2020 IELTS USA Best Practices Award Recipient

IELTS USA is proud to announce the SEAS 360° program at the University at Buffalo (UB), The State University of New York's (SUNY) School of Engineering and Applied Sciences as the 2020 recipient of the Best Practices in International Enrollment Management Award!

The SEAS 360° Certificate of Professional Development at the University at Buffalo highlights the critical role that collaboration plays in the successful recruitment and retention of international students. The variety of internal and external stakeholders demonstrates the importance of working in unison to foster an environment where international students have equal and equitable opportunities to take full advantage of their education. The collaborators represent various touchpoints throughout the student lifecycle supporting SEAS 360° success in identifying and connecting stakeholders committed to international students. Newly developed relationships with UB’s International Student Services, Alumni Relations, and Career Services allows the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to employ a strategic approach to international enrollment management and demonstrate its value for career preparation.

According to John Wood, Ph.D., Interim Vice Provost for International Education at the University at Buffalo, “SEAS 360° powerfully leverages the skill sets and programming of multiple units within the School and beyond” and relied on existing but underutilized resources to offer a cost-free 25-hour certificate program. Participants are offered eight areas of training to develop and improve high demand “power skills,” as identified by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). The SEAS 360° Certificate of Professional Development is in direct response to challenges surrounding intercultural assimilation for international graduate students in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University at Buffalo, particularly those who are the lone enrollments from their respective countries & domestic students with limited international experiences. It also addresses feedback from trusted industry partners about enhancing “soft” skills, including professional skills for international students. 

Successfully recruiting international students requires an understanding of students’ capabilities and a willingness to assist them in developing a sense of their roles as global citizens in preparation for a competitive labor market. Christopher Connor, Assistant Dean and Chief Enrollment Officer, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences notes that “SEAS 360° is a key differentiator in a highly competitive student market, and its impact is reflected in international graduate enrollment increases.” Beyond admissions, the program has been most successful in increasing engagement and participation in workshops meant to bring attention to previously recognized ethical challenges regarding academic integrity, culturally accepted norms, and differences. Institutionally, UB has seen exponential increases in international students’ sense of belonging, directly meeting the mission of an institution-wide task force charged with developing collective efforts to welcome, include and engage international students on campus. 

UB, SEAS 360°, and its collaborators are an example of an outstanding International Enrollment Management model that sets institutional goals for the recruitment, retention, and graduation of international students. According to Connor, “SEAS 360° has been a standout success in addressing a need identified by students, faculty, alumni, & partners in the industry - the input of these various stakeholders is a critical component in the development and continued evolution towards refinement.” 

IELTS USA provides English language assessment literacy to support strategic international enrollment management initiatives that link admissions and recruitment practices to institutional support programs at our network of more than 3,400 higher education institutions and organizations. We are aided in this work by partnerships developed through this award and we'd like to congratulate the UB team on this achievement!


Award collaborators & departments

  • Christopher Connor, Assistant Dean and Chief Enrollment Officer, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Jennifer Gammell, Associate Director of Graduate Enrollment Management, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Katie Lengel, Assistant Director for Graduate Student Professional Development and Corporate Engagement
  • Betty Johnson, Lindsay DiAngelo and Lauren Rothschild, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Jude Butch, Senior Associate Director of Student Engagement, Office of Student Engagement
  • Kate Tudini, Assistant Vice Provost and Director, Office of International Student Services
  • Ed Brodka, Career Counselor, Office of Career Services
  • Holly Justice, Career Counselor, Office of Career Services
  • Todd Brooks, Annual Giving Officer, University Advancement
  • Bethany Mazur, Director of Constituent and Alumni Engagement, Office of Alumni Engagement
  • Jim Wehrfritz, Executive/Project Manager (Retired), Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • Hadar Borden, Program Director, UB Blackstone LaunchPad 
Contact Bolu Oluwadiya for more information.