The strategic initiative to increase the number of international students at Shoreline Community College is taking two significant steps forward.
First, President Lee Lambert announced that Diana Sampson will lead a focused recruiting effort in China. Second, Lambert announced that Sampson and International Programs Executive Director Thalia Saplad will report directly to him for an anticipated period of 18 months.
“I’m very excited that Diana has agreed to bring her substantial China experience to the International Programs effort,” Lambert said. Sampson is an advising and counseling faculty member at Shoreline. She has also done this work before, recruiting in China from about 2000-2005 developing valuable relationships that continue to this day.
“Diana has devoted a considerable portion of her life to understanding China, the people, the culture and significantly, the education system,” Lambert said. “Given that she also intimately understands Shoreline and our culture and students, I believe we have the right person for this critical job.”
Lambert said the administrative reporting restructuring is a reflection of the importance of the strategic effort to increase the number of international students. Nearly a year ago, Lambert announced that to deal with the changing economic realities, the college would seek to increase the number of international students from the current 600 to 1,000. At that time, he also announced an initiative to increase the number of online students by strengthening the current eLearning program.
“I will work directly with Diana and Thalia on recruiting and implementing our International Programs business plan,” Lambert said. “Diana will lead what I’m calling our China team, focusing on mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.”
Lambert said the college will also hire an assistant director who will report to Sampson and assist with recruiting efforts. He said he expects both positions to spend considerable time traveling, making connections, promoting Shoreline and recruiting students. The college will also hire a second assistant director who will report to Saplad. That position will also be primarily on the road, allowing Saplad to spend more time at Shoreline building the necessary program components here.
All three new positions are funded through reserves identified for the initiative. "We are making an investment that will benefit the entire college, not just International Programs," Lambert said.
Lambert, who has also traveled extensively in China, said he expects his direct involvement will last for about 18 months while the program moves through this growth period. At that point, he said program supervision would take the next appropriate evolutionary step.
Sampson said she shares Lambert’s excitement about the new challenge.
“I love China,” Sampson said. “I’ve traveled to 20 of the 27 provinces, lived there, had my son in school there and I feel I’ve only scratched the surface. I’m excited to be able to help students in China, to help students here and hopefully have an impact on what I believe is the most important issue of our time, global understanding.”