1. Why is it important to increase international enrollments?
WSU international student population has remained at approximately 7% of the student body, while WSU’s peers tend to have approximately 18% international students. These students bring diversity and an international perspective that benefits all of WSU. In addition, the revenue sharing model for pathway students is designed to allow departments to grow enrollments and meet the needs of all students, domestic and international.
2. What is INTO and why did we partner with them?
INTO is a company that partners with 11 universities in the U.S. and numerous universities in the U.K. to help increase international student enrollment. Their large marketing and recruitment network and student-support services infrastructure has a proven record of success in supporting the internationalization of a university.
3. What is INTO WSU and how is it related to International Programs (IP)?
In 2017, our agreement with INTO University Partnerships created INTO WSU, a joint venture on the Pullman campus housed in Kruegel Hall, along with International Programs (IP) staff for Undergraduate Admissions and the Intensive American Language Center (IALC). In coordination with IP, INTO WSU has responsibilities in the areas of marketing, recruitment, and student support services for students in pathway programs. IP is the liaison for the INTO WSU partnership to the rest of the university and continues to provide services to all fully matriculated international students. IP, the Provost’s Office, and the Graduate School work with academic units to design admissions criteria and academic programs for INTO WSU and collaborate on implementation of the INTO WSU joint venture.
4. What is a pathway and how does it work?
Pathways are designed to prepare students to succeed academically in a non-degree-seeking status before they matriculate to one of our regular academic programs. Each pathway includes selected coursework for academic credit, English language refinement, and a high-level of support to help international students transition to a new university and new culture. INTO WSU provides this specialized support for international students in a pathway. Students in pathways are subject to all of WSU’s academic regulations.
5. Where did the Intensive American Language Center go?
In 2017, the IP-IALC became a service provider to INTO WSU and changed its program length from eight-week sessions to sixteen-week semesters in Pullman. The IP-IALC continues to provide International Teaching Assistant (ITA) exams and the eight-week ITA course. The IP-IALC also has a location at WSU Tri-Cities, which continues to run on eight-week sessions. The IP-IALC continues to maintain its CEA accreditation for Academic English and continues to report to the Vice President for IP.
6. Can all campuses offer Pathways?
Undergraduate International Students enter pathways on the Pullman campus and can matriculate to a campus where their degree program is offered once they have successfully completed the pathway. The Academic English and pathways courses currently are delivered on the Pullman campus, because this is where the IP teams and the INTO WSU joint venture teams are located.
7. How do international students receive support services after they leave Pullman to attend another campus?
As with all international students at WSU, the Office of International Programs provides services for students across the University system, as do numerous other entities to support student success in and out of the classroom.
Academics and Admissions
8. How does admissions work?
For undergraduate pathways, the courses, entry criteria and progression criteria were approved by a faculty work group in 2017 and are updated as needed in consultation with college faculty and administrators with oversight from the Provost Office. For graduate pathways, each WSU degree program selects courses for its pathway and develops admission criteria in consultation with the college dean, the Graduate School, and the Provost Office. WSU colleges and the Provost Office recommend admission criteria for Pathway students, and INTO advises WSU on the marketability of the proposed criteria.
Graduate pathway students are admitted to the Pathway based on a rolling admissions process that specifies entry criteria rather than based on a fixed application deadline that includes competitive review. Students who meet the criteria enter as non-degree-seeking students and can earn admission to degree-seeking status by demonstrating success in their Pathways.
9. Why are Pathway admission criteria lower than the criteria for direct/traditional admission?
Some students who do not yet meet proficiency standards for English and/or have GPAs below the typical criteria required for admission nevertheless demonstrate the potential to succeed as a degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student. These students begin their studies as non-degree-seeking students in Pathways designed to provide the support services and academic opportunities through which they can develop the necessary proficiencies and academic achievement that will enable them to earn admission as degree-seeking students. Generally, students can enter the Pathway with lower TOEFL/IELTS scores and with GPAs up to .5 below the usual admission criteria. Students are not re-reviewed for admission when they have successfully completed a pathway; instead, their record of success in the Pathway enables them to progress into degree-seeking status. They usually do not require provisional admission (see Graduate School FAQs about provisional admission and INTO).
10. What is the evidence that pathway students can be successful as degree-seeking students?
Across the INTO partner institutions, an average of 86% of pathways students matriculate into degree-seeking study across undergraduate and graduate programs. INTO advises WSU on appropriate admissions criteria and Pathway course selections based on its experience with the other universities in its network. These institutions include Oregon State University, University of South Florida, Colorado State University, George Mason University and others. We know from other partners that pathways students often academically outperform direct-entry international students and also are more likely to be retained to degree program completion, even though they initially enter as non-degree students with lower GPAs and TOEFL/IELTS scores.
11. What does a student study plan look like?
A student may come in and study Academic English (AE) before beginning a pathway or they may enter a pathway directly. Students study AE first if they need a stronger foundation for their English prior to beginning a pathway. If their English language test score comes in higher, they may be able to start a pathway first without studying AE prior to the pathway.
12. What support is provided for faculty and students involved in pathway course delivery?
INTO WSU provides tailored orientation and continuing support service for students. For example, INTO WSU provides tailored orientation and works with the university to provide extra tutoring support, in-class English language assistance, reading and writing practice specific to the discipline and other necessary support.
13. How do students progress out of a pathway?
Students come in with different study plans such as Academic English plus an academic pathway or may qualify to enter into a pathway without first starting in Academic English. If students come in to Academic English first, they must meet exit criteria for each level of the IALC CEA-accredited program. Once students complete the appropriate level of Academic English, they may come into a pathway. They then must meet pathway progression criteria, which are set by WSU faculty to include diagnostically appropriate courses that will count toward the degree.
Undergraduate pathway students can take between 1-3 semesters to earn the right to progress into degree-seeking status. To progress out of the pathway, they must earn a 2.5 cumulative GPA and earn a C or better in every course taken. Undergraduate students can progress to any WSU location that offers their intended degree program but must still certify into their majors and fulfill all requirements for the degree.
Graduate pathways students can take between 1-2 semesters to earn the right to progress into degree-seeking status. For example, if a student is admitted to a pathway to prepare students for a particular master’s program on a designated campus, the student is automatically admitted to that master’s program and campus upon successful completion of the pathway. Successful completion of a pathway involves completing all coursework with a 3.0 GPA or better. Please see the Graduate School FAQs regarding criteria requiring provisional entry.
14. What if students need to repeat a course?
Undergraduate pathways students need to earn a C or better in every course to complete the pathway. If they do not, they may have to repeat a course and extend their pathway. Per WSU academic regulations, normal rules regarding course repetition do apply: https://registrar.wsu.edu/academic-regulations/ .
Graduate pathways students need to earn a B or better in every course and a cumulative 3.0 GPA. To establish a graduate GPA for pathway progression, the student must complete at least six credits of 500-level graduate course work. If a graduate GPA of 3.0 has not been established, the student may be recommended for provisional admission by the graduate program (see Graduate School FAQ). If the cumulative GPA is lower than 3.0, the student may have to repeat the same course, add a course the following semester or extend their pathway. A graduate pathway student can repeat up to one semester and from there, continued enrollment is decided on a case-by-case basis.
15. How do WSU programs update admissions criteria and courses for existing pathways?
WSU’s contract with INTO specifies that changes to courses or admissions criteria take effect 12-months after WSU and INTO agree to change the pathway. Typically, this means that changes need to be submitted from WSU to INTO by June 30 for admissions decisions that will take effect in August of the following year. These changes should be submitted to IP and the Provost’s Office from Colleges well in advance of the June 30 deadline to allow time for additional discussion that may be needed to refine the adjustments.
16. Are non-thesis graduate degree programs better suited for pathways than thesis-oriented programs?
Non-thesis programs or coursework-only programs tend to work best with pathways because thesis study is quite individualized. Thesis study requires more capacity on the part of faculty to individually serve as advisors to students in niche areas.
17. How do departments sign up to participate in a pathway?
To find out more about pathways or to start building one, you can contact Kate Hellmann in International Programs, who will coordinate with Dr. Erica Austin in the Provost’s Office.
18. How does marketing and recruitment work?
The INTO WSU brochure is developed by INTO North America in coordination with INTO WSU and the IP Admissions Director, who works to seek brand and content approval from WSU University Communications, Institutional Research and others as needed. Program-specific materials developed by INTO WSU Marketing and Recruitment Manager and INTO WSU Marketing and Communications Specialist are reviewed and approved by the IP Admissions Director and participating Colleges and Campuses prior to publishing.
INTO WSU and Direct Entry (Also called “traditional entry”) Recruitment is managed by the IP Admissions Director and INTO WSU Marketing and Recruitment Manager through agency relationships, regional INTO teams and various other outreach activities. Direct/traditional entry students are evaluated holistically and comprehensively according to the degree program’s usual procedures for the direct/traditional entry.
19. How can departments understand and predict how many students will be enrolling?
The recruitment of international students is a highly competitive market, and so WSU receives many more applications than acceptances. Because of restrictions on when international students can apply for a visa these students tend confirm later than domestic students tend to confirm in the admission cycle.
We carefully track those students who accept admission and pay a deposit to confirm their interest in attending WSU. Enrollment information on confirmed students is sent via e-mail from the Pathway Manager to departments with a copy to Dr. Erica Austin every two weeks, or more often as requested. This information typically goes to department chairs and advisors. Others, such as Deans or Associate Deans, can be added at any time. In addition, International Programs and INTO WSU will be providing regular reports of current and projected enrollment numbers.
After the INTO WSU agreement was established, the IP Admissions director worked with the WSU Enterprise Systems Group team to create new admit types and academic programs to ensure that the Academic English, Undergraduate and Graduate Pathway students and Direct Entry students recruited through INTO could be easily identified and tracked in MyWSU. Departments can request to have queries created in MyWSU to help track students with an intent to matriculate into their programs. Please contact Laurie Quiring, Director of International Admissions and Recruitment, for more information.
20. How do the participating colleges share in revenue from the INTO program?Colleges delivering instruction to INTO students during the non-degree Pathway stage and after they matriculate as degree-seeking students share in the revenue generated by undergraduate and graduate pathways and the matriculation of students into undergraduate courses and master’s programs. Funding follows the course prefix, which means it goes to the college and campus delivering the instruction. For example, if an engineering student takes a three-credit math course, those student credit hours will be credited to the College of Arts and Sciences.
Please see the separate budget scenario document for specific examples.
21. How are non-Pullman campuses compensated for matriculated students?
Non-Pullman campuses will receive 89% of tuition revenue for students who matriculate to their campuses. Those campuses determine distribution procedures for tuition revenue from students enrolled on their campus.
22. How are non-Pullman campuses compensated for pathway students?
Non-Pullman campuses receive the same distribution for Pathway students as colleges receive, if instruction is being delivered from that campus. Those campuses determine procedures for distribution of tuition revenue from students enrolled on their campuses.
Serves as the Executive Director for INTO Washington State University.
Provides leadership and long-range planning for the IALC Academic English program and pathways. Oversees IALC efforts toward internationalization.
Leads and directs marketing, recruitment, and admission processes for WSU’s Intensive American Language Center and International Undergraduate Admissions. Manages agency relationships and establishes pathway partnerships.