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Increasing Study Abroad Access for All: A Community College Model


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Nearly half of all undergraduate students in the United States are enrolled in community colleges. These students are more likely to work full time, have limited financial resources, and be first-generation college students. This presentation will focus on increasing access to study abroad for community college students, with practical advice on setting up payment plans, scheduling, accessing foundation and scholarship funding, and other tips for helping community college students take advantage of the myriad benefits of study abroad.

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Increasing Study Abroad Access for All: A Community College Model

  2. 2. Increasing Study Abroad Access for All: A Community College Model Baltimore City Community College Granville T. Woods Honors Program Study Abroad Experience Nana K. Gyesie
  3. 3. Community Colleges • Are a vital part of the postsecondary education delivery system. – They serve almost 50% of undergraduate students in the US – Provide open access to postsecondary education, – Prepare students for transfer to 4-year institutions – Provide workforce development and skills training, – Offer noncredit programs-ESL, skills retraining or cultural activities
  4. 4. Community College-Enrollment Data
  5. 5. Urban Community Colleges • African Americans, Latinos, American Indians, and other minorities represent 34% of the national population; • they account for 27% of students at America’s 700 public baccalaureate institutions • 32% at all public community colleges • 54% at urban community colleges • On many of those inner-city campuses, the percentage of students from racial minorities is as high as 90%. Source: Myran, G. & Parsons , M . (2013) Overview: The Future of the Urban Community College
  6. 6. Baltimore City Community College • Founded in 1947 • State status Regionally accredited • Tuition – In state – Out of state • Seniors • Overall numbers • Locations • Diversity
  7. 7. About Our Students • Students are recruited through a variety of sources, including college and career fairs at area high schools, community events, and local agencies. • The student body composition is as follows: • 82 % are African American or black from other countries; • 9% percent are white, • 3 % are students with a Latino/Hispanic cultural background • 56 % African-American women comprise the single largest demographic subset, percent, • 26 % are African-American men. • ¾ of students are Baltimore City residents, and • 2/3 are studying part-time. • First-time entrants comprise 27 % of all students, but only 9% are recent high school graduates. • The 43% of students are in their twenties. • The median student age ranges from 26 to 31 years Source: Self-Study 2014 report
  8. 8. Financial Aid • 53% of students enrolled in the Fall 2014 getting aid • Approximately 63-64% of all students enrolled at BCCC get either get federal, state, institutional or outside financial assistance. • Students loans are unavailable at BCCC
  9. 9. The Granville T. Woods Scholars Program • Mission and Purpose of program. • Program Data – Admitted – Completion – Average GPA – Post BCCC • Selection Requirement – High School GPA – SAT scores – Accuplacer placement test scores – Extra-curricular, service learning – Interview – Writing sample – Letters of recommendation
  10. 10. Budget • Funding the program – Per student – Per semester – Annual
  11. 11. Program Components • Full Tuition • Books • Laptop • Honors Designated Classes • Majors • GTW Study Lounge • Mentors • Cultural Enrichment Activities • Study Abroad • Intrusive Advising
  12. 12. Granville T. Woods Scholars Program Core Values 1. Always show respect for others. 2. Be honest and earn the trust of others. 3. Bond with your cohort, work together (encourage success within the group). 4. Be accountable for your actions, decisions/choices and outcomes. 5. Always work hard to achieve personal and program goals. 6. Stay focused on learning as a high priority. 7. Be open to new ideas. 8. Always represent yourself, your family and the GTW program well. 9. Enjoy the entire undergraduate experience.
  13. 13. Study Abroad-The Process • First semester grades • Review several study abroad programs • Selecting chaperons • Commitment Forms • Study Abroad Dinner • Day of Travel • Arrival to country of Study Abroad
  14. 14. Components of Our Customized Programs • Housing • Meals • Transportation • Transcripts • Credits • Destination • Cost • Chaperons
  15. 15. Cost to Students • Passport • Some meals • Spending money • Shopping funds
  16. 16. The Chaperon • Tour Conductor • Interpreter • Academic Advisor • Representative of Home Institution • Cultural Advisor • Problem Solver • Liaison • Peacemaker • Protector
  17. 17. In Their Words… Pre-Departure/First Week Study Abroad • Leaving for Argentina I was so excited except for the fact I had to be away from my family and friends for a month. I love stepping outside my comfort zone, but this step was one of those I dread. I always travel away from my family, but never this long. As the day progress, the closer we got to Argentina, the more excited I felt, and the more nervous I did at the same time…aa • Hey you guys Argentina is beautiful. It took me a while to get used to it, and it's still taking me a while. I cried the first day we got there, I guess I miss everyone. The plane made it hard to sleep, my legs were sleeping on me and my neck was sore but the TV on the plane kept me occupied from the sleeping legs and sore neck. The hotel that we are saying in is beautiful except for the small beds…ds • Today was my first time getting on a airplane. We met at the school and then boarded the bus to the airport. Our flight was to board at 3:25 pm. I was surprised how smooth the security check went….sb • I've been really nervous about traveling. I think it's the flight that I'm most afraid of. It's just long, 10 hours. I'm excited mostly, though. Once I got to the school everyone was there. I really was upset for the folks that couldn't go because it's a huge opportunity. How dare I not go because I'm scared and it's folks who want to go, but for some reason or another can't go? Right now we're at the airport just waiting for the first plane….mi • Needless to say that I was very excited to leave Baltimore so that I can expand my horizons by getting to see other parts of the world and growing socially. Everything went by pretty smooth today from take- off to landing, and of course I had a couple cups of coffee on the plane while I read my books and talked with my neighbors.
  18. 18. In Their Words… Returning to Baltimore • It’s the last day of school, and I am ready to go home, but at the same time I want to stay in Argentina and make the best of it. If I had to chance to live in Argentina I would. After I learn the language and everything though. Argentina lifestyle reminded me of Trinidad so much that I am home sick, not for Baltimore though…aa • I had every intention on skipping school today. It was a part of my, Eat, Pray, Love theme. Skip school and • go see museums and interesting street walkers who would do whatever normal business they do during the day. I was going to maybe see a movie, buy some peanuts from a street vendor, maybe even just sit and write in the park. It’s a • beautiful park not far from here. I even had a buddy so I wasn’t totally breaking the rules just bending them a little. The smallest little bit. But honestly even though I ended up going to school it still would have been worth it had I not • gone…mi • I really enjoyed this day! Me and a few people from my cohort was able to attend a parade downtown and I seen so many different countries attending the national holiday. I had the opportunity to meet one of the news reporters and I remember me and a few of my cohort members shouted out something on the microphone. It had something to do with Argentina. The parade lasted about an hour in a half and it was very crowded. After it was over, we made a few store stops and we had lunch and then headed back to the apartment. Overall today was a very interesting day….mc
  19. 19. Thank You
  20. 20. INCREASING STUDY ABROAD ACCESS FOR ALL: A COMMUNITY COLLEGE MODEL Jeff Badger, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts Southern Maine Community College | South Portland, Maine
  21. 21. Enrolling community college students in study abroad programs presents a unique set of challenges.
  22. 22. Increasing access to study abroad for community college students requires unique approaches to: • COST • CULTURE • MARKETING
  23. 23. COST Community college students are: • Less likely to have discretionary income • More likely to have additional responsibilities
  24. 24. Help students raise their own funds. • Have a list of local and national scholarship funding sources • Build in fundraising activities to the program, like bakes sales. • Help students set up sites like • Fund-raising helps to build
  25. 25. Reduce large up-front costs. • Help students chip away at the cost with a payment plan • Introduce program as early as possible • Split the cost up over as many months as possible
  26. 26. Access scholarship and foundation funds. • Foundation funds • Unrestricted funds • New gifts/donors • Outside groups • Financial Aid for tuition
  27. 27. Time it right. Consider: • Student loan refund checks • Income tax refunds • Winter holidays
  28. 28. Be upfront with costs. Reveal all costs, including: • Tuition • Additional travel • Meals • Books • Incidentals
  29. 29. CULTURE • 40% are first generation college students • More likely to be “place-bound” • Little or no generational or personal travel experience
  30. 30. Invite parents to participate. • Discuss finances • Reinforce the benefits and value of study abroad. • Invite parents to info sessions • Put parents in touch with program
  31. 31. Make it count. • Get as many credits as possible for the program. • Make the credits count toward specific degree requirements - not just electives. • Target specific programs
  32. 32. Get it together. • Show confidence, organization, and prompt communication • Reduce the amount of independent responsibilities • Arrange group transport • Have passport application forms and information on hand
  33. 33. Time it right. • Community college students are more likely to have jobs and family responsibilities. • Stick to Spring Break, January Break, or Early Summer
  34. 34. MARKETIN G Community college students are often: • Less engaged with college activites outside of class • On campus for less time • More difficult to reach by standard methods
  35. 35. Get in their face. • Don’t rely on posters and email • Visit classes, majors and language • Give multiple chances, and lots of time • Take advantage of activities and student centers
  36. 36. Widen your net. Recruit from other colleges to: • Build connections between institutions • Encourage transfer • Boost your enrollment
  37. 37. Talk to your students! • Talk to students about their study abroad preferences • Target specific programs • Utilize surveys • Offer incentives for participation in surveys
  38. 38. Thank you! Questions or comments?