Celebrating a Year in Expanding Access and Equity

A year ago, IIE launched the Center for Access and Equity to build upon our 100+ years mission of increasing international higher education opportunities for all. It’s an ambitious but valuable goal; one that we are continuing to strive to achieve daily. Data continues to show that while progress has been made, there is more to do to equitably expand access to opportunities in international education. It takes sustained, collaborative effort and through the IIE CAE, we are in it for the long haul.

A year certainly flew by as the IIE CAE jumped into various projects that revolved around our mission and focus on cultivating global learning, supporting access for underrepresented communities, and leveraging partnerships and programs.

Resource generation and knowledge sharing is of the utmost importance as we aim to work with various stakeholders and audiences that can shape and implement accessible and equitable programming for underrepresented communities.

  • We produced the first resource guide, Supporting First-Generation College Students in International Education, to provide program expertise, the personal experience of individuals, and  perspectives and recommended practices.
  • In collaboration with Dickinson College, we published Models of Change: Equity and Inclusion in Action in International Education, sharing a summary of our past virtual workshop series and a curated set of case studies of learned experiences and reflections from workshop participants utilizing an educational framework that incorporates global, intercultural, equity and inclusion lenses.
  • Within IIE, we have formed an Accessibility & Inclusion Resource Working Group to create a hub of learning and resource sharing that will benefit our colleagues and applicable to our work with programs, participants, sponsors, and partners.

We value collaboration to expand our collective abilities and work across diverse touchpoints supporting access and equity in international education. In addition to our valued partnership with Dickinson College, we announced two new partnerships with the Center – Leaders of the Free World and the Council for Opportunity in Education. These two outstanding organizations have been working with underrepresented U.S. student populations in international higher education: Black males, first-generation college students, students with disabilities, and students with lower socio-economic backgrounds. We are working together to support existing and new programming and activities, amplifying their educational and study abroad programming and introducing resources and information from IIE.

Leaders of the Free World visit Ghana in 2023.

We created the IIE Center for Access and Equity Empower Award to honor outstanding organizations and individuals who have demonstrated exemplary diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) contributions and to elevate strategic models of advancing access and equity in international education diversity, equity, inclusion. The IIE Empower Award paves the way for further collaboration and opens new avenues for joint initiatives in the DEIA landscape. This annual award marks a significant milestone and includes a gift in support of recipients’ strategic DEIA initiatives. The inaugural IIE Empower Awards for 2023 recognize the following:

As much joy as it gives us to award exemplary individuals and organizations, we too were elated to have the IIE American Passport Project receive the 2023 AAUA Khaladjan International Award for Innovation and for the IIE Center for Access and Equity to be short-listed as a finalist for the PIEoneer Award for championing diversity, equity, and inclusion. This month, we awarded American Passport Project grants to 51 higher education institutions, marking the largest number of grants we’ve issued to date. We are grateful to each institution for their efforts to increase access to study abroad among Pell-eligible students, and look forward to ongoing collaboration with them.

We are excited to continue growing and shaping our work through the IIE Center for Access and Equity in this next year and beyond. We are supporting ongoing partnerships and programming and welcoming new opportunities.

Look for these opportunities to engage with the IIE CAE in 2024:

  • IIE Empower Award Nominations: Stay tuned to submit a nomination as an individual or an organization!
  • Global Dialogues: IIE and Dickinson College are embarking on the next phase of our collaboration by conducting regional conversations to examine what does equity and justice look like in international education now and discuss what we have learned, how we have changed, and how we measure success. 
  • Connect with IIE CAE Director: Lindsay Gee Calvert will be attending APAIE, NAFSA and EAIE conferences this year and can be reached by email CAE@iie.org.

IIE greatly appreciates the support and enthusiasm the Center receives and accepts gifts to help expand access to international education for all.