Doane focused on increasing international enrollments

Doane Chief Diversity Officer Luis Sotelo speaks with students.
Doane University’s focused strategies to increase international enrollments and programs are rolling out with good results.
Jake Hoy-Elswick, director of international programs, said Doane students’ post-graduation success hinges on having international experiences and exposures to other cultures. These can mean study-abroad opportunities or learning about other cultures by studying side-by- side with students from countries like Japan and China.
These efforts reflect the university’s mission that students become thoughtful, engaged world citizens, Hoy-Elswick said.
He and others recently traveled to Japan and China, where they visited with partner institutions and Doane alumni to build on existing relationships. Hoy-Elswick is traveling to Panama to visit its “City of Knowledge” program and explore opportunities for students. The university also works with Nebraska state economic development officials as they visit other countries. “These links really open doors for everyone,” Hoy-Elswick said.
Doane has identified Pacific Rim countries as part of a long-term, big picture focus, he said. Rather than scattering efforts in dozens of countries, focusing on areas with existing ties to Doane yield better returns. “We are looking to have a sustained impact and connect enough dots to have a substantial impact.”
A current student from China is improving Doane’s social media presence in China, where Facebook and Twitter are blocked, by using approved platforms, writing in Mandarin and English, and showing images of campus and Nebraska.
“It’s very much in its infancy but we have seen more traffic and queries,” he said. “We are going to where students are to show that we are a safe, genuine, excellent American university.” Doane has adopted DuoLingo as a test for English proficiency; it’s less expensive and does not require students to travel to take the exam, he said, lowering a barrier for applicants.
The university has 32 international students enrolled from 18 countries and aims for more.