Building Inclusive Approaches to Campus Internationalization:
Integrating Displaced Students to the Logic of Campus Internationalization

March 8-9, 2018
Boise State University 
Forum Flyer (.pdf) 
Final Report (.pdf) 

International educators have traditionally defined their role, among other things, by serving students with specific types of visas. As the fabric of the U.S. society becomes increasingly more complex and immigration status blurred, U.S. colleges and universities work with a growing population of international students who enter U.S. colleges through domestic admissions. That is the case of “displaced students” such as immigrants, undocumented students, refugees, and children of migrant-workers, among others. From the perspective of the Senior International Officers (SIOs), displaced students fall outside their administrative portfolio, despite the wealth of resources that these students bring to internationalization processes. SIOs are challenged to champion internationalization models that are inclusive, regardless the student visa categories.

Sessions included:

  • Framing the conversation: Leading inclusive internationalization processes
  • Meeting the needs of refugee populations: Building successful partnerships with higher education institutions 
  • Local is global: The inclusion of U.S.-resident multilingual students in higher education
  • Inclusive excellence in the classroom: Valuing and supporting all learners
  • Preparing faculty and students to engage with refugee communities
  • Models for integrating displaced students into the U.S. campus: Trends, challenges and strategies
  • From Fear to Freedom: Managing hot moments and facilitating difficult dialogues in the classroom

The Thematic Forum concluded with a reflection exercise that led to delineate recommendations for higher education institutions (HEIs) and Senior International Officers (SIOs). The following set of recommendations were drawn from this exercise.

Recommendation #1 – Inclusive Campus & Classrooms

  • Create on-campus opportunities that prepare students for dialogue with refugee and displaced students. 
  • Support faculty members to shift ways of teaching inspired in inclusive pedagogies.
  • Incentivize the faculty to engage students of different backgrounds in dialogue opportunities.
  • Implement peer support groups that are sensitive to displace students’ trajectories, experiences and needs.  
  • Ensure displaced students are aware of the services that already exist on the campus.  
  • Raise awareness on campus on why it is important to advocate for students with refugee/displaced background. 
Recommendation #2 – Admission Process
  • Find ways to identify students with displaced/refugee background at admissions point, while respecting student’s preference for disclosure.
  • Examine admission processes for students and look for alternative ways to accommodate students who lack essential admission credentials.
  • Look at what other schools/organizations are doing in terms of admission requirements and consider adding flexibility to your institution’s processes for students who displaced background.
Recommendation #3 - Assessment
  • Collect data to discover gaps (i.e. doing well vs. not doing well) and confront data with peer institutions.
Recommendation # 4 – Management
  • Designate an on-campus coordination point for displaced students. This entity (or individual) must have access to the President.
  • Ensure support to displaced/refugee students is a campus-wide effort and that the senior leadership can articulation the university position
Recommendation # 5 – Fundraising efforts and Community Outreach 
  • Work with the Development Office on fundraising discretionary funds to address emergencies that might affect displaced students (family emergency, impossibility to access to family funds, etc.)
  • Sustain outreach efforts in the community to assist displaced students to alleviate temporary housing/meal needs.