Best Practices for Collaboration Between ISSS and Admissions Offices
Last spring, the COVID-19 crisis interrupted day-to-day operations on campuses across the United States as staff scrambled to help international students return home while continuing recruitment and admissions activities. Despite the challenges, the situation provided an opportunity for many institutions to reimagine the way international admissions and international student and scholar services (ISSS) teams work together to meet common goals and priorities.
“[The pandemic] forced collaboration for institutions maybe where it didn’t exist before,” says Jim McLaughlin, MS, co-chair of IC3 Conference & IC3 Regional Forums. “A lot of American institutions were forced to answer some tough questions about enrollment and what do we really need to do to support students and to remain viable in their minds.”
Improved collaboration between admissions and international student offices allows institutions to be responsive and flexible amid hurdles related to the pandemic; it does not need to take a global crisis to get these teams working together. Improved flexibility and coordination creates efficiency, contributes to long-term sustainability, and helps maintain high-quality experiences and services for international students.
No Perfect Model or System
There’s no magic formula for promoting collaboration between international admissions and ISSS teams. Any changes to a current system should be driven by an institution’s goals and priorities, according to experts.
At Boston University (BU), international admissions and ISSS have had a close working relationship for years, despite falling under different divisions. Anne Corriveau, MEd, director of BU’s International Admissions Office, and her counterpart in ISSS have forged long-standing, collaborative practices during the