A Blueprint for Global STEAM Education
2018 Heiskell Award Honorable Mention: Internationalizing the Campus
Nomination submitted by: Dr. James Myers, Associate Provost, International Education and Global Programs
RIT Academic Senate leaders gathering in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and RIT Student Government leaders gathering in Dubai, UAE to participate in annual global governance forums.
Rochester Institute of Technology has engaged in a comprehensive and strategic effort to internationalize the university over the past seven years since it formally established the office of the associate provost for international education and global programs. Having created a Blueprint for Global STEAM Education, this office now serves as a focal point for all of the university’s global engagements in Rochester as well as at RIT’s campuses in Croatia, Kosovo, China, and Dubai.
The key to its success is a strong belief that internationalization is best achieved by engaging faculty and those who directly support students. To do this, RIT established a thriving network of partnerships across divisions that has made global engagement a cornerstone of the 2025 strategic plan and a key part of the RIT culture. The shared governance model brings together representatives of each college on a Global Education Taskforce, which is a sub-committee of the Academic Senate. Members of the Board of Trustees are represented on an Education Core Committee, and members of the Student Government from Rochester and the international campuses sponsor joint international events. To foster even deeper collaboration, RIT created an annual Global Governance Summit, now in its third year that rotates among the campuses.
According to Jeremy Haefner, Provost and senior VP for Academic Affairs, “These efforts started with an academic commitment to ensure that every RIT program provides an opportunity for students to engage in international experiential learning. As a STEM intensive comprehensive university with an international reputation in arts and design, the commitment cut across over 200 academic programs, including engineering, computer science, industrial design, management, game design, and photography.”
RIT now delivers 24 degree programs outside of the United States, and has achieved a 60 percent growth in international students, enrolling almost 5,000 international students between all the campuses. RIT has grown its study abroad participation by 70 percent, and has embedded global learning outcomes in both the general education curriculum and in many professional degree programs.