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The Bowling Green State University and Florida International University Exchange is an amazing opportunity for students in the Higher Education Administration Master’s program. Each year one institution visits the other’s campus and spends week learning through a structured experience, mostly planned by the students.
The Exchange started in 2004. Friends, Dr. Carolyn Palmer(BSGU) and Dr. Helen Ellison(FIU) visited each other often to learn more about Student Affairs at each University. One year during a visit to BGSU, Dr. Palmer asked Dr. Ellison to bring a few students along. That next year she did, which started this unique tradition.
Today, the exchange has evolved from a campus visit to a practicum experience. Students get the opportunity to intern and increase their knowledge and skills in different campus functional areas while completing a tangible project for that department. The students also build a professional network of colleagues while learning more about the Student Affairs Division, the graduate program, and the overall University and its operations and services. As a result, students gain an understanding of different campus environments, how these environments can affect students, faculty, and staff, and take this knowledge back to their respective campus.
This year, 16 FIU students went to Bowling Green, Ohio. During their spring break, the students worked in various offices, met with a number of Student Affairs Administrators, visited three very different Higher Education Institutions—BGSU, Baldwin-Wallace College, and University of Michigan, and had some fun along the way.
Click here for a personal account from participant Veronica Gonzalez.
Click here to read more in SAGA’s latest issue of The Continuum.