They also come from a diverse background: 24 percent of them are African
American, American Indian, Hispanic,
Asian, or multiracial—or are international students from 15 foreign countries. Indeed, for the past five years we
have been actively encouraging more
international students to study at our
University. At present, there are 147 international students on campus, including 90 returning students and 57 new
students who enrich the educational experience of our academic community
and provide valuable cross-cultural interactions.
Internationalization is one of the priorities outlined in our Strategic Plan,
which calls for providing our students with a more global
perspective through study abroad, academic offerings, and
an increased enrollment of international students. We have
been advancing our internationalization initiatives for some
time to develop innovative approaches to prepare the institution and all our students for success in a global economy.
With increased opportunities to study abroad, more
students are broadening their worldview with life-changing
experiences. Last summer, our Engineering students participated in an academic and cultural program at Shandong
University of Science and Technology in Shandong, China.
Other students recently studied with University faculty in
Peru, France, England, Ireland, Israel, and China. The
students in our Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
program just returned from their weeklong winter residency
in Dublin. In the spring and summer, travel and study
seminars led by Western New England faculty will bring
students to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Iceland, England, Ireland,
Italy, Spain, South Africa, Botswana, the Czech Republic, and
Poland. And our Center for International Sport Business
continues to sponsor seminar trips, including one to the
upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Our participation in the recent U.S. Department of Energy
Solar Decathlon competition in Irvine, CA, is another example
of the University’s international reach.
The Western New England University
student team collaborated with students
from Universidad Tecnólogica de
Panamá and Universidad Tecnólogica
Centroamericana in Honduras to design
and build a solar-powered house that
tied for first place in the Affordability cat-
egory and came in second place in the
Energy Balance contest. In December,
our Civil Engineering students on the
team went on to join students from Uni-
versidad Tecnológica de Panamá in build-
ing another award-winning solar home at
the Solar Decathlon Latin America &
Caribbean competition in Cali, Colombia.
In a further exciting development,
Western New England University will be one of three univer-
sities in the U.S. to establish a BridgePathways Intensive Eng-
lish Center, which provides international students with the
linguistic, academic, and intercultural skills they need to suc-
ceed while studying in the U.S. The first cohort of students, to
be enrolled this month, will receive conditional admission to
the University, allowing them to enroll in one of the Univer-
sity’s 70-plus academic programs upon successful completion
of the BridgePathways curriculum.
Now, more than ever, we are a University on the move,
thanks to the dedication and hard work of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends—and to the generosity of donors.
Your gifts help us continue to attract and retain the high
quality and diverse students essential for a vibrant University
community—and to prepare them to be even more competitive in an ever-changing international marketplace.
IT IS ALWAYS AN UPLIFTING AND INVIGORATING TIME when students and faculty return to campus to
begin the academic year. The Class of 2019, selected from one of the largest applicant pools in the history of
the University, numbers 870 first-year and transfer students, and their credentials are impressive. Their
SAT scores are significantly above the national average, and more than a quarter of them have already
completed college courses while still in high school or have college credits through Advancement
Anthony S. Caprio