“Our goal was to make sure students on campus understood that they would be working in a global environment,” says Karen Kashmanian Oates, Peterson Family Dean of Arts and Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. As scientists and engineers, WPI students are poised to enter a truly global marketplace, with companies headquartered outside the U. S. or requiring working in or with these other locations.

Constructing a strategic plan for global engagement that will benefit both students and the institution, however, requires more than a simple study-abroad program. In a presentation for the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD), Oates and her co-presenters explained the situation thus: “Without a strategic plan for global engagement in place, most interactions have been reactive instead of proactive, with engagements neither initiated nor coordinated with central university aspirations.” By constructing a strategic plan, the institution can help meet institutional goals.