Letter to the editor: Former program advisor advocates for International Degree

Andrea Herling

Thank you for your coverage of the International Degree suspension.

As a former advisor to ID students, I would like to highlight one effect of the suspension which has not yet been publicly discussed. The thesis requirement has consistently been the major challenge for students completing the International Degree. Unlike Honors College students who share classes and UHC facilities, it is much more difficult for ID students to form a cohort that supports them throughout the thesis process.

With this in mind, two courses were developed last year as resources for ID students. As described in the International Program’s report for 2014-15, the winter term course focused on “developing a peer cohort…and structures to promote retention within the major and eventual graduation.” A spring term course followed, “to help students complete their thesis work and persist to graduation.” (http://international.oregonstate.edu/sites/international.oregonstate.edu/files/ipannualreport_2014-15.pdf)

Those courses, which were valuable for last year’s graduates, are not offered this year, leaving current ID students without resources they had counted on during their final terms. I hope that the OSU administration will give consideration to the needs and reasonable expectations of current ID students as it re-considers the suspension of the program.


Andrea Herling

Former ID advisor (1996-2002)