To help institutions streamline their international student services and international student engagement, Academic Assembly offers a program review as a service of our Strategic Advisory unit. Like academic program reviews, our international office program review includes some self-study, an external evaluation working with a stakeholder committee and a comprehensive evaluation of the two studies, resulting in targeted recommendations and an action plan. Unlike academic program reviews, Academic Assembly will provide experts in international operations and benchmark our findings against a set of peer institutions, a national norm and trends observed worldwide. The department review will include core university functions such as Admissions, Student Records, Immigration and Visa Processing, Student Life/Activities, Campus Safety and Alumni Relations and how they tie to the international student experience.
The study and analysis will address the quality of the current services provided to an institution’s international student population and the ability to meet the needs of the future. The experiences and sentiments of students, faculty, administrators and senior university leadership will be gathered through market research efforts to include surveys, focus groups, workshops, meetings and interviews. The individual data gathered will be tailored to the individual institution to address each institution’s unique setting and organizational structure. We will utilize standard methods of data collection, analysis, and testing in our research work using company staff along with trusted contractors and consultants hired to match the Scope of Work of the project.
Among the aspects of program quality being reviewed will be organizational structure, operation expertise, programming and extent services provided by the department(s). Results will draw conclusions as to the quality of services provided, access to resources and availability of services. Gaps in the stakeholder expectations will be further explored and mapped to an overall institutional best practice as determined by the project team.
A unique advantage from Academic Assembly is our insight into the trends of student mobility and the company’s expertise in student recruiting. This insight and perspective allows us to align the changes recommended with the business impact it will have on the bottom line. The conclusions from an Academic Assembly International Office Program review include a business plan with defined ROI and alignment with the institutions overall strategic plan. Further elements of the summary findings include staffing levels and facilities review. Projects take from 3 to 6 months to complete. It is recommended that annual check-ups (mini-assessments) be added to the initial review.