TESOL 2011: Designing and Implementing an Exit Course for Graduating International StudentsPresentation Transcript
Designing and Implementing an Exit Course for Graduating International Students Jean M. Richie Marquette University TESOL 2011—New Orleans, LA March 18, 2011 Belle Chase, Hilton Hotel 2-2:45pm
The Context & Mandate
Initial Planning for the Course
Modification of the Plan
Sample Materials from Two Workshops
Assessment of the Workshops
Marquette University is a private Jesuit university located in Milwaukee, WI.
We have a student body of approximately 8,000 undergraduate students and 3,500 graduate and professional studies students.
Of this total, 520 (4.5%) are international. 155 are undergraduates and 326 are graduate and professional studies students, coming from 67 countries.
To support international students, the Office of International Education (OIE) offers:
a pre-semester orientation for new international students and international TAs
5 advanced ESL academic bridge courses and ESL sections of Freshman English
cross-cultural and legal advising for all international students
cross-cultural programming events and opportunities through the OIE Program Center
OIE is a comprehensive international office. It also coordinates all formal academic study abroad programs, establishes partnerships with international institutions, and helps to internationalize the campus.
As part of our on-going needs assessment, in Spring 2010, we identified two times when international students need more support:
(1) when they first arrive at Marquette
(2) as they prepare to leave Marquette
To address this need, the two ESL lecturers were asked to design and implement 2 new courses to run in AY 2010-11:
a U.S. University Study Skills Course (1 credit, pass/fail)
an Exit Course for Graduating International Students (1 credit, pass/fail)
The ESL lecturers were chosen because they have expertise in curricular design, knowledge of the content, and teaching experience.
Initial Planning for the Course
In Spring-Summer 2010, I started planning this 1-credit course by:
(1) reviewing and gathering literature related to the proposed course
(2) searching for existing courses at other universities similar to the one proposed
(3) drafting a course syllabus and schedule
(4) locating and familiarizing myself with the university’s new course proposal policy, process, and timeline
Course Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:
identify and reflect on significant cross-cultural experiences that you have had in the U.S.
articulate competencies acquired during your academic experience at Marquette
carry out a culturally appropriate job search for a job in the U.S. and/or your country
write a resume and cover letter for a U.S. audience and/or an audience in your country
understand the characteristics of workplace culture and carry out an interview for a U.S. audience and/or an audience in your country
implement strategies to assist with the re-entry process when you return to your country
devise a personalized plan for maintaining and improving your language skills and cultural knowledge when you return to your country
Major Course Assignments
1. Studying & Living in the U.S. Autobiography 20%
2. Job Search Paper 10%
3. Cover Letter & Resume 20%
4. Mock Interview 20%
5. Re-Entry Process Paper 20%
6. Active Participation 10%
Modification of the Plan
Although we intended to run the two courses in AY 2010-11, we were unable to for the following reasons:
(1) In AY 2010-11 the ESL Program had the largest enrollment in our ESL courses in the last 10 years. (32% increase in # students over AY 09-10)
(2) Additional projects such as our library initiative were not completed in Spring 2010 and carried over into AY 2010-11.
(3) We hosted a Visiting Scholar from China for three months in Fall 2010.
(4) Our work for the university assessment initiative took a lot of time.
Given these extra demands, we decided not to run these courses this year. We did, however, offer two workshop series instead to pilot our materials & gather more information on our potential students.
The Workshop Series
Specifically, we devised a 5-part workshop series to run this spring. Each workshop is designed to be 1 ½ hours in length and takes place in the OIE Programming Center.
Please see the handout for a description of each workshop.
Description of Workshop #1
“ Discovering How Studying in the U.S. Has Changed You: Are You the
Same Person You Were?”
This workshop will focus on helping you to identify and reflect on the specific skills, qualities, values, and beliefs you have developed during your studies in the U.S. Particular emphasis will be placed on identifying and reflecting on significant cross cultural experiences and helping you understand what you have learned from them. During the workshop, you will also reflect on how your view of your home country and the world may have changed from your experience. The information covered in this workshop will not only help you discover how studying in the U.S. has changed you, but it will also help you feel comfortable with articulating your experience to your family, friends, and potential employers. Come prepared to share about and reflect on your experiences here in the U.S.
Facilitated by: Jean Richie, ESL Lecturer
Outline & Materials from Workshop #1
This workshop was designed to be a participatory, reflective workshop. Participants were encouraged to think about and share their own experiences and then learn from each other.
Welcome & Workshop Goals 3 min
Participant Introductions 5 min
Why Are You Here at Marquette and in the U.S.? 5-8 min
What Have You Gained from Studying and Living in the U.S.? 15 min
Cross-Cultural Experiences You’ve Had in the U.S. 15 min
U.S. Cultural Values & Understanding Your Own Values & Beliefs 15 min
Exploring How Your Views of the U.S., Your Home Country, & 15 min
the World Have Changed
H. Wrap-Up & Workshop Evaluation 10 min
Small group & reporting back
Description of Workshop #3
“ Putting Yourself on Paper: Cover Letter and Resume Writing?”
This workshop will focus on understanding and practicing the basics of cover letter and resume writing. Special emphasis will be placed on learning to write for a U.S. audience but advice will also be given on preparing cover letters and writing resumes for an audience in other countries. During the workshop, you will review sample “good” and “bad” resumes and cover letters and begin to prepare or revise your own resume and cover letter. If possible, bring a copy of your current resume and/or a copy of a cover letter that you have written to this session.
Facilitated by: Matt Meyers, Career Services Center
Elizabeth Rullo, Graduate Assistant, Business Career Center
Assisted by: Jean Richie, ESL Lecturer
Ellen Blauw, Assistant Director of OIE
Outline & Materials from Workshop #3
This workshop was designed to be informational as well as interactive. Participants were encouraged to bring and look at their own resumes and cover letters if they already had drafts.
Welcome & Workshop Goals 2 min
Participant Introductions 3 min
Resume Writing Information: Do’s & Don’ts 30 min
Analyzing Poor Sample Resumes in Small Groups 10 min
Cover Letter Writing Information 15 min
Writing Thank You Letters 5 min
H. Final Questions & Workshop Evaluation 10 min
Assessment of the Workshops
The students have indicated that the workshops have been useful and fit their needs. This is demonstrated by written evaluations and verbal feedback.
Although the number of participants has been fairly small (3-14 students) per workshop, all students have been interested and engaged during the sessions.
Most students have contacted the facilitators for additional one-on-one assistance.
All facilitators think the workshops are valuable and want to help with offering them again.
Putting together the workshops has strengthened the relationship between OIE, the Career Services Center, and the Business Career Center.
OIE is interested in seeing how this initiative can help them to remain in better contact with former and future international alumni and assist with their international recruitment.
Overall Conclusions: The workshops have been successful!
Next Steps: Workshops
Given the success of the workshops, we will offer them again next spring. Although we will use the same general workshop set-up, descriptions, and content, we will also make some changes:
We will use feedback from workshop participants, our own feedback from our planning sessions, and feedback from the participants surveys and possibly “focus groups” to revise the workshops as needed.
We will involve more alumni and employers in sessions when appropriate.
We will standardize our materials (e.g. PowerPoints, handouts, etc.)
We will expand the sessions to 2 hours and start on time.
We may involve other offices such as the Writing Center and Counseling Center.
We will try to increase the percentage of participants who complete the evaluation forms.
We will begin advertising the sessions earlier and have the OIE communications person assist with creating and disseminating information.
We will take photos and video record the sessions.
Next Steps: Online Materials
We will also likely create space online which features the content covered in the workshops. Some items that might be housed in this space include:
Handouts from the workshops and additional informational handouts
PowerPoint presentations from the workshops
Links to additional online resources
Information on relevant Marquette print and video resources and their locations
Pictures and video clips from the workshop sessions
Links to collaborating offices and other Marquette offices (e.g. Career Services Center, Business Career Center, Counseling Center, etc.)
These online materials would be particularly useful for international students who are unable to attend the workshops and for international alumni.
Next Steps: The Proposed Course
At this time, it seems unlikely that the proposed course will actually be run in the near future. This is due to the following reasons:
The ESL Program staff lacks the time and resources to run the course.
The workshops and online material will accomplish most of what the course would and for a potentially larger number of students.
Students like “free things” and realistically may not want to pay for this course.
More data needs to be collected after the workshops and online materials are firmly in place to determine if students really want to enroll in the course. If there is a desire for the course, appropriate staff needs to be identified to teach it.
Please visit http://www.marquette.edu/oie/eslptesol.shtml for electronic copies of the handouts and additional resources. Also, visit the TESOL SlideShare site at http://www.slideshare.net/ .
Please contact me at [email_address] if you would like to learn more about the workshops and the proposed course.