Smart Management & Immigration Risk


The University at Albany’s International Education Leadership Expert Series presents a module with Ron Cushing designed to provide insights to leaders and other practitioners about best practices in immigration compliance.


Summer 2020


Registration Fee: $399

About the module

New international student enrollment in the U.S. has decreased for three consecutive years. On campus, we are challenged by a perfect storm of complications in managing this arena. Immigration compliance takes on extraordinary strategic as well as operational importance in this fraught environment. Senior International Officers need to understand the mission-critical and shifting risks as well as the basics of how immigration compliance affects the institution. Those who direct or work in international offices need new tools for “smart compliance,” staying abreast of changes and managing operations to protect students, scholars and the institution.

Compliance issues are now at the forefront of all international student and scholar operations as the federal government has clamped down on approvals for everything from changes in immigration status, to reinstatement to status, to work permits and employment visas. Even more challenging, institutions of higher education who try to be progressive and create new programs of study or pathways can be derailed by extensive approval processing times from the federal Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Pair all of this with new unlawful presence laws and students can be penalized excessively for improper advising or processing on the part of the institution.

This course, Smart Management & Immigration Risk, is designed to meet the professional development needs of both senior and front-line practitioners with primary or related roles in managing immigration compliance and advising responsibilities for SEVIS certified institutions. We will cover the strategic risks and critical compliance issues for institutional leadership and provide smart tools for managing both policy development and the regulatory details for student and scholar operations.

Successful participants will receive a digital micro-credential 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?

Deans and Directors of International Programs interested in preserving and building their academic and extracurricular programming with international students and scholars.

Who Should Attend?

Senior International Officers interested in understanding and mitigating the immigration risk profile of their campus as well as for students and scholars.

Who Should Attend?

General Counsel and Institutional Risk Officers who want to mitigate and reduce their institutions immigration risk profile.

Who Should Attend?

New and seasoned advisors who serve as Designated School Officials seeking additional knowledge and professional development.

Who Should Attend?

Current students interested in International Education as a career seeking additional knowledge and capacity.

Expert Series Presenter

Ron Cushing

Ron Cushing has been the Director of International Services at the University of Cincinnati for 24 years. He is responsible for serving the needs of over 5,000 non-immigrant students, faculty, and researchers. Ron has served as a mentor to over one thousand colleagues through his Fundamentals of Foreign Student Advising seminar, a three-day seminar for Designated School Officials that he has been conducting for 20 years. Ron has made well over 100 presentations at professional conferences, including regional and national NAFSA: the Association of International Educators (AIEA); the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC); the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC); the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AAOCRAO); Lorman Educational Services; Global Education Solutions LLC; and other organizations. Ron has been honored by NAFSA, Region VI, with the Leo Dowling Award of Excellence for his “compassion, integrity and leadership” to the field of international education. Ron is also a recipient of the University of Cincinnati’s “Just Community” award given to individuals for “outstanding contributions that promote the ideals of a just and caring community” and has been named of one the Communication Departments’ “50 Communication Alumni Champions” based on his success in his career, local community and support to UC.

  • Participants in the course will receive access to Ron Cushing’s Fundamentals of Foreign Student Advising curriculum including white papers, topic instructions and incidents.
  • Full regulatory citations
  • Sample Institutional Policies

Overall Learning Outcomes: Participants will work in groups of two or three to review regulations, discuss case scenarios and develop institutional policies on different topics. Practitioners will increase their knowledge of areas of institutional risk and expand their toolset when managing and mitigating risk to the institution and the students and scholars they serve. At the conclusion of the course participants will have a comprehensive understanding of all regulations related to student and scholar operations and be able to develop institutional policies in key areas of international education.

  • Before Session 1: Participants will describe their role within the institution (Senior International Officer; Director; Advisor) and will be asked to describe current institutional compliance and service efforts on financial certification and I-20 issuance, international student employment, international visitors coming to campus, fees charged to students, and processing of in–house immigration petitions. This will help the IEL Fellow instructor to form working groups to support each other in the applied work. Case studies for week one will be presented to working groups.
  • During session 1: Case studies will be discussed including making I-17 updates; implementing institutional fees and declaring instructional sites.
  • After Session 1: Working groups will collaborate on institutional policy topics for sessions 2 and 3.
  • During Session 2 and 3: Institutional policies will be discussed including defining who is an international student, what an institutional international visitors policy should include and whether change of status and reinstatement petitions should be processed in-house.
  • After Session 3: Working groups will review and discuss the regulatory framework for advising international students and international student operations.
  • During session 4: Case studies will be discussed and participants will gain additional insights into structuring operations, who should be serving as DSOs, and how to advise all students regardless of immigration status.
  • After Session 4: Working groups will review and discuss the regulatory framework related to advising international scholars and international scholar operations.
  • During session 5: Case studies will be discussed and participants will gain insights into structuring operations including and determining how and what immigrations benefits should be processed in-house. Participants will be required to submit an outline of key issues to be addressed in their existing or ideal workplace.

Expert Series Design structure

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

Synchronous Sessions:

  • Monday, June 22 – 4pm-5:30pm EDT (GMT-5)
  • Friday, June 26 – 4pm-5:30pm EDT (GMT-5)
  • Monday, June 29 – 4pm-5:30pm EDT (GMT-5)
  • Monday, July 13 – 4pm-5:30pm EDT (GMT-5)
  • Friday, July 17 – 4pm-5:30pm EDT (GMT-5)

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

Registration Fee: $399

15% Discount on registration for cohorts of three (3) or more from the same institution.

Reach Us

1400 Washington Ave
Albany, NY, 12222

+01 (518) 442-5080

Leave A Message

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This