Simon Award: Selection Process
NAFSA believes that international education improves relations among peoples of different cultures and encourages cross-cultural communication. Fundamentally, international education advances learning and scholarship, builds respect among different peoples, and enhances constructive leadership in a global community. 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.
In that context, we seek examples of practices in internationalization that are notable, exceptional, innovative, and/or exemplary. We look for cases that exhibit practices, structures, philosophies, and policies that represent outstanding achievement in international education and that can be models for other institutions. We recognize that institutions are unique entities, that internationalization itself is complex and multidimensional, and that success and accomplishment can be identified and assessed in diverse ways.
Institutions selected to receive a Simon Award 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.
The Simon Award recognizes institutions that can demonstrate innovation and achievements in the following four major areas:
Depth and breadth of institutional commitment to comprehensive internationalization.
- International and comparative perspectives are infused throughout campus across schools, divisions, departments, and disciplines.
- There is evidence of genuine administrative and board-level support for internationalization.
- The institution has committed internal funds to further the internationalizing mission.
- The institution’s mission or planning documents contain an explicit or implicit statement regarding international education.
- The institution is engaged, in meaningful ways, with international partners.
Faculty engagement in internationalization of teaching and learning
- Campus-wide internationalization has had demonstrable results within the faculty.
- Internationalization is evident in research and/or faculty exchange.
- The institution supports its international faculty and scholars.
- The campus-wide internationalization has had demonstrable results for students.
- The institution’s commitment to internationalization is reflected in the curriculum.
Internationalization in student services and (international) enrollment management.
- The institution supports education abroad participants.
- There is support for international students and their families.
Outreach within the local community.
- There is an international dimension in off-campus programs and outreach.
- Alumni—domestic and international—are engaged in internationalization.
Guiding questions related to each of the components have evolved over the life of the award to assist institutions in writing the internationalization statement of their nomination.
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 selection jury.