BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College is among 18 colleges and universities working to expand the international presence on their campuses as part of the American Council on Education’s 17th Internationalization Laboratory cohort.

As part of the ACE cohort, Bethany will spend more than a year developing strategies for campus internationalization with a goal of long-lasting institutional change.

“Bethany College is thrilled to be working with the American Council on Education and partners both on campus and abroad to expand our international footprint,” Bethany President Tamara Nichols Rodenberg said. “Connecting our students to their world is at the heart of our ‘Bethany Connect’ strategic plan, and we look forward to seeing all the wonderful places this collaboration will lead our students.”

Each participating institution will form leadership teams to work on strategic planning and student outcomes, attend Laboratory meetings in Washington, participate in site visits and peer reviews, and engage in monthly communication with council staff and a team of advisers. The cohort first met in August.

“Bethany was long recognized as a leader in study abroad and recruiting international students to our campus, and we look forward to reclaiming that historic institutional position,” said Dr. Joe Lane, provost and dean of faculty.

As part of the process, Bethany will host a visiting team from ACE on campus in November to help survey current internationalization efforts and to identify new opportunities.

“ACE’s broad approach to internationalization is perfect for Bethany,” Dr. Harald Menz, director of international education. “It ensures that the results of the effort will outlast changes in administration and personnel.”

Since 2002, more than 150 institutions have participated in the program. This year’s cohort is the largest to date and includes:

  • California State University, San Bernardino
  • Loyola Marymount University (Calif.)
  •  Mercer University (Ga.)
  • Purdue University Northwest (Ind.)
  •  Rhodes College (Tenn.)
  •  Sinclair College (Ohio)
  •  Southern Illinois University
  •  SUNY-The College of Brockport
  •  Universidade Federal de Goiás (Brazil)
  •  Universidade Estadual de Maringá (Brazil)
  •  Universidade Federal do Pará (Brazil)
  •  University of California San Diego
  •  University of Delaware
  •  University of Missouri-Kansas City
  •  University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  •  University of North Georgia
  •  York College of Pennsylvania

“This is a tremendous, unmatched opportunity for these institutions to share lessons and challenges as they undergo a cultural transformation over the coming months,” said Robin Matross Helms, director for internationalization and global engagement at the American Council on Education.


The American Council on Education is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. As the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, our strength lies in our diverse membership of more than 1,700 colleges and universities, related associations, and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions: two-year and four-year, public and private. For more information, visit or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.