Internationalizing STEM Education: Resources from NAFSA's 2013 Colloquium

Thursday, May 30, 2013

NAFSA’s inaugural colloquium on internationalizing the STEM fields brought together leaders to discuss how to improve student mobility and learning. Panelists from each of the STEM disciplines shared curricular strategies to incorporate the global competencies and skills we want to cultivate in students. Senior international officers and industry leaders provided incentives for faculty and institutional mechanism to move toward comprehensive internationalization. Education abroad administrators provided information on the nuts and bolts of leading international experiences.

Participants left with examples of desired outcomes for students, faculty, and staff, the kinds of support mechanisms needed to help faculty internationalize as well as models of successful programs.

NAFSA thanks Education in Ireland for its generous support of the colloquium.

NAFSA also thanks our partner organization, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

Presentation Materials

All links are to PDFs Icon PDF 16

The event program provides the schedule of events, session titles and descriptions, and presenters' names and institutions.

Creating a Global-Ready Workforce: The Importance of Internationalization in STEM
Stacia Edwards, EdD, Director, Global STEM Workforce Development, Battelle Memorial Laboratory, presented on why it is important for students with STEM degrees to have an international perspective, the types of STEM jobs at Battelle that require global competence, and balancing the international and local needs for STEM talent.

Mainstreaming Internationalizing the STEM Curriculum: Insights into Universitywide Approaches?
Panelists: Christine Fecenko Murphy, PhD, Assistant Academic Dean of STEM, Arcadia University College of Global Studies, and Harvey Charles, PhD, Vice-Provost for International Education, Northern Arizona University, provided administrator insight into working with faculty to mainstream internationalization in the curriculum. Each panelist was given five minutes to respond to the following questions.

  • What is STEM Internationalization?
  • Where does internationalization fit into the STEM curriculum (add on to existing course or are new courses needed)?
  • How can provosts be instrumental in advancing global learning in their respective colleges?
  • What is the role of the Senior International Officer (SIO) in internationalizing STEM education?
  • How to secure faculty buy-in for campuswide efforts to internationalize?
  • Assessment: How we know if our efforts to internationalize are working?
  • How to finance internationalization of the STEM curriculum?

How Are Internationalization Efforts Different Across the Disciplines?
Each panelist presented on the unique programmatic elements of his or her particular program and how it relates to their discipline (i.e., language intensive, capitalizing on university resources). They presented their own strategies to incorporate global perspectives into curriculum (i.e., capitalizing and leveraging local international perspectives and potentials) and provided background information on how they started their efforts and the steps they have taken.

What Are Meaningful Education Abroad Opportunities and How Do We Provide Them?
Panelists will approach the topic of education abroad for STEM students from two angles: first, by providing information on the views of international education professionals about what STEM students seek in study abroad program options; second, by looking at program models that institutions are using currently for these students.

  • Amy Bass Henry, Executive Director of International Education, Georgia Institute of Technology, provided programmatic examples of STEM education abroad, including key features that are working for successful programs (specifically, programmatic examples of developing meaningful education abroad experiences). One key point was involving faculty in developing and implementing programs.
  • Patti Brown, Director of Special Program Initiatives, Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA), Butler University, provided early data from an IFSA needs assessment survey looking at what international education professionals think STEM students want/need from study abroad (included but not limited to ranking obstacles to engaging STEM students and most frequently used program models).