|ASSIST 2006 – Academic Success: Summer International Students Transition Program
Building on the success of the pilot, it is proposed that a unique support program be further developed at UBC to ensure the success of at-risk international students as they commence their first-year undergraduate studies. ASSIST 2006 - Academic Success: Summer International Students Transition Program - will contain two modules. Module 1 will include a series of workshops, guest lectures, group projects and content-based language tutorials that will focus on learner readiness, acquisition of collaborative learning skills, introduction of students to critical enquiry, adjustment to campus life, integrating academic content into language teaching, and raising awareness of academic expectations in a Canadian university. They will provide a supportive learning experience that will "assist" with students' transition to UBC by developing transferable skills that will compensate and balance for their existing cultural and language barriers. In the future, a similar module can be developed for domestic students. Module 2 will include a series of workshops, course-based study groups, group projects and online learning throughout Term 1 that will ensure a smooth integration into the academic setting that is critical for international students.
This project has three major goals:
For 2006, the target student group is defined as international students who are new to UBC and are entering from a high school outside of North America. The program has the potential to help decrease the attrition rate for international students, which is significantly higher than the attrition rate for domestic students (13.4% vs. 10.0%).
ASSIST 2006 will be offered to 120 students from six Faculties: Land and Food Systems, Applied Science, Arts, Commerce, Forestry and Science. We have been in consultation with these faculties and the International Student Initiative, and widespread support has been received. Working in close collaboration with representatives from the faculties, the program will be facilitated through Student Development. Student Development is in a unique position to take a leading role in integrating this program with existing programs, to (1) ensure effective use of current resources and strong coordination between current support programs such as the broader international student orientation program, services for major entrance award winners, academic supports such as the LEAP website, and transition programs and (2) provide expertise regarding international student learning and transition. After the program, ASSIST 2006 students will continue to use the existing support services that will ensure their academic success, such as one-on-one advising, student success workshops and resources (exam prep, note-taking, university writing, time management, etc.), on-line resources for student success, and the International Peer Program. ASSIST 2006 does not duplicate service in any way but augments the service for specific population of international students.
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Michelle Suderman, Student Development, Office of the Vice-President, Students