From October 25-26, as part of a recently formed collaborative working group, I attended the Institute of International Education (IIE) PEER – American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) workshop entitled “Best Practices in Admitting Vulnerable Student Populations to U.S. Campuses.” The workshop was held in New York city, and was well attended by peers and colleagues representing U.S. higher education, credential evaluation organizations, and other nonprofit groups. The workshop was held at IIE’s office in Midtown Manhattan and offered wonderful views of the East River and United Nations Headquarters.
ECE is honored to be part of this collaborative effort, put together by AACRAO and IIE PEER, and has been involved with the working group that is developing a paper and toolkit to assist colleges and universities throughout the U.S. The paper and toolkit will offer guidelines with regard to admitting refugees and other vulnerable populations to higher education. Various perspectives and case studies will come from institutions, students, scholarship initiatives, other initiatives that are serving vulnerable populations, and of course, credential evaluation organizations.
The working group meeting held on Thursday, October 25 offered a valuable chance for all of us to collaborate in the same room, rather than just via teleconference. The afternoon led to group discussions on our areas of expertise and allowed ample time for us to contribute ideas to each other’s group work thus far.
The workshop held on Friday, October 26 included other colleagues not necessarily part of the working group, but who have an interest in learning about admission and visa issues for refugees and others. The breakout sessions for the workshop were quite engaging and allowed for the exchange of many creative ideas and thoughts. There were plenty of networking opportunities and I’ll add that the food was outstanding!
Moving forward, the working group hopes to have their sections of the paper completed and submitted to AACRAO and IIE PEER by early 2019. We at ECE look forward to the completed paper and toolkit and know it will be another important contribution to helping set guidelines and best practices for colleges and universities throughout the U.S. We feel privileged to be working with so many of our esteemed colleagues on this important paper. As a result of this collaborative group setting, vulnerable populations across the globe will benefit. The work will shed light on the issues and offer guidance for higher education institutions who will ultimately be helping international students most in need.
Zachary Holochwost is a Research & Knowledge Management Evaluator and has been with ECE since 2006. He also oversees ECE’s philanthropic initiative as ECE® Aid Administrator.