As part of an ongoing partnership through the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages (UISFL) Faculty Grant, Montana State University Billings and Northwest College have joined with three other colleges to form the Yellowstone Consortium of International Studies and Foreign Languages, created to support international study programs available to students and faculty.
The two schools jointly managed a previous 3-year UISFL Grant that was awarded in August of 2020. The initial grant provided funding for faculty members to travel overseas to one of MSUB’s partner universities where they were involved in study and research endeavors designed to enrich the Northwest College curriculum and cultivate global perspectives in the classroom.
The new UISFL Grant, which runs from 2023-26, now includes Northwest College, MSU Billings, Dawson Community College, Little Big Horn College, and Miles City College. The Office of International Studies at MSU Billings will act as project home for the grant, which will continue to offer faculty travel grants as well as study abroad scholarships for students at all five schools.
NWC will also continue its offering of Japanese classes, and MSUB will continue offering Korean and Chinese. Classes will be taught in a hybrid format, and enrollment is open to anyone. Each semester, the project will also host a Global Studies Seminar on one of the campuses of the five-member consortium.
New to this grant is the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) portion, available for faculty who would like to implement collaborative programs between two or more higher education institutions. COIL connects students and professors in different countries for projects and discussions as part of their coursework. With these collaborations built into programs of study, COIL enhances intercultural student team-focused interaction through meaningful online and virtual engagement.
The UISFL grants are administered by the U.S. Department of Education, which awarded just 13 new grants in the current cycle. Programs which receive funding must enhance primarily the international academic program of the institution.