NAFSA Trainer Corps: Learning By Leading

December 14, 2017

By Chad Goeden

Have you ever taken part in a NAFSA Core Education Program (formerly Professional Practice) workshop? Have you ever attended an e-Learning course? If so, you have learned one of the most important professionals in the field of international education: a member of the NAFSA Trainer Corps.

For more than two decades, the NAFSA Trainer Corps program has led the way in advancing the field of international higher education. Trainer Corps members have played a key role in developing critical professional competencies in themselves and others in the field through their contributions to the NAFSA Core Education Program (CEP) workshop development, maintenance, and delivery.

Now is your chance to give back to the field. The NAFSA Trainer Corps is currently accepting applications from NAFSA members who have been working in the field for at least 5 years.

For Adam Chen, becoming a member of the NAFSA Trainer Corps “has been a rewarding, an exciting, and a gratifying experience,” Chen, who works as program director of counseling and student services in the Language and Culture Center at the University of Houston, was inducted into Trainer Corps in 2016 and has already been involved in delivering workshops both regionally and nationally.

“By conducting workshops, I had the opportunity to improve training skills that can more effectively engage adult learners,” says Chen. “Through collaborating with co-trainers serving different institutions and regions, I gained a deeper understanding of how various factors affect our work in international education.”

The NAFSA Core Education Program (CEP), which consists of both workshops and e-Learning courses, introduces model practices and in-depth exploration of critical job-specific skills for international education practitioners in all areas of education abroad, international enrollment management, and international student and scholar services. Throughout 2017, NAFSA Trainer Corps members delivered over 90 CEP workshops to more than 1,700 participants across the United States.

“I was constantly inspired by workshop participants’ questions and discussions. It was truly satisfying to learn that at the end of each workshop, participants felt informed, connected, and inspired to continue their work as student advocates”, Chen noted.

If you have 5 years or more years of professional experience in the field of international education and are looking for ways to continue growing as a professional, network with colleagues, and provide guidance and training to those newer to the field, Trainer Corps may be the right fit for you.

In reflecting on his decision to join Trainer Corps, Chen shares, “I owe my career to the countless NAFSAns who helped me grow professionally at conferences, workshops, and receptions. I believe Trainer Corps is the best way to give back to the community: to nurture new professionals and to inspire seasoned ones. I recommend Trainer Corps without hesitation and I invite you to give back to the community by joining Trainer Corps.”

Applications are being accepted through January 8, 2018.


Chad Goeden is associate director of professional learning services at NAFSA.


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