As the Education Abroad sphere shifts to overcome and adapt to the current travel restrictions due to COVID-19, there has been a greater emergence of virtual international programming. We have seen this in a variety of ways, including programs for any given term at an international institution virtually for credit, international internship placements for full or part time, and/or internships or classes concurrent with home university course work in order to gain additional credits or experience.
No international educators would deny the importance of Intensive English Program/English support courses to their international students on campus. However, it does not always compute well with higher education upper administration – especially when institutions pursue a business like management model.
IEPs in this still decreasing trend (IIE, 2020) have raised concerns that they may be the next candidates for the chopping block.
In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic and school closures that started in March have increased concerns. Under such pressures and unpredictable circumstances, how are IEPs planning for fall and the future?
Rep Newsletters: Trends in International Admission and Enrollment - The Rise of Corporate Pathway Providers in the State of Illinois
The idea of a pathway program for international students is not a new concept in the state of Illinois, but agreements are evolving and new stakeholders are emerging. Since time immemorial, community colleges and four-year institutions have participated in Memorandums of Understanding (MOU’s), which result in students matriculating into degree programs at four-year institutions after completing language-training and/or academic coursework. Similar models have been employed by four-year institutions and often involve language training before, or in combination with, academic coursework. More recently, some institutions have engaged in agreements with corporate partners to provide off-site language training before students begin academic coursework.
The newest form of pathway program is a bit of a hybrid of these models. Recently, several institutions in Illinois have partnered with corporate pathway providers to share in the recruitment of students, delivery of education, and division of tuition revenue. This model differs greatly from those of the past because corporate partners participate much more in the administrative and academic aspects of the educational experience. In some cases, pathway providers employ their own administrators and faculty members — located on campus — and assist in the development of curriculum.
Generation Z has a vast understanding of the necessary skills to acquire a job. With the increased focus on hands on learning via internships and co-op focused degree programs students are ensuring their academic degrees are not the only point of pride on their resumes. Many students are looking for not just study abroad opportunities but also hands on experience to add to their college careers
What is going on with Intensive English Programs (IEPs)? International Educators who do not work with IEPs may wonder about their current trends in the U.S. Have IEPs been experiencing growth? The answer is, unfortunately, no, for many programs.
Department of Labor (DOL) has developed a new system for requesting prevailing wage determinations via Form ETA 9141 (Application for Prevailing Wage Determination). The Foreign Labor Application Gateway (or FLAG) will replace iCert in an effort to modernize and to improve customer service. You can access FLAG at https://flag.dol.gov and will need a login.gov username and password to enter the site. Any ETA 9141 forms for H-1Bs that were submitted before June 10, 2019 will remain in the iCert system. All new ETA 9141s must be submitted through FLAG. DOL will eventually shut down iCert completely so if you have any prevailing wage determinations in that system that you will need to reference in the future, be sure to print them or save the PDF files as soon as possible. DOL has not yet announced when this will happen, but it is likely to be sometime in the late fall or early winter – after all currently pending determinations have been issued and once all functions of FLAG are active.