I would like to endorse Neil Forsberg’s letter to the editor on March 7 regarding the growing support for restoring the OSU International Degree Program (IDP); and restoring the IDP Faculty Director role … a part-time position that was a key ingredient for the success of this program!
My endorsement is based on experience over a seven year period (1999-2005) serving as the IDP Faculty Director. The students in the IDP need good advising and support with their primary degree faculty members to meet the challenges of a dual degree; and that is a key role of the IDP Faculty Director.
During my time period in this position, my international colleagues and I worked very closely with all the Colleges on campus, especially the Honors College in meeting student requirements such as teaching a course on research methodologies and providing guidelines for completing student research projects.
I can’t think of any aspect in our personal lives and professional careers in today’s society (and well into the future) that does not have an international dimension to the challenges, solutions to problems, and new opportunities. It is more important than ever for students to have academic education and experiences to be effective in contributing to global issues of significance while also being successful at local and regional careers.
While OSU is increasing the number of international students on campus, and there are many wonderful opportunities for students to obtain global experience and a global mindset, the International Degree Program was the “unique and ultimate combination” of international education and experience that provided our students with a pathway to a second degree in international studies that was available within every undergraduate degree program at OSU.
The compelling success stories from former IDP students and others is hard to describe in words … these stories have always given me an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment in having helped IDP students along the way while serving as the Faculty Director. I think that the International Degree Program deserves support from OSU; it has a proven record of success and should be restored including the part-time Faculty Director’s position.
OSU College of Forestry