SOURCE: INTO University Partnerships

May 31, 2011 08:30 ET

INTO University of South Florida Students Exceed Academic Success Targets

TAMPA, FL--(Marketwire - May 31, 2011) - The University of South Florida (USF) and INTO University Partnerships (INTO) announced today that the percentage of international students enrolled in the university's Pathway programs that have qualified for progression to USF degree programs has exceeded targets.

USF and INTO developed a partnership in January 2010 to establish INTO USF, an on-campus program designed specifically for international students, that welcomed its first cohort in August 2010. Students enrolled in INTO USF Pathway programs participate in university-designed and university-led programs made up of English language instruction, credit bearing first-year university courses, and academic skills development.

INTO USF Pathway programs provide the necessary preparation that international students require due to differences in culture, pedagogy, language, and learning environments, thereby facilitating a smooth academic and cultural transition to ensure the students' future success at USF. The INTO USF Pathway experience offers international students either one semester or two semesters of instruction and a range of support services to accelerate their success. Students live in USF residence halls, enjoy access to all campus resources, and are fully integrated with USF campus life. The outcome is a cohort of international students who are academically prepared to progress to their chosen USF degree program.

Of the INTO USF students who commenced Undergraduate or Graduate Pathway programs in August 2010 or January 2011, and completed their respective programs by May 2011, 86% met the university's academic progression requirements and are eligible to matriculate as degree-seeking students at USF.

Former Pathway students who progressed to university degree programs in January 2011 are affirming the mission of the INTO USF program -- ensuring student success. Based on spring term GPAs, these former undergraduate and graduate INTO USF students academically outperformed all other international and domestic USF student cohorts who entered the university in the same term.

"In just its first year of operation, INTO USF is already delivering on the university's promise to provide international students with the best possible experience once they've decided to pursue their higher education goals at USF," said USF Provost Ralph Wilcox. "The success of the INTO USF model in preparing Pathway program students for academic success is demonstrated by the percentage of students eligible for progression to a USF degree program. It's further reinforced by the strong performance of Pathway graduates in their first semester of their USF degree programs."

INTO USF generates far-reaching benefits that extend beyond just the talented international students it enrolls. The INTO USF partnership is illustrative of the university's long-term strategic commitment to expand its global brand and visibility in an increasingly complex and fiercely competitive higher education market sector. The integration of international students enhances the quality of USF's academic programs, and assures a more relevant educational experience for all students. Additionally, the INTO USF partnership yields significant financial and economic benefits to the university and the Tampa community via the incremental tuition revenues for reinvestment in the university's core academic enterprise as well as the creation of over 50 new jobs associated through the innovative partnership.

"USF offers academically rigorous programs, robust academic support, excellence in quality service and a commitment to integrate all students -- domestic and international alike -- into the academic and social life of the university," said USF President Judy Genshaft. "The INTO USF partnership is contributing greatly to USF becoming world renowned and for preparing all students with the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to succeed in our rapidly changing world."

INTO USF expects to grow from its present enrollment of 510 students to more than 700 students by fall semester 2011. According to INTO USF Center Director Glen Besterfield, "INTO USF faculty and staff are proud of our first year success in enrollment and progression of students from Pathways to USF degree programs, and we're excited about the challenges ahead as we welcome an even larger and more diverse group of international students for fall 2011."

INTO University Partnerships works together with US and UK universities to develop specialized Pathway programs and enhanced support services that specifically address international students' educational, social and cultural needs, carefully preparing them to progress with confidence as degree-seeking students. Students benefit from university-designed programs, high-quality, university-led teaching, and supportive learning environments while enjoying full access to their host university's campus facilities, resources and services. Since 2006, INTO has launched 10 joint venture partnerships to internationalize campuses in the UK and the US including the University of South Florida and Oregon State University. More information can be found at www.into-corporate.com.

The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded $394.1 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2009/2010. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.