Wright State to host English educators, formalize internship program for Student Affairs students

An upcoming visit to Wright State from high-ranking officials of an English university seeking to strengthen its U.S. ties is expected to culminate with a formal internship program between the two universities.

An eight-person delegation from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England, is scheduled to arrive at Wright State on Monday, Nov. 18. The group, which will include Deputy Vice Chancellor Helen Valentine, will meet with faculty, student government leaders, deans and administrators over three days.

The visit is a result of the Wright State College of Education and Human Services’ Student Affairs in Higher Education program.

“This is a rare opportunity to share knowledge about student affairs at a global level and cement a relationship that will give our student interns international exposure and skills,” said Wright State Education Dean Charlotte Harris.

The Wright State program prepares students for leadership roles in student affairs offices at colleges and universities to help enhance student growth and success. Offices can include admissions, academic advising, career development, alumni services, fundraising, student activities, wellness services, financial aid, athletics and other services.

“As more countries open up higher education to the masses, there is an increased need to develop quality services and programs that ensure student success,” said Roxanne DuVivier, an assistant professor in the program and liaison to Anglia Ruskin University.

Three years ago, an international track was created in the Wright State SAHE program to enable students to better understand the international aspects of student affairs in higher education. To initiate that effort, two Wright State SAHE students were sent to Anglia Ruskin two years ago to intern for three 40-hour weeks at the Cambridge-based university of 31,000. Four graduate students were selected last year, and six are slated to participate in the spring of 2014.

The students analyzed Anglia Ruskin’s academic advising, career services, alumni development and other systems and then made recommendations for student service enhancement.

The United Kingdom currently has no graduate preparation program in Student Affairs in Higher Education. Anglia Ruskin University is exploring the idea of launching the first such degree program.

During their visit to Wright State, the Anglia Ruskin officials want to learn about U.S. methods for fostering student engagement. They also plan to take a close look at Wright State’s student advising, community service initiatives, student government and sports and recreational activities and share ideas.

“Anglia Ruskin University may ultimately develop a training initiative based on our model,” said DuVivier, who organized the visit and was instrumental in creating the internship program.  “We are interested in helping our colleagues establish SAHE graduate education programs in the U.K. and are pleased to contribute to their student service operations.”

Anglia Ruskin is bringing over two academic deans for the purpose of reviewing curriculum and discussing the formation of a research agenda.

On the final day of their visit, Anglia Ruskin officials are expected to formalize their institutional partnership with Wright State.

“Global linkages are really important to our program,” said DuVivier.

She said the program might also provide internship opportunities at Anglia Ruskin for Wright State students in other programs, even outside of the College of Education and Human Services.

And DuVivier said even students in the Student Affairs program who don’t travel to the U.K. will benefit by interacting with the Anglia Ruskin officials during their visit.

“Every one of them by attending this event can learn a little bit about their profession as it exists in another country. This experience helps students develop global understanding, a critical workplace competence,” she said.

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