“Being aware of a global economy, a global market, and of what’s outside your own borders, not just those of your town, your state, but of your country is extremely important,” said Kentucky Wesleyan College President Thomas Mitzel, laying out his vision for the private liberal arts founded in 1858.
Located in Owensboro, Kentucky Wesleyan College does not have a sizeable population of international students but has seen the number rising over the past decade. Mitzel wants to reach international enrollment of between 8 to 10% by the end of his tenure, partly through student and faculty exchange programs.
“I hope to see every one of our students do an internship before he or she graduates. If we have Japanese students who wish to work with American companies and vice versa], I think that would just be a wonderful outreach,” he said.
While internship programs allow students to get immersed in the profession they wish to pursue, the industries that may be hiring them get a much better understanding of their capabilities, according to Mitzel.
“Historically, KWC students who have done the internships tend to get hired for jobs in those companies. And many of them will stay with those companies upon graduation. I would offer that same possibility to [all] our international students,” he said.
As a college that offers only four-year undergraduate programs, KWC students get involved in research during their undergraduate studies, instead of during the post-graduate stage like in other institutions, according to Mitzel.
“With the type of education and experience they get here, we are really educating our next generation leaders and not just pushing people out to get a job. We help them find a career, find out where they’re good at, and make sure that they find their place in a positive manner when they step into the workplace,” he said.