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Sinclair College

Mobility Subcommittee

Purpose:To explore the issues of:

  1. international students studying at Sinclair, including trends, geographical distribution, integration into campus life, and strategies to facilitate American students interacting and learning from International students and vice versa; and
  2. study abroad, including study abroad opportunities for Sinclair students, trends, policies and financing.

Members and Invited Guests:Members: Erica Mersfelder, Furaha Henry-Jones, Charles Richardson, Vandana Rola, Bruce Clayton, Sandy Specht, Meng Riddle (co-chair), Deborah Gavlik (co-chair). Invited guests: Tristan Chaput, Paul Carbnonaro, Maria Metcalf, Monika Daubnerova, Alicia Schroeder, Matt Massie, Marquez Young, Brandon Davis, Annette Koronoski, Yolanda Burgos-Olinger, Sarah Finch, Rocky Belcher, Kathy Rowell, Heather Johnson-Taylor, DeAnn Hurtado, and Lalitha Locker

Past Meeting Dates and Topics:

Mobility Subcommittee past meetings schedule based on topics
Date Topics
February 7, 2020 International Students: Recruitment, Enrollment, Enrollment trends; Geographical Distribution, Countries of Origin
February 28, 2020 International Students: Programs and Services, Integration into Campus Life
April 17, 2020 International Students: Strategies to Facilitate Domestic Students Interacting and Learning from International Students and Vice Versa


Future Meeting Dates and Topics:

Mobility Subcommittee upcoming meetings schedule based on topics
Date Topics
July 7, 2020 Study Abroad: Opportunities for Education Abroad, Trends, Student Participation
TBD Study Abroad: Administrative Policies and Measuring Impact
TBD Study Abroad: Financing Study Abroad


Findings/Observations to Date:

  • General findings, see Appendix A, international students annual report (enrollment, retention, completion, geographic distribution).
  • Lower cost of community college may be perceived as “lower quality” by some international students.
  • Competition for international students is growing:
    • Within the U.S. there is competition from West and East Coast community colleges, which often have more developed international programs;
    • Internationally, there is competition from Canada, Australia, China, the U.K., and other countries
  • International student engagement: There is a moderate level of international student engagement on campus with activities during International Education Week and Welcome Week, intramural sports, multifaith activities, and “hanging out” in the International Education office.
  • Support services: program and support services exist to help international students succeed at Sinclair. These include the Tutoring and Writing Center, Academic Advising, on-campus job opportunities, new student orientation, International Education Office, Intramural sports, and workshops for international students.
  • Certain faculty are tapping international students’ knowledge on issues related to their home countries and have drawn on their international students’ knowledge on topics such as malaria, SARS, fermentation, and business practices.
  • Certain Sinclair professors have been able partner their students with ESL students; domestic students have been asked to gather information from international students and then give presentations to share what they have learned.
  • Curriculum is key; we won’t get the outcomes we desire unless international learnings and interactions between domestic and international students are embedded in the curriculum; otherwise it’s too hit and miss.

Data Needed:

  • Number of applications started, completed, and enrollment rates (in process).
  • Survey of international students to ask about: biggest benefit to studying at Sinclair, best experience/s, biggest challenge/s, classroom experience, experience with living arrangements and transportation, interactions with professors, academic advisors and classmates; organizations at Sinclair with which they are engaging and how and in what activities they wish to be involved.
  • Nice to have: completion rates of international students by program.

Preliminary Recommendations:

International Student Recruitment and Enrollment:

  • Find out what attracts international students to Sinclair (on the application).
  • Use international faculty to help recruit students by posting information about Sinclair on social media and perhaps in their native language.
  • Provide more scholarship opportunities to international students prior to enrollment at Sinclair to incentivize students to enroll here.
  • Make improvements to the International Education webpage.
  • Do more online/social media promotion of Sinclair internationally.
  • Consider recruiting students from the following countries: China, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Jamaica, India, Georgia, Ghana, Togo, Vietnam, Benin, Nigeria and Eastern Europe.
  • Consider recruiting students to these fields of study: Aviation, Biotechnology, Hospitality and Tourism, Advanced Manufacturing, Nursing, Health Sciences, Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

Improving the International Student Experience:

  • Connect existing student-led clubs with international students.
  • Examine whether to revive the iBuddy (international Buddy) program.
  • Increase efforts to involve non-F-1 students (immigrants, refugees) in on-campus activities.
  • Provide targeted advising for international students.
  • Make more transfer options to universities visible for international students.
  • Deliver self-advocacy training and assertiveness training to international and immigrant students.
  • Online format – encourage instructors to use videos whenever possible to improve the learning experience of international students, who may want to view videos several times.
  • For group assignments, encourage instructors to group international students with domestic students to enhance learning for both groups.
  • Encourage service learning for international and domestic students.
  • Encourage conversation groups, friendship clubs for international and domestic students.

Facilitating Global Understanding for Domestic Students

  • Encourage instructors to give extra credit for attending international events/talks on campus.
  • Encourage faculty to give assignments in which domestic students must gather information from international students and report on what they learned; partner with Welcome Dayton and provide opportunities for domestic students to interview foreign-born individuals in the Dayton community.
  • Encourage sharing of holidays with immigrant communities and foster “food connections.”
  • Increase COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) so that more Sinclair students learn to interact collaboratively with students in other countries.
  • During COVID – 19, encourage faculty to facilitate more discussion and interactions with international students through break out rooms to foster greater global understanding for both groups of students.
  • Encourage more cultural events and activities such as “speed date a language,” and international events featuring food, culture, art and music.
  • Encourage more maps around campus showing the home countries of international students.
  • Make use of current events to serve as a trigger to investigate global issues.
  • Organize “immigrant experience,” “walk in their shoes” events for faculty and staff to help them better understand the experiences of international and immigrant students.
  • Tie international events and talks to curriculum.