Connected Strategies for International Ed


The University at Albany’s International Education Leadership Expert Series presents a module with Nancy Ruther designed to help participants acquire both context and strategies to apply to enhance international programs at their own institutions.


June 22 – July 17


Registration Fee: $399

About the module

How can we provide a robust international education for all students? How can we provide 21st century skill sets relevant to graduates in our fast changing and ever more globally connected workplaces? Faced with growing public health and climate instability, not to mention challenging cost-structures and shrinking budgets, creative virtual solutions can help sustain and even bolster international programming to meet these challenges. International educators can tap the power of technology and digital learning to forge deeper, more mutual global connections while bending the basic cost curves of traditional mobility strategies. We will explore ways that virtual connections create new opportunities to scale our programs, reshape them to meet more students’ global learning needs while also increasing resilience to environmental risks. This course will address how virtual strategies can enable international education to be more resilient, increase access and lower costs by tapping existing faculty, program and technological resources. We will address connective approaches for different types of colleges and survey the growing international research and professional networks and resources supporting virtual exchange. A special focus will be on connecting classrooms, teaching and research resources on campus and integrating more students into robust problem-based intercultural engagement.

This interactive course is designed to help participants acquire both context and strategies to apply to enhance international programs at their own institutions. After a tour of the horizon, we will analyze the “virtual readiness” profiles of your campus, faculty and international partnerships. We will explore viable approaches aligned with your campus and curricular needs such as virtual exchange and shared network strategies. With your peers, you will create a roadmap to integrate these powerful global connection strategies into your own internationalization efforts.

Successful participants will receive a Credly Acclaim digital badge acknowledging their completion of this professional development expert module from the International Education Management & Leadership Program at the University at Albany (SUNY).

Who Should Attend?

Staff at higher education institutions, associations, education-related companies and related organizations who seek to improve global pedagogy and program administration through the creative use of technology.

Info Session

Learn more about this and other eSeries modules at an info session hosted by Prof. Mitch Leventhal, Director, Program in International Education Management & Leadership.

Expert Series Presenter

Nancy Ruther

Nancy L. Ruther, Principal and founder of Gazelle International, a non-profit helping innovative university leaders break out and harness technology to expand access to high quality international higher education. She is advising the University of Albany’s new online International Education Management and Leadership Masters and has guided the Connecticut Community Colleges internationalization effort with CT CLICKs modeled on SUNY’s COIL and other virtual exchange efforts. She also serves as Senior Fellow in Higher Education and Strategy with the Yale Women Faculty Forum helping re-energize their research-based advocacy program and faculty membership. In senior leadership with The MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University, she grew budgets from $3 to $40M, kept Yale in the winners circle with Title VI grants and developed degree and certificate programs, expanded language teaching, developed faculty and graduate student exchanges and collaborations, managed scores of visiting faculty and competitions for student field projects, fee-based programs as well as outreach to the larger K-12 and college education communities. Read more…

  • Participants will receive a set of resources tailored to the course, both readings and workbook materials.
  • 3 in-depth examples of globally connected approaches and results in international higher education (virtual exchange for STEM, shared language teaching consortium, shared research-teaching network humanities &/or management).
  • Other recommended research resources and virtual exchange resource networks.
  1. Understanding Globally Connected Strategies – You will have a sense of the major organizations leading technology-based innovation in international higher education worldwide. You will have a connected strategies framework to consider innovations with current international education programming such as curricular internationalization, language learning, service learning, education abroad, international student programming, overseas partners and research networks.
  2. Developing the campus profile – virtual readiness assessment – You learn how to review mission and vision alignment with pursuing a globally connected strategy and also identify the units and groups involved directly and tangentially. You apply a basic strategic analysis using SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) of a selected campus to determine readiness for adding a globally connected strategy to its international programming. You will appreciate how to use “force field analysis” to gauge the capacity of key stakeholders on your campus to advance/delay your efforts and develop an approach to engage them as allies.
  3. Analyzing Campus-Partner-Teacher – point of entry – You will understand how to adapt the “virtual needs assessment” to gauge the readiness of key allies and stakeholders in the critical triangle of on-campus units, overseas partners and faculty/teachers. You learn how to use force field analysis to develop approaches for enlisting allies among the critical stakeholders on campus involved directly and tangentially in developing a globally connected initiative.
  4. Analyzing Campus-Teacher-Partner landscape – operational targets and resources – You will understand and be able to advocate for and defend initiatives at strategic and operational levels, working with campus leadership and more immediate stakeholders. You be able to design a simple, cost effective assessment plan with both process/formative and outcome measures.
  5. Presenting a Strategy – You will present a summary global connection strategy and test advocacy arguments to use in launching new connected initiatives.
  • Before Session 1: Participants will describe their motivation for taking this course and their background with regards to globally connected strategies for international education. This will help the IEL Fellow instructor to form working groups to support each other in the applied work.
  • During session 1: We will form working groups to pursue the applied work.
  • After Session 1: Teams will meet asynchronously or synchronously and begin to narrow their focus for a globally connected international education initiative. They will consider the value proposition for their focus.
  • After Session 2: Participants/teams will perform a SWOT analysis and adapt the “virtual needs assessment” for the strategic level relevant to the international education program area that they choose to target for their global connection initiative. They will have their preliminary goals and initial value proposition.
  • After Session 3: Participants/teams will map key stakeholders, perform a force field analysis and update the virtual readiness assessment for the operational level of their global connection initiative. This will include goals, value proposition and 3-7 measurable outcome and assessment plan. They will prepare a brief presentation to present in Session 4. If the teams agree, we will share these preliminary plans before Session 4.
  • After Session 4: Participants/teams will take the feedback from the session and update their final roadmap to present in Session 5. They will prepare at least one advocacy argument they plan to use in launching their initiative back on campus or at work and be ready to test it during Session 5.
  • After Session 5: Each participant will submit a summary of the roadmap for their global connection initiative including executive summary, value proposition, 12-24 month operational milestones and an assessment plan.

Expert Series Design structure

Participants will receive 7.5 hours of synchronous sessions with the instructor and 4.5 hours of asynchronous sessions where participants prepare their final project. The synchronous sessions will include the following 5 meetings of 90 minutes each via Zoom (UAlbany).

Synchronous Sessions:

  • Tuesday, June 23 – 12-1:30pm EDT (GMT-5)
  • Friday, June 26 – 12-1:30pm EDT (GMT-5)
  • Tuesday, June 30 – 12-1:30pm EDT (GMT-5)
  • Tuesday, July 7 – 12-1:30pm EDT (GMT-5)
  • Tuesday, July 14 – 12-1:30pm EDT (GMT-5)

Instructions for connecting to synchronous sessions and accessing the online material will be provided after registration.

Registration Fee: $399

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1400 Washington Ave
Albany, NY, 12222

+01 (518) 442-5080

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