Academy Events & Curriculum


Academy CurriculumLearning in the Academy
Incorporating group and individual learning, as well as structured and unstructured learning opportunities, the Academy balances the learning needs of the individual with the expectations of the field of international education. Stemming from an initial assessment of the nine proficiencies of international education, the Academy for International Education pursues a rigorous curriculum to develop both the knowledge and skills of participating international educators.

NAFSA understands that each Academy trainee comes to the Academy with a different set of goals and expectations. The Academy allows for individual and flexible learning by encouraging each trainee to set personal and institutional goals to help achieve success throughout the year. Trainees complete three main assignments throughout the year: an individual learning plan, a summer initiative, and a culmination paper.

Academy Events and Curriculum

As a trainee you are expected to take part in all these learning opportunities in order to successfully complete the Academy and your stated Learning Plan objectives.

Individual Learning Plan
Individualized learning is fostered through the development of an Academy Learning Plan in which you identify and prioritize your personal and institutional learning goals. You develop the plan prior to Spring Training and revise and adjust it throughout the Academy year.

Tiana Starke, Academy 10
The learning plan helped me map out and make sense of what my strengths were, clarify where I really needed assistance, and determine what the steps were to attain my goals. It required me to step back, assess the situation in my new role, and make a game plan. The combination of this with the Spring Training propelled my progress and contributed to me feeling like I gained three years of professional experience in the course of one year.

I am still adapting the Learning Plan to my current career goals and projects, and will always come back to that when I need clarity and direction. By breaking down the different areas I was needing to give attention to in my job and single them out to individual tasks, the Learning Plan allowed me to be more proficient and organized.
Spring Training, Atlanta, GA (March 6-9, 2018)
Join us in Atlanta for three and a half days of intensive training. Spring Training provides the foundation for your Academy year by providing sessions featuring: an introduction to the profession of international education as well as the basics of U.S. international admissions, education abroad, international student advising, and advocacy in international education.

You will gain a broad perspective of international education, network with professionals from around the country, meet face-to-face with your coach, and solidify your learning plans.

Erin Brandyberry, Academy 10
The most influential part of the Academy for me was the Spring Training. It was a wonderful experience in so many different ways, but specifically in the networking opportunities. I don't think that I have had another professional development experience that allowed me to connect with colleagues in the same way. I appreciated the small setting - less than 100 people - which allowed people to come with their own strengths and had many opportunities to share them in constructive ways. Most other conferences and workshops don't have the same focus on and opportunity to work with colleagues.

Jim Vermilya, Academy 10
I would have to say that the Spring Training was the most influential part of my Academy experience. The workshops provided the general broad strokes overview of international education that I really needed. I remember listening to the different presenters talk about comprehensive internationalization and thinking to myself that this was why I needed to go through the Academy. I further thought that if this were to become a reality at my university, then it will have to start with me and the I direct. When I think about it now, it seems like an overwhelming task; but I feel less intimidated by the challenge now, and I feel much more equipped to take the necessary steps to see this vision become a reality at my university.
Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA (May 27-June 1, 2018)
Academy trainees will receive free registration to NAFSA's annual conference in Philadelphia. Trainees also select a complimentary, preconference workshop that supports their individual learning plans, and meet and reconnect with their coaches and fellow trainees at Academy events.
Progress Presentation
At the NAFSA annual conference, trainees reflect on their progress and develop a visual demonstration of that progress. They share their presentation with their cohort as a way to reflect and refocus on their Academy priorities.
Summer Initiative
Trainees focus on a single objective they would like to accomplish by the end of the summer. They submit three blog-style posts detailing their selected objective, their midsummer progress report, and their final results from their summer initiative.
Fall Regional Conferences (Dates vary by region)
Academy trainees participate in another workshop of their choosing at the regional conference and also meet with their coach and cohort group. A final recognition ceremony celebrates the trainees' accomplishments.
Culmination and Transition Paper
Prior to receiving their certificate of completion, trainees write a culmination and transition paper to review their learning and progress, capture their progress in qualified statements, and to identify their future goals as they transition out of the Academy.
Cohort Connections
Throughout the year, coach-led trainee cohorts connect in a variety of ways, including virtually through online community spaces, conference calls, and at Academy events. Individual cohorts determine as a peer learning group what works best for them.

Academy Participants

Applications for Academy Class 17 will open on July 15, 2019.

Spring Training

March 5-8, 2019
Atlanta, GA

Contact Us

For more information regarding the Academy, please contact: Professional Learning Services