ISA’s Alumni Relations (AR) department was created in 2009 with the multi-tiered goals of easing alumni re-entry, providing experiential, real-world opportunities for professional development (through our ISA Global Ambassador (GA) Program), strengthening our relationships with Study Abroad offices, and marketing our programs through engaging, peer-to-peer interactions.
Since its inception, ISA’s GA Program has provided professional development opportunities to over 1,400 alumni, and of those who have graduated from college, the overwhelming majority (87%) did so within four years, with 41% going on to attend graduate school (according to our ISA Alumni longitudinal research survey). In 2014, our AR department developed the Career Resources Guide and the Alumni Re-Entry Guide, both of which are updated every year (in order to keep pace with the ever-changing job market) and are available to all students through the ISA Student Portal. The Career Resources Guide provides students with practical advice, ranging from interview/resume preparation, to applying to graduate school. The Re-Entry Guide equips students with information about processing their time abroad, reverse culture shock, and sharing their stories.
Additionally, ISA’s AR department has produced a series of videos about many of these same topics, intended to complement both guides.
In 2016, AR started to use a verified Learning Management System (LMS), Schoology, in order to facilitate learning, assessment, and accountability within the GA program. The “Global Ambassador Training Course” has allowed the ISA AR department to monitor learning, set goals for achievement (in the form of digital badges, which relate to transferable skills), obtain valuable data through focus group surveys, organize language-learning forums, and push our particular institutional marketing prerogatives through a series of gamified challenges. We believe that the addition of the LMS into our already rigorous engagement protocol has truly differentiated our GA Program from others in the field of International Education.
Winners of the GoAbroad Innovation Awards will then be announced at the GoAbroad Reception during the NAFSA Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California from May 28-June 2.