On February 17, four panelists will come together to share their institutions’ approaches to curricular practical training (CPT), an essential component of the U.S. college experience for many international students. NAFSA Director of Regulatory Practice Liaison Steve Springer, who led the first of this two-part e-Learning Seminar series focused on CPT, explains why CPT is so important for international education professionals and what they need to do when training is integral to but not required by the curriculum.
Why does CPT matter?
Steve: Both students and employers value experiential learning. Students know that experiential learning can complement their academic studies in ways that make them much more attractive to employers. A key attraction to study in the United States for many international students is the ability to gain some practical experience in the U.S.
CPT is the primary vehicle for providing F-1 international students this learning opportunity during their programs of study, and it requires only designated school official (DSO) authorization rather than an expensive application to Department of Homeland Security and a long wait for approval.
What makes this CPT e-Learning Seminar unique?
Steve: Participants will learn how four venerable (but varied) institutions approach CPT: Berklee College of Music, California Institute of Technology, University of Washington, and University of Tennessee-Knoxville. The presenters will discuss their policies—how they arrived at them and how they justify them—as well as their practices for informing students, campus stakeholders, and employers, and for granting and monitoring CPT. The webinar will also cover the regulatory basis for CPT, anticipated agency guidelines on CPT, and what NAFSA is doing to ensure that these experiential learning opportunities are not restricted.
Steve: CPT has been around for years, but following isolated incidents of program misuse, the Department of Homeland Security may be stepping up oversight. In this e-Learning Seminar, you will learn how to conduct an effective review of your CPT policies and practices to ensure that your institution is fully compliant. While most DSOs regularly review their CPT policies and practices to ensure that they remain both compliant and effective in facilitating experiential learning, there has perhaps never been a better time for all institutions to undertake a review.
Perfect for DSOs, senior internationalization officers, career services professionals, and other campus stakeholders, “Curricular Practical Training: Policies and Practices for Elective Training” will give you all the tools you need to maintain and improve how your institution handles CPT. Gather your colleagues and join us February 17, at 3:00 p.m.