Mission and Goals

Strengthening the University of Arkansas as an active member of the international community

Mission Statement

As international educators, we enhance global perspectives, mutual respect, and responsibility through collaborative programs and services for the development of international students, scholars and the greater University of Arkansas community

Goals of the University of Arkansas

directly supported by the International Students and Scholars

  • Put students first by creating an engaging campus life and reducing obstacles to student success
  • Increase overall enrollment
  • Improve graduation rates and degree completion times
  • Enhance diversity by attracting more students, faculty and staff from underrepresented groups
  • Marshal the university's expertise, programs, faculty, staff and students to address major issues confronting Arkansas and the world
  • Establish and market a quality brand reputation for the university statewide, nationally, and internationally
  • Expand outreach through distance education and partnerships with other institutions
  • Promote environmental sustainability
  • Grow public support and the endowment through enhanced relationships with constituents

ISS Goals 2012-2017

Foster student and scholar success

Provide quality services

Promote international education

Invest in staff and resource development


To foster student and scholar success, ISS will facilitate the interaction among faculty, staff and students; provide timely information and prompt feedback; encourage active learning; and provide opportunities for on-campus and community leadership.

  • Develop intensive orientation programs for students and scholars that implement on-line learning tools, experiential sessions to promote group identity and community involvement, expanded continued orientation sessions, and comprehensive resources accessible through the internet.
  • Collaborate with University Housing, Honors College, International Relations, and Global Engagement Office to create a nationally recognized international living/learning community in Holcombe Hall.
  • Advocate for a pathway program for students to integrate intensive English language courses with first year courses.
  • Provide crucial information to students, scholars, and departments through scheduled communications and reminders, informational seminars and workshops presented in multiple venues and formats, and an academic warning protocol.
  • Encourage campus/community involvement and leadership development through International Culture Team opportunities, iFriend programs, Cross-cultural Mentors, cultural organizations, Global Greeks, Holcombe International Living/Learning Community, educational field trips, cultural passport program and Conversation Club.
  • Assess the student and scholar experience through individualized cohort meetings, mid-term and exit interviews, focus groups, enrollment tracking, and end of program evaluations and guided reflections.

Performance Measures:

  • Measures of retention and graduation rates for international cohort students will exceed retention and graduation rates for all students.
  • Measures of retention rates of Holcombe Hall students will exceed overall and on-campus student retention rates
  • Measures of end of program assessment will indicate that student and scholar experiences exceeded expectations.

Implementation of Sunapsis, development of on-line tools, and monitoring staff duties and work load will lead to providing quality services to the campus and community.

  • Develop and implement Sunapsis training for students, staff, and faculty
  • Develop and implement e-forms and checklists through Sunapsis
  • Redesign ISS website to include interactive elements and easy to navigate information
  • Integrate appointments and check-in software to facilitate office visits.
  • Integrate enrollment in Spring International Language Center courses into the Sunapsis and eventually into the University of Arkansas student information system.
  • Develop on-line tools to assist with program maintenance and assessment.
  • Maintain highly personalized Immigration Basics sessions
  • Develop a position to coordinate SEVIS compliance through Sunapsis; annually assess staff responsibilities and performance in relation to changing functions of the office to determine how to best meet the needs of students, scholars and departments.

Performance Measures

  • 100% of applications, sign-ups and request forms will be conducted on-line.
  • Learning and program assessments will indicate that over 75% of participants agree or strongly agree that learning and program outcomes were met.
  • Monitor data-feed and bug reports from Sunapsis

To promote international education, ISS will increase educational opportunities and diversify methods of communication to the campus and community.

  • Provide international education seminars and workshops presented in multiple venues and formats such as “In Their Shoes”, intercultural training, University Perspectives and Resident Assistance presentations, cultural immersions, and country specific workshops that anticipate areas of student population growth.
  • Collaborate with UA Alumni Association to connect international students with already established alumni groups in the U.S. or abroad. Assist international alumni connect with other alumni in their home countries. Connect Alumni Association and Career Development Center for assistance with job search abroad.
  • Actively participate in campus events and professional organizations such as New Faculty Orientation, Welcome Weeks activities, community festivals, Engagement and Retention Committee, NAFSA and NODA leadership
  • Develop and implement policies for the promotion of international education through print, radio, TV, and social media
  • Assist with the promotion of the University of Arkansas through the visiting student program and community college initiative
  • Develop a baseline for volunteers by implementing use of the Volunteer Action database.

Performance Measures

  • Establish an active alumni facebook site and a quarterly newsletter as part of the on-line international alumni group.
  • Learning and program assessments will indicate that over 75% of participants agree or strongly agree that learning outcomes were met.
  • Number of visiting students and community college transfer students increase over current levels

Investing in staff and resource development will assist ISS in accomplishing the vision, mission and goals of the department.

  • Update the knowledge base of professional staff through flexible team orientation training plans in the following areas (but not limited to): Sunapsis, Diversity Certificate, Strength Quest, Supervisory Development, federal regulations, distance education and web-based software, cultural information, and adult education methods through webinars, NAFSA, conferences, staff meetings, and individualized training.
  • Collaborate with UA International Admissions and Recruitment to increase international student enrollment at University of Arkansas which will provide financial resources for existing ISS services and programs.
  • Apply for additional sources of revenue through grants and gifts and a close working relationship with alumni and our GSIE development office.

Performance Measures

  • 5 funding proposals submitted annually
  • All staff members have completed or are moving toward completion of UA Diversity Certificate and Strengths Quest training.
  • Staff members who attend conferences are presenting sessions or workshops.

Resources Needed

  • Centralized IT support for Sunapsis (database) and website development
  • Centralized BASIS support
  • Centralized grant writing support
  • E&G funding to fully support the staff responsible for the institution’s compliance to U.S. Homeland Security, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Department of Labor regulations.
  • Positions:
    • Temporary hourly position to develop e-forms and checklists in Sunapsis
    • An additional Foreign Student Adviser when the student population reaches 1500 students
    • If FYE program is expanded to all colleges, then a part-time position to coordinate this program