GREETINGS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES OFFICE (IIO)
Launch of the new 2015-2020 International Strategic Plan
This is a very exciting time for Towson University as the International Initiatives Office (IIO) engages the campus community in the implementation of its new 2015-2020 International Strategic Plan in support of Towson 2020.
This past year, Towson University has embarked on the journey toward internationalization by taking strategic and deliberate steps. A major milestone in this journey was the creation of the International Initiatives Committee (IIC) in Fall 2014. The IIC was established to serve as an advisory committee charged with developing a comprehensive strategic plan for internationalization of Towson University and represents a cross section of faculty, staff, and students from a variety of curricular and co-curricular departments across colleges and programs. The IIC was instrumental in creating the new International Strategic Plan 2015-2020 set to launch in Fall 2015. The plan focuses on the engagement of students, faculty, and staff to pragmatically prepare students to enter and excel in a global knowledge economy. The goal of the implementation of this strategic plan is not only to create a more efficient and coordinated internationalization effort at Towson University, but also to deepen the mindset on internationalization campus-wide.
As a part of the preparation of implementation of the plan, major international units including the Office of Study Abroad, International Student and Scholar Services, International Partnerships, International Recruitment and the English Language Center were merged under the umbrella of International Initiatives Office (IIO) to create synergy and optimize international resources at Towson University.
With the hiring of new Director of International Recruitment and designated staff to support sponsored international students, Towson University plans to increase and diversify its international populations. The University has also joined the Institute of International Education's (IIE)s Generation Study Abroad challenge aimed at increasing the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. The Office of International Partnerships has expanded its services by developing several customized programs and trainings for students, faculty, staff and professionals from abroad. Programming for International Education Week (IEW) 2014, was a great enhancement that offered a week of presentations and events that engaged partners across campus and a robust IEW 2015 is being planned. The English Language Center is planning to develop bridge programs and on-line assessments to offer effective content and pedagogy for English Language instructions. In an effort to take inventory of the international resources at TU and deepen engagement, the IIO continues to map faculty's international experience and interests.
The International Initiatives Office is dedicated to cultivating a global learning environment in collaboration with the University and community partners, locally, within the State of Maryland, nationally and globally. Through intentional collaboration with faculty and staff in all academic and student affairs units and student organizations, the International Initiatives Office, with the support and guidance of the International Initiatives Committee, will serve as the catalyst for new International Strategic Plan 2015-2020; transforming Towson into an international university.
Dr. Saleha Suleman
Assistant Vice President for International Initiatives