International education is constantly evolving, and those who work in international admissions often find it difficult to keep up with best practice when it comes to admitting international students on their campuses. Annually, AACRAO International hosts two intensive workshops to help them face these changes. One of them is Summer Institute for International Admissions, which is a five-day intensive training that trains participants on what key elements to look out for on international student records. Group work is the main focus of the training and allows admission officers, registrars, and evaluators to work with sample documents. Participants leave the training with hands-on practice and a new network of colleagues whom they can share ideas and concerns with.
For the second year in a row, the institute was held at the Hyatt Centric in Arlington Virginia on July 16-20, 2018. There were over 50 participants in attendance from institutions near and far. One participant traveled from as far as Qatar. The varying experience levels of this particular group didn’t pose as a challenge when it came to group activities.
“It was great to see the groups work together to solve problems, and also fun seeing how much they learned throughout the week.” said Staci Bernhard, Summer Institute faculty member.
When asked what aspect of the training was most beneficial, one participant said “I appreciated looking at the documents and talking about them as a group to see what key components to look for.”
Robert Watkins, a faculty member from The University of Texas at Austin agreed that this group was clearly eager to learn. “I was most impressed with the exercise in which tables collaborated to answer questions about the Credentials for Discussion," he said. "Clearly this group absorbed the lectures on country systems nicely and reported back with keen insights”. At the end of the week, each participant left the training feeling more confident.
The wealth of knowledge from the expert led faculty was in part a reason why the training was so beneficial.
“The presenters are the preeminent resource in the field!" said one participant. "The smooth transition between all of them, topic to topic, just shows their level of professionalism and expertise.”
During the group work portion of each day, the instructors walked around the room facilitating discussions between the members at each table. The Ask the Credential Doctor session offered an opportunity for participants to bring specific questionable documents or cases for the faculty to look at and answer. Overall, Summer Institute for International Admissions is by far one of the most valuable and comprehensive trainings on International Admissions you will find.
If you missed out on your opportunity to attend Summer Institute, AACRAO will host a 2-Day Intensive: Foreign Credential Evaluation Workshop in Washington DC on November 10 & 11, 2018. The next Winter Institute for International Transfer Credit will be held in Arlington, Virginia on February 4-7, 2019. Additional information about various AACRAO trainings related to international admissions and credential evaluation can be found here.