Tag Archives: United States

What is the Future of International Students in the U.S.?

December 30th, 2017

StudyinUSA

This time last year, I wrote a blog about the benefits of international students in the U.S. and it goes without saying that the message still holds true as it did then.

In another blog we wrote this past August, we offered the reasons why international students are good for the U.S. Without repeating the message of the blog, we can all agree that besides the financial benefits derived from having international students in the U.S., not just for the tuition and fees, but the economic impact they have on the community through their buying power, there are also invaluable scientific innovation and technological improvements introduced by these students as well significant social and cultural contributions. Unfortunately, these positive attributes are not being voiced or shared by those in office today.

2017 has been a remarkable and tumultuous year on many fronts. While our country waded through a bruising presidential election, those of us in international education quickly found ourselves faced with uncertainty.  The travel ban, stricter visa requirements and rising anti-immigrant sentiments placed our schools, universities and educational service providers in a precarious position. Our universities quickly spurred into action with messages of “You are welcome,” and our towns and cities offered themselves as sanctuaries for those suddenly finding themselves criminalized or thought of as the “other.”

While the current administration in the U.S. taking a more nativist stand suspecting anyone “foreign,” countries like Canada and Australia have amplified their message of openness and hospitality and attracting record number of international students.

Last month, at the international conference held at the University of California, Berkeley in the U.S. at the panel session on Asia in the New Nationalism and Universities, these very issues were raised and discussed. As stated by moderator Marijk van der Wende, professor of higher education at Utrecht University’s faculty of law, economics and governance in the Netherlands: “The recent geopolitical events such as Brexit and US turning its back on multilateral trade and cooperation, create waves of uncertainty in higher education regarding international cooperation, the free movement of students, academics, scientific knowledge and ideas.”

We are beginning to see countries that were once exporters of students to study abroad are now restructuring themselves to be the receivers of international students. China, for example, is seriously considering to step into the fray by strengthening its universities and bolstering its program offering and research facilities so it too can fill the void and position itself as an attractive alternative destination for study abroad.

India, another giant in the number of students it sends abroad for study, is also looking at positioning itself just like its neighbor China, as a country for international students seeking higher education. In fact, just recently, it was announced that a total of 100 of India’s top universities and colleges are vying to be named ‘institutions of eminence’ as part of the country’s higher education reforms to upgrade a select number of institutions into ‘world-class’ universities within the next 10 years. This will ensure that these top ranking “institutions of eminence” will have autonomy–without involvement from the University Grants Council (UGC)–to select faculty, administrators, design and development of curriculum and academic programs to be on a par with international higher education standards.

The jockeying for being number one in international higher education also means that some countries are considering to radically change the structures of their degree programs to appeal to international students looking for a less expensive and faster track to a degree. One example is the UK, which has held the top position in enrollment numbers of international students. The numbers, however, have dropped because of the recent Brexit vote and its strong nationalistic message. However, there is talk in the UK to reduce and compress its three-year Bachelor’s degree into two years in hopes to make the degree more affordable. An international student looking to study abroad where money is an issue may find the two-year intensive bachelor’s degree from the UK more palatable than its four-year counterpart in the U.S. or Canada.

At this time, it is difficult to gauge exactly how much of a negative impact the U.S. anti-globalism and anti-immigration sentiments will have on the number of international students seeking higher education in the U.S. There are already reports that the number are on the decline. Most likely, we will see the impact in 2018. In the meantime, knowing what actions and steps other players in the field have undertaken or considering and looking for ways institutions can restructure and enhance their programs, as well as recruitment and retention practices, is crucial if universities in the U.S. wish to remain competitive and relevant in the next 10 years. Of course, it will also help if there is a friendlier administration in office that views our universities as an important fabric of U.S. culture, and sees international students as assets and not liability.

As cliché as it is, we are navigating uncharted waters. As professionals in the field of international education, I thank you for your continued commitment and all that you do to deliver on our shared purpose for keeping international education vital and an integral part of our existence both as citizens of this great country but of the globe. It is because of you, and because we know we can do so much more, that I have such great confidence in the future. Despite what challenges may lie ahead, I remain hopeful and ask you to do the same but do not become complacent, become an advocate for higher education and let your voice be heard on your campus and in the halls of Congress. Contact your representatives daily, write blogs, send letters to editors of your local newspapers, hold townhall meetings with members of your communities, speak with your neighbors, and share with them the myriad of success stories of international students at your institutions and highlight their accomplishments and achievements. Stay proactive and engaged!

In closing, from the entire crew at ACEI, we wish you season’s greetings and a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year!

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Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert is the President and CEO of the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI).

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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7 Reasons why International Students are good for the U.S.?

July 27th, 2017

world

According to the latest analysis from NAFSA, during the 2015-2016 academic year, 1,043,839 international students were studying at U.S. colleges and universities. In January 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order temporarily blocking entry to the U.S. by visa holders from seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa and indefinitely suspending the entry of Syrian refugees. In his article “Beyond Justification,” for NAFSA’s International Educator July/August 2017 edition, David Tobenkin provides a strong case on the importance of international education and the contributions of international students to the U.S. He also lays out a road map for international education professionals to use in order to convey and deliver the importance of this message.

Using Tobenkin’s report, here are 7 reasons why international students are important for the U.S.:

  1. Amount contributed to U.S. economic 2015-2016: nearly $33 billion
  2. Number of jobs created and supported: more than 400,000 U.S. jobs (this means that for every 7 internationals students, 3 jobs were created)
  3. They help drive scientific innovation which help advance technological improvement maintaining U.S. productivity and its competitive edge in the global economy
  4. ¼ of the founders of the $1billion U.S. startup companies first came to the U.S. as international students
  5. 40% of the Nobel Prizes won by Americans in medicine, physics, and chemistry since 2000 were awarded to immigrants.
  6. Out of the 6 American winners of the Nobel Prizes in economics and scientific files in 2016, all were immigrants.
  7. International students make significant contributions to our communities both economically and culturally.

It the travel ban becomes permanent, it will perpetuate the anti-immigrant sentiment that will drive international students away from the U.S. and to other more immigrant friendly countries, such as Canada and Australia. The ban is also a deterrent to students who are not from the list of countries blacklisted but may still see it as unwelcoming. A report from College Factual, a higher education research firm, which Tobenkin cites in this article, states that a permanent travel ban means “the loss of nearly 16,000 students annually from the seven countries” which “translate into U.S. colleges and universities losing as much as $700 million in revenue per year.” This is a significant loss and it will not only impact the institutions with a historic track record of receiving international students, hurt the communities benefiting from them but tarnish the reputation of the U.S. as a leading force in scientific and technological innovation.

At ACEI, we see the importance of international students as the hallmark of America’s greatness and we strive to maintain this reputation by assisting U.S. colleges and universities with our research and credential evaluation services that help enhance their reputation and competitive recruiting effectiveness. To learn more about ACEI and its services such as Credential Evaluation, Translation, Webinars and Training, and how we can assist you with your credential evaluation and recruitment needs, please visit www.acei-global.org or call us at 310.275.3530.

Sources:

NAFSA International Student Economic Value

NAFSA International Educator “Beyond Justification, How to Convey the Importance of International Higher Education” 

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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Do you work with SEVIS? Are you confused by new regulations or changes? We can help!

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The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a web-based system used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  SEVIS maintains information on Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools, international F-1 and M-1 students to attending those schools, U.S. Department of State-designated Exchange Visitor Program sponsors, and J-1 visa Exchange Visitor Program participants.

Because SEVIS is a tool used to protect national security, and it supports the legal entry of more than one million F, M and J nonimmigrants to the United States for education and cultural exchange, SEVIS can also be very confusing. The ever-changing regulations for student statuses in the current administration can make it very difficult to stay up-to-date with the changes.

Our webinar on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 will provide updates and information about these changes in regulations as we have immigration experts on hand to answer your questions. Join us Tuesday, June 20, for ACEI SEVIS Regulations Webinar.

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Do you know what to do if a student’s status changes? According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), schools use SEVIS to petition SEVP for certification, which allows the school to offer programs of study to nonimmigrant students. SEVIS also provides a mechanism for student and exchange visitor status violators to be identified so that appropriate enforcement is taken regarding deportation or university admission

Designated school officials of SEVP-certified schools use SEVIS to:

•  Update school information and to apply for recertification of the school for continued ability to issue Forms I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” to nonimmigrant students and their dependents, the status of the student is very crucial to their admission to the university and the U.S.

•  Issue Forms I-20 to specific nonimmigrants to obtain F or M status while enrolled at the school

•  Fulfill the school’s legal reporting responsibility regarding student addresses, courses of study, enrollment, employment and compliance with the terms of the student status

•  Transfer the student SEVIS records to other institutions

Exchange Visitor programs use SEVIS to petition the Department of State for designation that allows the sponsor to offer educational and cultural exchange programs to exchange visitors. Responsible officers of designated Exchange Visitor programs use SEVIS to:

•  Update sponsor information and apply for re-designation every two years

•  Issue Forms DS-2019, “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status,” to specific individuals to obtain J status

•  Fulfill the sponsor’s legal reporting responsibility regarding exchange visitor addresses, sites of activity, program participation, employment and compliance with the terms of the J status

•  Transfer exchange visitor SEVIS records to other institutions.

Records of nonimmigrant admissions and continued participation in educational programs are maintained in SEVIS. Are you staying up-to-date on the kind of information and data needs to be included in SEVIS?    

As it is in ICE’s mission for accurate record keeping, SEVIS tracks and monitors non-immigrant students and exchange visitors, however, it can be confusing. If accepted by an SEVP-certified school, foreign students may be admitted to the United States with the appropriate F or M nonimmigrant status. F-1 nonimmigrants are foreign students coming to the United States to pursue a full course of academic study in SEVP-approved schools. An F-2 nonimmigrant is a foreign national who is the spouse or qualifying child of an F-1 student. M-1 nonimmigrants are foreign nationals pursuing a full course of study at an SEVP-approved vocational or other recognized non-academic institution (other than in language training programs) in the United States. An M-2 nonimmigrant is a foreign national who is the spouse or qualifying child of an M-1 student.

Are you aware of new regulations? Department of Homeland Security published a new rule for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Optional Practical Training (OPT) Extension in 2016.

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You can click on this link to register for our June 20th webinar and learn about the new regulations:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-administration-new-regulations-what-now-we-have-the-answers-tickets-35249512240

SEVIS also ensures universities to provide proper reporting, data currency, integrity, and record keeping by schools and exchange visitor programs. Our Webinar helps make sense of the new regulations and rules

Resource:https://www.ice.gov/sevis/factsheets 

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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25 Facts on the United States Department of Education

October 22nd, 2015

education

The Presidential candidates running for 2016 elections from both parties continue to offer statements that lend themselves to material for our blog. This week we’ll concentrate on a statement made by Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, who in an interview on October 18, 2015 on “Fox news Sunday,” said he would eliminate the Department of Education if he becomes President.

Here’s what Trump said: “No, I’m not cutting services, but I’m cutting spending. But I may cut Department of Education. I believe Common Core is a very bad thing. I believe that we should be — you know, educating our children from Iowa, from New Hampshire, from South Carolina, from California, from New York. I think that it should be local education…so the Department of Education is one.”

In light of the above, we thought we turn the spotlight on the Department of Education and share with you a few facts about its history, function, and how it spends allocated funds.

1. The United States has no federal Ministry of Education or other centralized authority exercising single national control over postsecondary educational institutions in this country.

2. The U.S. Department of Education is referred to as ED, DoED, or as the ED for (the) Education.

3. The Department of Education is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government. It assists the president in executing his education policies for the nation and in implementing laws enacted by Congress.

4. The current Secretary of Education is Arne Duncan who recently announced that he will be resigning from his position in December 2015 and in his stead, John King will serve as Acting Secretary.

5. The U.S. Department of Education is the agency of the federal government that establishes policy for, administers and coordinates most federal assistance to education.

6. The Department’s mission is to “serve America’s students-to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.”

7. Unlike the systems of most other countries, education in the U.S. is highly decentralized, and the federal government and Department of Education are not involved in determining curricular or educational standards (with the exception of the recent No Child Left Behind Act).

8. According to the USDE: “Education is primarily a State and local responsibility in the United States. It is States and communities, as well as public and private organizations of all kinds, that establish schools and colleges, develop curricula, and determine requirements for enrollment and graduation.”

9. The U.S. Department of Education has no direct public jurisdictional control over quality of educational institutions and their degrees which is maintained through an informal private process known as accreditation.

10. The original Department of Education was created in 1867, when President Andrew Johnson signed it into legislation. The main purpose of the Department of Education was to collect information on schools and teaching that would help the States establish effective school systems.

11. In the 1860s, a budget of $15,000 and four employees handled education fact-finding.

12. In 1868, the new Department was demoted to an Office of Education due to concerns that the Department would exercise too much control over local schools. Congress created the Department in 1979.

13. The passage of the Second Morrill Act in 1890 gave the then-named Office of Education responsibility for administering support for the original system of land-grant colleges and universities.

14. Vocational education became the next major area of Federal aid to schools, with the 1917 Smith-Hughes Act and the 1946 George-Barden Act, focus was directed to vocational education by dedicating Federal aid to agricultural, industrial, and home economics training for high school students.

15. The Lanham Act in 1941 and the Impact Aid laws of 1950 allowed for Federal aid to be directed toward education by making payments to school districts and easing the burden on communities affected by the presence of military and other Federal installations.

16. In 1944, the “GI Bill” authorized postsecondary education assistance that would ultimately send nearly 8 million World War II veterans to college.

17. The Cold War set the stage for the first example of comprehensive Federal education legislation, when in 1958 Congress passed the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik. The NDEA included support for loans to college students, the improvement of science, mathematics, and foreign language instruction in elementary and secondary schools, graduate fellowships, foreign language and area studies, and vocational-technical training. The goal was to help ensure that highly trained individuals would be available to help America compete with the Soviet Union in scientific and technical fields

18. The passage of laws such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which prohibited discrimination based on race, sex, and disability, respectively made civil rights enforcement a fundamental and long-lasting focus of the Department of Education.

19. In 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act launched a comprehensive set of programs, including the Title I program of Federal aid to disadvantaged children to address the problems of poor urban and rural areas. And in that same year, the Higher Education Act authorized assistance for postsecondary education, including financial aid programs for needy college students.

20. By 1965, the Office of Education had more than 2,100 employees and a budget of $1.5 billion.

21. Congress created the Department in 1979.

22. The Department has the smallest staff of the 15 Cabinet agencies, even though its discretionary budget alone is the third largest, behind only the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services.

23. The Department makes over $120 billion in new loans annually.

24. As of mid-2010, the Department has nearly 4,300 employees and a budget of about $60 billion.

25. The Department limits administrative costs to approximately 2% of its discretionary budget and only about 1% of all grants and loans made by the Department. This means that ED delivers about 99 cents on the dollar in education assistance to States, school districts, postsecondary institutions, and students.

In our humble opinion, it doesn’t look like the ED has mismanaged its budget or is spending allocated funds frivolously. The Department delivers 99 cents on the dollar in education assistance to States and their schools districts and students. So, why is Donald Trump targeting the Department of Education and threatening to cut its spending?

SOURCES:
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Data from the Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey for the 2007-08 school year; the 2007-08 Private School Universe Survey; and the 2007-08 National Postsecondary Aid Study. For the most current data visit http://nces.ed.gov.

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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20 Facts on the Origins of the U.S. Department of Education and its former Foreign Credential Evaluation Service (FCES)

August 5th, 2015

usaedu

Unlike many countries in the world, the United States does not have a Ministry of Education, a centralized government body that oversees the country’s education system beginning with pre-school to doctoral level and professional education. The federal or national government of the U.S. does not have authority over education at any level. The U.S. does have in place the Department of Education.

1. 1867 – President Andrew Johnson signed legislation creating the first Department of Education, a Cabinet-level agency, but concerns the Department would exercise too much control over local schools led to its demotion to an Office of Education [OE] in 1868.

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President Andrew Johnson

2. As early as 1867, OE staff was publishing information on educational systems of countries around the world covering topics intended for governmental agencies and professors of comparative education at U.S. universities.

3. 1940s – The Comparative Education Section (CES) of the Office of Education became responsible for keeping information on educational developments around the world.

4. CES was responsible for gathering research and preparing data on educational systems throughout the world and availed its findings through publications and responded to inquiries on educational systems and institutions.

5. Mid-1950’s – OE provided publications that offered information relevant for international credential evaluations.

6. 1919 – The first request to have a foreign-educated person’s credentials evaluated was received by CES serving as the impetus for the formation of the Foreign Credential Evaluation Service [FCES].

7. 1960 – FCES was processing about 5,000 requests for international credential evaluations.

8. 1965 – FCES was processing about 8,500 requests for international credential evaluations.

9. 1967 – FCES was processing about 14,000 requests for international credential evaluations.

10. 1969 – FCES was estimated to process between 17,000 to 20,000 requests for international credential evaluations.

11. Evaluation services provided by FCES were free of charge and available to U.S. secondary schools, universities and colleges, federal government agencies and state governments, private organizations, professional associations, employers and individuals needing to have international credentials evaluated.

12. Evaluation reports prepared by FCES confirmed the U.S. educational equivalence of a credential in the form of a one-page checklist and did not provide any further details on the program studied, coursework completed, units of credit and grade equivalences.

13. FCES was supported through funds diverted by the OE from its CES. The FCES did not receive funds through budget appropriations for its services.

14. 1963 – The Commissioner of Education requested a report from the Education and World Affairs [EWA], a private, nonprofit educational organization funded by the Carnegie Corporation and the Ford Foundation, on the role of the OE and its services to U.S. educational institutions.

15. 1964 – EWA submitted its report and recommended that CES needs to increase and bolster its research activities and eliminate the FCES.

16. 1966 – OE announced that FCES would be terminated by July 1, 1968.

17. June 30, 1970 – FCES was terminated and the CES was dissolved a few years after.

18. By the time the CES was dissolved in the late 1960’s, it had a staff of 25 of which six were specialists in comparative education, with six research assistant and thirteen clerical staff.

19. October 17, 1979 – Congress passed the Department of Education Act (Public Law 96-88) and President Jimmy Carter signed into law the conversion of the Education division of U.S. Department of Health, Education Welfare into the U.S. Department of Education (DoE). The DoE began operations in May 1980.

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President Jimmy Carter

20. May 16, 1980 – DoE started its operation.

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U.S. Secretary of Education, Arnie Duncan

Today, the US DoE’s official role is to set conditions for appropriation of federal funds for research, educational facilities, financial aid and education-related projects. The evaluation of international educational credentials is carried out by private credential evaluation agencies, educational institutions, state licensing boards, or professional associations.

Sources:
US Department of Education: http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/focus/what_pg2.html

Evaluating Foreign Educational Credentials in the United States: Perspectives on the History of the Profession, 2014, by James S. Frey, Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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10 Scary Facts on Education in the U.S.A.

October 30th, 2014

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Since its Halloween, we thought of scaring up some spooky facts about education in the U.S.

1. Thirty years ago, America was the leader in quantity and quality of high school diplomas. Today, it is ranked 18th out of 23 industrialized countries

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2. Since 1971, educational spending in the U.S. has grown from $4,300 to $9,000 per student. But, reading and math scores have gone downhill.

3. Among 30 developed countries, the U.S. is ranked 25th in math and 21st in sciences.

4. Every year, only 69% of American high school seniors earn their diploma.

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5. High school dropouts are 8 times more likely to go to prison.

6. 1.3 million U.S. high school students don’t graduate on time yearly. The States with highest rates (80-89%) are Wisconsin, Iowa, Vermont, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The States with lowest (less than 60%) are Nevada, New Mexico, Louisiana, Georgia and S. Carolina.

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7. Approximately 6 million students, grade 7 through 12, are struggling to read at grade-level. Among the highest, 70% of 8th graders read below the standard.

8. Teacher quality is one of the most significant factors related to student achievement. In the U.S., 14% of new teachers resign by the end of their first year, 33% leave within their first 3 years, and almost 50% leave by their 5th year.

9. Only 1 in 4 high school students graduate college-ready in the 4 core subjects of English, reading, math and science.

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10. Roughly half of the students who enter a 4-year school will receive a bachelor’s degree within 6 years.

Bonus Fact:

11. In the workplace, 85% of current jobs and 90% of new jobs require some or more college or post-secondary education.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

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5 Safety Tips for International Students on U.S. Campuses

August 1st, 2014

campus_safety

For many years I served as an advisor to international students and counseled them on selecting colleges that would best meet their academic, financial and social needs. Going to college is a major milestone and for international students and their parents, college in another country can be an even bigger transition. For parents of international students, the thought of sending their son and daughter to a country thousands of miles away is daunting, no matter what the benefits may be.

Unfortunately news of shootings on campus, and the recent fatal stabbing of a graduate student from China at a prominent university in California who was walking back to his dorm room after meeting with his study group have escalated concerns on the overall safety and security of students at U.S. institutions. Even though U.S. college officials have in place lots of campus safety measures, there a few steps parents and international students can take to ensure a safe college experience.

1. Check into safety statistics: A good place to start is the college’s website. Start by entering “Safety” in the search bar and hit enter and see what information is revealed. According to federal law, all U.S. colleges must disclose statistics on crimes such as rape, murder, robbery, and arson that occurred on their campus. If you are unable to find this information on the college’s website, go the Department of Education’s online Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool. http://ope.ed.gov/security/

2. Safety programs: Next, look to see what safety and precautionary recommendations the college provides. Some of these include late-night escort services that will deliver the student back to his/her as dorm room as well as and designated safe spots on campus to call for help during emergencies.

3. Research the surrounding area:

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With nearly 3000 colleges and universities in the United States, you are going to have a variety of institutions in locations just as varied, from small town college campuses in the Midwest to colleges in large metropolitan areas. One thing to do is look at the map of the U.S. and when selecting a college, find out more about the state and city its located in and do a quick study of its geography and even catch up on some local news by doing an internet search of the town. Ideally, a site visit by parents with their college-bound child would be the way to see at first hand not only the campus but the surrounding neighborhood.

4. Ask questions:

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If you can’t do the site visit, don’t hesitate to set up an appointment for a phone call or a Skype chat with the admissions and international student counselors at the colleges you’re considering and ask them about the safety measures on their campuses. You can also stop by the EducationUSA Office at the US Embassy in your country who will be able to offer you unbiased advice on questions you may have about the location of your college and any supporting information concerning the overall safety of the area.

5. Get to know your campus security:

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Once you have arrived and checked into your dorm room and registered in your classes, get to know all there is to know about the college campus. Attend any orientation programs offered and find out the location of the campus security. Learn the layout of campus by getting a map and familiarize yourself with the area. Invite your roommate or others in your orientation group to go on a campus exploration tour of your own and learn first hand where your classrooms will be and other important buildings and facilities.

Student safety is number one for all U.S. colleges and they work hard in making sure that their campuses are secure and safe. College should be a memorable experience both academically and socially and though you may quickly settle into your classes and dorm life and begin to feel comfortable, it is important to always be aware of your safety and security.

You will find a slew of websites on campus safety from different colleges on the Internet. Here are a few links to articles we thought you may find interesting and helpful.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/20/us/us-campuses-wrestle-with-safety-perceptions.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/international-student-counsel/2014/05/22/follow-security-tips-to-stay-safe-on-campus-as-an-international-student

http://www.internationalstudentguidetotheusa.com/articles/safety_usa.htm

Nora

Nora K. Saidi
Executive Director, ACEI
www.acei-global.org

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