation at three universities and now leads the Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University. She has participated in various national boards committed to enhancing quality and participation in international education. Currently, she serves on the Forum Council of the Forum on Education Abroad, the Board of Directors of the Fund for Education Abroad, and Diversity Abroad’s Advisory Council. She is an active contributor to national discussions on access and equity in education abroad, including numerous national and international presentations on the topic.
While at the University of Texas at Austin, the institution rose from seventh to second in the nation for the number of study abroad participants, with 2,800 students abroad. UT Austin received both NAFSA’s Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award and Diversity Abroad’s Excellence in Diversifying International Education (EDIE) Institutional Award in 2014 as a result of broad-based initiatives and partnerships that significantly improved participation rates among a variety of underrepresented groups. Under her leadership, UT Austin also implemented one of the first programs in the nation to pilot study abroad programming as a retention strategy.
Heather received her PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she completed research on the correlation between study abroad, retention, and degree completion. She also holds an MS and MA from Oregon State University and a BA from Pomona College.
Dr. Christopher Lester - Director, Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education at University of Maryland
Dr. Christopher Lester is a motivational speaker, presenter, mediation conflict resolution specialist, and consultant on human development, multicultural organizational development, cross cultural competencies, oppression theory, diversity transformation and youth empowerment issues. Dr. Lester's lectures and workshops address important social issues related to race, gender, ability, class and religion. His research interests include looking at issues of equity in education, the roles of diversity and oppression in organizations and school settings, and the impact of race on educational outcomes.
Dr. Lester has traveled extensively throughout the United States and works with a variety of organizations and educational institutions on issues of personal and diversity transformation, cross cultural competencies, youth leadership and empowerment, multicultural organizational development and human development. Dr. Lester is the Director of the Office of Multi-ethnic Student Education, at the University of Maryland and President, CEO and founder of the National Educational Empowerment Summit, Inc. He has committed his life to helping others realize their fullest potential and recognize the ability to create empowering environments for all individuals.
Dr. Kira Espiritu - Director, International Studies Abroad at University of San Diego
Kira Espiritu is Director of International Studies Abroad at University of San Diego. Espiritu has held administrative positions at USD’s School of Business Administration as well as the University of California at San Diego. Espiritu’s dissertation examined the development of campus internationalization initiatives from policy to practice. Currently, Espiritu is evaluating the effectiveness of an international experience for sophomore students and its affect on retention. She holds a M.A and a doctorate in leadership studies from USD.