Incentives for Internationally Minded Teacher Educators

Faculty are key in any change initiative in any discipline, and internationalization of teacher preparation is no exception.  Faculty juggle numerous commitments and demands on their time.  In order to be encouraged pursue globally focused activities, they need to be incentivized so their efforts pay off and contribute to their long term professional goals.  Different options can offer opportunities for staff to pursue these efforts.

College-Based International Centers

Most universities have an international office that oversees study abroad, international students and faculty, partnerships, and other international activities campus wide.  Some colleges of education, however, are creating centers at the college level to support international scholarship.  The University of Maryland’s Office of International Initiatives was designed to “support and foster the international dimension of our work in education.”  The Office offers travel grants to faculty, fellowships for course development, and resources for teacher educators.  These efforts not only serve as resources to faculty with international interests, but illustrate that the College recognizes and features faculty with international interests and will thus naturally attract others to their College. The Ohio State University's International Programs office in the College of Education and Human Ecology supports faculty who wish to create international partnerships and pursue globally focused research.  

Support for Promotion and Tenure

When surveyed, deans of education as well as those in Arts and Sciences recognized the importance of explicitly including international expertise in tenure and promotion criteria to highlight its value to the institution and the profession. This might include recognizing and rewarding contributions such as course revisions that help future teachers learn how to teach about the world, articles in international journals, international research, committee service, and promoting study or student teaching abroad. Several campuses have programs to honor internationalized papers, articles, or research completed by faculty.  The University of Kentucky, for example, has hosted an internationalization research symposium to highlight internationally focused research sponsored by the college.

Financial Recognition

Financially rewarding faculty for supporting college and campus wide internationalization efforts sends a message that these efforts are important, and valued by leadership.  Faculty can be received grants for re-working courses or developing new courses that consider global perspectives, for establishing new partnership or opportunities with campuses abroad, and for developing service learning, study, or student teaching experiences abroad.  

Gerardo Gonzalez, Dean of the School of Education at Indiana University, launched the Global and International Initiatives Fund in 2007 to fund internationally focused partnerships and course development.  The resulting projects and initatives coming out of the fund are ongoing and renewed enthusiasm around internationaliztion in the School. The Dean of the College of Education at the University of Kentucky provided similar grants over two years.  The grants acted as a spark plug to ignite an interest in globalizing the college, and encouraged faculty to form partnerships overseas.

Kent State University, the University of Akron, and Miami University partnered together to award grants to five faculty from each institution who revised their coursework to reflect global learning outcomes they determined as a group.  Funded by the Longview Foundation, the project resulted in Teacher Education Goes Global, an online resource that includes bios, syllabi, and resources.  

Release Time

Giving faculty release time from their usual course load can accommodate the time needed to prepare and execute an international research project or planning and executing a study abroad trip.

Additional Incentives

Some campuses give a stipend to recognize placement outside the United States. There is incentive pay available for professors at the University of Miami, Ohio who agree to permanently teach at their Luxembourg campus.

Incentives in the Field

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), through its Committee on Global Diversity, recently initiated a “Best Practices in Global Diversity Award”, granted annually to colleges of teacher education that “foster development of quality teaching and professional education practices that promote diversity, equity, and global perspectives.”  Faculty with international interests are likely to be attracted to institutions with nationally recognized efforts.

Faculty and Campus Strategies: 
Funding Strategies: