By Carolyn Shaw, Associate Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management
Goal 9 Increase international undergraduate enrollment
We have seen an increase in the number of international students enrolled in classes
at WSU in recent years. Much of this growth is due to online offerings for non-degree
bound students that do not require the student to get a US visa (yellow line below).
Our new (green line) and returning (grey line) international student numbers are
declining based on pandemic realities. International education fairs as well as TOEFL
and other testing services were cancelled in many locations abroad. This and travel
bans have made it harder to connect with prospective students, and for them to complete
the requirements necessary to secure student visas.
WSU continues to explore new markets to recruit international students, however. Staff
and students in the international office exchange more than 40,000 emails annually
to answer questions for individual prospective students and walk them through the
legal processes to obtain a visa.
Recruitment and Retention Tips:
Consider attending the international student orientation to welcome these students
to campus or hosting a welcome event in your own office/department for those international
students in your program.
Offering additional online courses may help international students who are unable
to travel to the US in upcoming terms due to travel restrictions.
SEM Shout Outs:
To all the departmental transfer credit evaluators who provide a quick turn around
on the transfer credit requests.
To Fai Tai, Jessa Roberts, Jingdi Zhang, and Sam Eastes, International Education Marketing
Team, for attending numerous virtual educational fairs, working closely with approximately
800 agents to spread the word about WSU, keeping prospective students engaged using
Zoom, social media, and other online tools.
To Ann Burger, International Education, for attracting high achieving BECAL scholarship
recipients from Paraguay, conducting numerous Study Abroad Information Webinars and
Study Abroad counseling sessions, and actively encouraging our exchange partners to
send more students to WSU.
To Michelle Barger, International Education, for communicating with and admitting
584 badge students for Fall 2020 – our largest enrollment of international badge students
to date, and for tracking and awarding scholarships to new admits to boost Intensive
English and international undergraduate enrollment.