College Communications Home
||Contact: Sharon Taylor, Institute of Intensive English
Kathleen Grussing, International Coordinator/Admissions - 208/792-2506
LCSC Recruiting Trip to Japan,
Korea a Success
It was hard work but LCSC's Sharon Taylor, Director of the Institute of
Intensive English (IIE), and Kathleen Grussing, Admissions Coordinator of International
Student Services, say the effort was well worth it: The two women recently returned from
an intensive two-week trip to Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, South Korea, where the goal was to
recruit students and get the word out about LCSC.
They feel they succeeded at both, and there is already
evidence to prove it. Says Taylor, "Two students signed up in Tokyo and we've already
had more correspondence asking for information and applications than ever before this soon
after a recruiting trip."
A key strategy in the trip's success was utilizing Taylor's already-established contacts
in the two countries to connect with good study-abroad agents-43 of them to be exact.
Functioning much like travel agents, these people assist students interested in studying
out of their countries by helping them to identify good schools, get student visas, fill
out applications, etc. The students, the schools, or both pay commissions to these agents.
Reuniting with former LCSC students from Tokyo and Seoul was another new, but equally
effective tactic. The former students, now successful career people who remain genuinely
fond of Lewiston and LCSC, were able to introduce Taylor and Grussing to nearly 20
prospective students interested in coming to LCSC to study. "This approach will be
part of our recruiting strategy from now on," said Taylor.
Taylor and Grussing were especially happy with results of the trip in light of the current
recruiting environment. These are tough days to recruit international students to the
United States, they noted. Global economic downturn coupled with fears spawned by this
fall's terrorist attacks have reduced the number of international students planning to
come to this country.
The good news in this case, however, is that those
interested in traveling see LCSC as a particularly attractive option now. Taylor and
Grussing believe there are several reasons for this, but point to location as a big
factor. A good school in a relatively remote and thinly populated part of the country
currently has an edge over those in urban areas, many of which have a high cost of living
and are now perceived to be potentially dangerous locations. Top-notch study-abroad agents
know this and are anxious to market LCSC.
Also significant is LCSC's reputation among the international students who have come here
over the last 20 years. These former students effectively spread the word about the many
good things the college offers.
They talk about the quality curriculum, which Taylor says is stronger than ever now that
the Institute of Intensive English is a part of the college. Located on campus since 1981
under the ownership of four different corporations, IIE became part
of the college in July of this year. College ownership has also made it possible to reduce
costs of attending the Institute, a strong selling point for students in these times of
Grussing identified another particulary important factor for young people willing to
travel to the U.S. for their education, as being how welcome they feel at LCSC and in the
community. "LCSC makes it clear that we value the presence of international
students," she said.
She described other appealing factors: "They can qualify for out-of-state tuition
waivers. We've also worked hard to build a strong host family program. Our International
Club, which has an active membership and brings about 25 people to each meeting, offers
the possibility of credit and gives members experience in such things as community service
and sharing of culture. Plus, the fact that the annual International Dinner is always a
sell-out tells these kids that the campus and community like them and what they bring to
Taylor and Grussing are optimistic about achieving their short and long-term goals for IIE
and International Programs. The recent recruiting trip was
"geared to get the ball rolling" in Grussing's words. "Fall Semester 2002
is when we expect to see the first enrollment increase generated by the trip," she
Looking further ahead, the two women hope to see the average number of students in the two
programs increase. Specifically, they'd like to double the International Program's current
enrollment of 74, and would like IIE's enrollment to go from today's 12 up to 40.
Also promising for the long term, is LCSC's plan to develop a
sister-school relationship with Shoin University, a 4-year women's college in Japan. In
such an arrangement, credit transfer is easy and there is regular exchange of students.
"The big advantage for LCSC would be a steady flow of Shoin students who would come
without recruiting effort on our part," says Grussing, adding, " We know Shoin
is interested because they already have LCSC posters on the walls of their library."
In describing her feelings about IIE and LCSC now being one, Sharon Taylor says, "I
feel like I've come home." It appears that many international students become
similarly fond of the college and that, the two women say, may be the most powerful
recruiting tool of all.