We will be accepting applications for the 2014 competition starting in August 2013.
Context for the Senator Paul Simon Awards
"Comprehensive internationalization is a commitment, confirmed through action, to infuse international and comparative perspectives throughout the teaching, research, and service missions of higher education. It shapes institutional ethos and values and touches the entire higher education enterprise. It is essential that it be embraced by institutional leadership, governance, faculty, students, and all academic service and support units. It is an institutional imperative, not just a desirable possibility."
Excerpt from NAFSA's publication, Comprehensive Internationalization: From Concept to Action.
Senator Paul Simon Comprehensive Award
The Simon Comprehensive Award does not require that institutions reach an “ideal” level of internationalization —indeed, internationalization is an ongoing process in response to an ever changing global environment and institutional priorities. Rather, the Comprehensive Award recognizes those institutions making intentional, significant progress to effectively combine elements of the definition above with results of: expanding the reach of internationalization among students, faculty and staff, fostering collaboration across academic, administrative and student service arenas in the interest of internationalization; expanding student, faculty and academic and support units contributing to internationalization; and assessing and measuring that progress. A premium will be placed on innovative and creative approaches.
Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award
The Simon Spotlight Award is intended to highlight specific individual programs and services that are judged to be outstanding and/or especially innovative. Applicants who feel they have a specific program, service, etc. in one of the areas noted in the section below that is especially strong, may apply for a Spotlight Award separately from the award for comprehensive internationalization. An institution may apply for both the Spotlight Award and the Comprehensive Award, using separate essays, or apply for just one award.
Institutions applying for the Spotlight Award should be able to demonstrate the same attention to intentionality and demonstrable, measureable results that are required of the Comprehensive Award, but limited to one area of achievement.
Application Process for Simon Awards
We will be accepting applications for the 2014 competition starting in August 2013.
The initial application consists of:
- A cover letter on institutional letterhead.
- A 2,500 word essay that addresses the criteria as described below (Areas of Special Importance for Your Essay) is required for applications for the Comprehensive Award. A 1,800 word essay is required for those applying for the Spotlight Award. If you are applying for both awards, two separate essays must be submitted.
- Submit the online demographics form. You must use the online form, which cannot be saved or printed, but you can draft your submission and save it for your records by downloading the Demographics Form (55kb ).
The cover letter and seven (7) double-sided copies of the essay should be mailed to NAFSA, c/o Kerstin Sorensen, 1307 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005. Applications must be received by NAFSA by 11:59 p.m. EST, Tuesday, October 15, 2013.
In addition, a Word file or pdf of the cover letter and essay should be sent to SimonAward[at]nafsa.org. Send no background material. Institutions selected in the first round of screening will be asked to provide further information on a case-by-case basis.
Only one application is allowed per institution per award. Everyone involved in the application is encouraged to read Comprehensive Internationalization: From Concept to Action before finalizing the application. You will want to engage in a collaborative institutional process.
Selection is a two-step process. In the first round, the Simon Selection Committee will review applications for the Comprehensive and Spotlight Awards to identify a group of finalists for each award. The finalists will then receive follow-up questions from the Committee to clarify or expand on items included in the first round submission.
Recipients of the Simon Awards are announced each spring. Descriptions of the award winners' activities and achievements are included in an annual publication by NAFSA, now in its eleventh year, Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities. This report is sent to all 3,500 higher education institutions in the United States. To view past issues, see the Internationalizing the Campus Report page.
Many recipients order reprints of their profiles for use on campus, with trustees and regents, and with overseas partners. In addition, winners receive their Awards at an annual event in Washington, DC, and are featured in a session at NAFSA's annual conference.
Senator Paul Simon Comprehensive Award: Areas of Special Importance for Your Essay
Although the Simon Selection Committee will not expect any institution to be able to demonstrate mastery of all four component areas outlined below, the Committee will expect your essay to include, for each of the areas,
- a description of the intentionality with which you approached internationalization within this area, the planning and process you laid out, and
- an explanation of how you are measuring progress, and what outcomes have been achieved to date.
Your internationalization statement should demonstrate innovation and achievements within the following four major areas:
- Programmatic efforts
- Curriculum/faculty development
If you are applying for a Comprehensive Internationalization Award, your essay must address all four of the major areas. You can use the areas as headers in your statement.
Remember that your essay should be written for international educators, not for promoting or marketing your institution. It should address not only what is currently occurring, but also how the institution arrived at its state of internationalization, and most importantly, what measurable outcomes have been achieved and the assessment procedures used. Describing your challenges, and how you are overcoming them, is of interest as well.
Area 1: Engagement
How is the institutional leadership participating in planning, nurturing, and growing the depth and breadth of internationalization throughout the institution? How are the faculty being included; what does their engagement look like? Are all of the institution's academic units engaged? Are there units which are not included? What is the institution doing to create an ethos that prizes internationalization as a positive good throughout the institution?
Area 2: Programmatic Efforts
What is the institution doing to build and/or support international enrollment management as an integral part of overall enrollment management? Is the international student population growing as planned? How are student support services included in internationalization efforts? How is the institution making study abroad accessible for students from all majors and demographics?
Area 3: Curriculum/Faculty Development
What is being done to integrate internationalization into the curriculum? How is education abroad experience being integrated into the curriculum? What role do international students play in enhancing the curriculum? What is being done to foster an international perspective among faculty and to reward and recognize faculty?
Area 4: Outreach/Partnerships
How has the institution gone about cultivating partnerships and external relations that foster internationalization? If your institution's mandate includes service to the community, what is being done to include international perspectives within that effort?
Again, it is unlikely that any institution will have all of these areas covered completely. Nor will all institutions have the same starting point. Rather, it is expected that all applicants will be stronger in some areas, weaker in others. But, an application for a Comprehensive Internationalization Award that does not include any discussion of one or more of these areas will be less well received by the Simon Selection Committee than one which explains both the institution's strengths and the areas it recognizes are in need of additional improvement.
Institutions eligible for consideration for a Simon Award must be accredited, degree-granting higher education institutions of the United States or its territories.
- An institution awarded a Simon Spotlight Award is eligible to apply for a Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization.
- An institution awarded a Simon Spotlight Award is eligible to apply for a Spotlight Award in another area after five years.
- An institution awarded a Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization is eligible to apply for a Simon Award after 10 years.
- An institution cannot be considered for any Simon Award if it is affiliated with a member of the Simon Selection Committee.
Institutions selected to receive a Simon Award will reflect, as much as possible, a variety of institutional types within the Carnegie Classifications, as well as diversity in terms of institutional size, geographic location, and public or private governance.