IELTS USA Best Practices Award

2020 Award Recipients: University of Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

SEAS 360 has been a standout success in addressing a need identified by students, faculty, alumni, and partners in the industry - the input of these stakeholders is a critical component in the development and continued evolution towards refinement.

IELTS USA’s Best Practices Award recognizes outstanding International Enrollment Management models aimed at providing a seamless educational experience for international students. It highlights collaborative strategic enrollment management initiatives that link admissions and recruitment practices to institutional support programs, including academic and socioemotional support, mentoring, career development, language support, and cultural enrichment.

Our team is comprised of former Enrollment Management and ESL Professionals who know that working in unison fosters an environment where international students have equal and equitable opportunities to take full advantage of their education. IELTS USA considers a “whole-institution” approach as the gold standard for international enrollment management, and we are proud to announce the IELTS USA Best Practices in International Enrollment Management Award.

The following exemplifies the spirit of this award:

  • Admissions team partners with ESL staff to develop an extended orientation program to acclimate international students prior to arrival on campus
  • Admissions, International Student and Scholars Office, and Academic Advisors form a task force to share data and address academic and acculturation challenges for international students
  • Academic departments, Career Services, and ESL host a joint career bootcamp for students and employers in support of career readiness

Research shows that English language proficiency is a vital component in sociocultural adjustment, impacting the effectiveness of student services offered on campus. IELTS USA supports institutions in achieving their goal of international student success by providing English language assessment literacy to support strategic international enrollment management initiatives that link admissions and recruitment practices to institutional support programs. We also work with Student Affairs professionals to develop support services & programming that consider how language and culture influence learning. In an effort to continue to support our stakeholders, we are eager to celebrate the unique way you are leading international student success at your institution!


  • Applicants must be employed by an accredited, degree-granting higher education institution in the US or US territories that accepts IELTS
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate collaboration among 2 or more departments; one of the departments must predominantly support/advise international students
  • The selection committee is made up of IELTS USA’s Higher Education Advisory Council members; therefore, applicants employed at the same institution are not eligible;  you can find a list of current Advisory Committee members here 

Selection Criteria  
The selection committee welcomes applications from international enrollment managers who can demonstrate innovative approaches to enhanced international student success through collaborations across departments.

The selection committee will evaluate proposals based on the following four criteria:

  1. The degree of innovation in the institution’s approach
  2. The extent of institutional collaboration and commitment
  3. Relevant impact on the student population
  4. Qualitative and/or quantitative research that supports outcomes

Application Components 

  1. Demographics Form
  2. Essay (700-1000 words) that addresses the following:
    - Problem analysis that led to the development of employed practices
    - Initiatives and institutional practices employed to address gaps to include a description of the level of collaboration between departments
    - Description of how these initiatives have promoted success throughout the student life-cycle
  3. A letter of endorsement from the Chief Enrollment Manager or Chief International Officer


  • NAFSA registration and Global Partner presentation opportunity for two
  • Plaque to be awarded at IELTS USA’s NAFSA Global Partner session
  • Recognition through a program synopsis in IELTS USA’s newsletter and social media channels


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