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PVAMU boosts study abroad with Terra Dotta

Texas-based historically black university Prairie View A&M has recorded its highest number of study abroad students this year after deploying a solution to streamline its study abroad recruitment, application and enrolment processes, which were previously paper-based.

The majority of students went on faculty-led trips, including an architecture program in Dubai and an entrepreneurial program in Cape Town, South Africa and a trip to Shanghai and Beijing. Photo: Marcus King/PVAMU

"I'm happy to see that we're moving in the right direction"

Working with Terra Dotta, PVAMU leveraged its Study Abroad solution to support its expanding outbound mobility program, which saw around 107 students have a study abroad experience latest year.

“Our study abroad program was nascent but the number of applicants has quadrupled”

The growth of study abroad engagement at PVAMU – like many HBCUs –was echoed in the IIE’s latest Open Doors report which indicated a 3-5% year over year increase in the number of black students studying abroad in recent years.

“Adding Terra Dotta to help manage the application process and catalogue our programs has been a critical growth factor for our Study Abroad office,” said Evie Myers, senior international officer at PVAMU.

“Our study abroad program was nascent but the number of applicants has quadrupled over the past three years. To support that type of growth we needed a technology solution to manage the comprehensive enrolment process.”

The majority of students went on faculty-led trips, including an architecture program in Dubai and an entrepreneurial program in Cape Town, South Africa and a trip to Shanghai and Beijing.

The university has used a US Department of Education Title III grant to support its international programs office, which has aided in the promotion and more widespread availability of program information.

“Around 107 students went on a study abroad experience last year, and we had about double that number apply but unfortunately we had some issues with our financial aid and I think that impacted the numbers,” Marcus King, international programs coordinator at PVAMU told The PIE News.

“But according to the data I’ve seen, a few years ago there were only around 30 students [from the university] studying abroad, so I’m just happy to see that we’re moving in the right direction.”

King said he had been excited to learn in 2018 that the university was moving away from its “tedious” paper-based system towards an electronic application process with Terra Dotta.

“Having a full year plus a few months under our belt of working with the new system, we have a pretty thorough process, and [the faculty] is getting comfortable with the system. I think going forward it’s only going to get better and better,” he said.

Brandon Lee, CEO of Terra Dotta added: “We are proud to work with Prairie View to centralise its program information for students and automate application and enrolment processes – all of which helps enable the program’s growth and expansion.”

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