We are thrilled to announce that in October of 2023, the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office at Northwest College and the Office of International Studies (OIS) at Montana State University Billings (MSUB) in Billings, MT, were awarded a second 3-year Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) grant through the International and Foreign Language program at the US Department of Education. The purpose of this grant is to create and operationalize the Yellowstone Consortium for International Studies and Foreign Languages and to provide funds to plan, develop and carry out programs that will help strengthen and improve undergraduate instruction in international studies and foreign languages at all campuses throughout the Yellowstone Consortium.
Members of the Yellowstone Consortium are:
The objectives of this project are to strengthen and improve undergraduate instruction in international studies and foreign languages at all Yellowstone Consortium institutions. Grant funds are being used to revise and update curricula, develop faculty expertise and add language instruction at all five institutions. Some funds will support student study abroad in East Asia. This UISFL project is greatly enhancing faculty expertise in international studies, with an emphasis on East Asia, in Montana and Wyoming. Over the course of the grant period, faculty will be receiving funds to revise curricula, travel to partner universities, and implement COIL initiatives into their courses. Over 6,000 undergraduate students in a largely under-represented area will have full access to the activities and outcomes of the project (Global Studies Certificate program, Study Abroad, language instruction), thereby increasing their career prospects, especially in relation to service in areas of national need.
The Yellowstone Consortium institutions are using grant funds to increase opportunities for undergraduate students to grow their global skills by:
There are 7 main objectives of this project:
Part of this multi-year grant supports increasing faculty expertise in international studies, with a focus on the East Asian countries of China, Japan, and Korea, but also in other world areas.
During the first UISFL grant (2020-2023), 26 Faculty Travel Grants were awarded (19 to MSUB and 7 to NWC). These grants allowed faculty to build expertise in global studies in order to establish global learning outcomes in targeted courses. Faculty who have traveled under the first UISFL grant have added Global Learning Outcomes to nearly 50 courses across MSUB and NWC, thus making a considerable impact on expanding students' global perspectives and understanding.
With this new UISFL grant (2023-2026), we are diversifying the grant opportunities available to faculty and have expanded awards to include faculty within the newly established Yellowstone Consortium. Like all grants offered through this project, each campus will have equal access to these program grants, and the Project Director at MSUB will ensure that each campus has at least one grant awarded of each grant type during the grant period (2023-2026).
The UISFL Course Development Travel Grants are to be used to promote two purposes:
The $6,000 grants are to be used to support the design of new courses or the re-design of existing courses to include demonstrable, measurable Global Studies Learning Outcomes. The courses that are developed from this grant will allow NWC to create a Global Studies Certificate Program, to be earned by students after taking a certain number of classes that qualify as Global Studies courses. It is expected that all courses developed by this program will fall into this rubric.
The funds are also to be used for travel to one of MSUB’s partner universities abroad to work closely with the faculty and administrators in the service of the program goals. It is expected that faculty will develop new relationships with colleagues that will lead to a clearer understanding of how Global Studies can be added to one’s teaching and research interests. NWC faculty could also solicit guest virtual lecturers for their own classes. An important program goal is to make the Global Studies Certificate Program truly interdisciplinary so that students at NWC and have an opportunity for global engagement.
All full-time, tenured, or tenure-track faculty at NWC are encouraged to apply. NWC faculty should submit their final proposals by March 3, 2024 to ISSS (ORB 111). Final proposals can also be emailed to Amanda Enriquez (firstname.lastname@example.org). A selection committee, led by faculty members from the Yellowstone Consortium, will determine which proposals are funded each year. We expect to notify successful applicants by April 3, 2024.
For more information on the UISFL grant or the UISFL grants for faculty, please stop by ISSS (ORB 111) or email Amanda Enriquez at email@example.com.
From Oct. 1, 2023 to Sept. 30, 2026, each year, 10 COIL Development grants in the amount of $500 each will be awarded to faculty who have submitted successful proposals for developing COIL initiatives within a new or existing course. All eligible faculty within the Yellowstone Consortium are eligible and encouraged to apply. Like all grants offered through the UISFL project, all Yellowstone Consortium campuses will have equal access to these COIL Development grants, and the Project Director will ensure that each campus has been awarded at least one COIL grant during the span of the UISFL project.
COIL, or Collaborative Online International Learning, is an initiative that was spearheaded by the SUNY system and has been leveraged within institutions worldwide. SUNY defines COIL as “an approach that brings students and professors together across cultures to learn, discuss and collaborate as part of their class. Professors partner to design the experience, and students partner to complete the activities designed. COIL becomes part of the class, enabling all students to have a significant intercultural experience within their course of study.” 
Outside of higher education institutions, numerous affiliated organizations have further developed frameworks for implementing and supporting COIL initiatives throughout colleges and universities across the U.S., such as AAC&U, American Council on Education, UniCEN: American Councils, and more.
COIL Development Grants are awarded on a rolling basis based upon the following schedule:
All full-time, tenured, or tenure-track faculty at NWC are encouraged to apply. NWC faculty should submit their final proposals to ISSS (ORB 111). Final proposals can also be emailed to Amanda Enriquez (firstname.lastname@example.org). A selection committee, led by faculty members from the Yellowstone Consortium, will determine which proposals are funded each year.
For more information on the UISFL grant or the COIL Development Grants, please stop by ISSS (ORB 111) or email Amanda Enriquez at email@example.com.
Each year, from 2023-2026, 7 Program Development Grants for International Engagement in the amount of $3,000 each will be awarded to academic and non-academic programs, offices, centers, or other units. Faculty and non-faculty university and college personnel are encouraged to submit proposals that will further the international engagement of their programs, offices, centers, or units.
NOTE: This grant is NOT for individual faculty, rather units.
These Program Development Grants will offer direct support to campus programs, offices, centers, and units to support the goal of increasing campus global engagement. We welcome creative proposals from all areas from all institutions within the Yellowstone Consortium that addresses the project goals of supporting international studies.
All programs, offices, centers, and units on all Yellowstone Consortium campuses are eligible to apply for this grant. Programs, offices, and units for this grant includes academic programs as part of Colleges and Departments (i.e., History Program, Life Science Program, Honors Program, etc.), as well as individual Colleges and Departments as a whole unit (i.e., College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, Communications Department, Biology Department).
Eligibility also includes non-academic programs, offices or units that support the teaching and learning mission of each campus (Library, Student Engagement Offices, Academic Support Center, Advising Center, Career Services, etc.). Only full-time employees of one of the five members of the Yellowstone Consortium may be the lead author on a proposal.
Program Development Grants are on a rolling basis based upon the following schedule:
Final proposals should be submitted to ISSS (ORB 111). Final proposals can also be emailed to Amanda Enriquez (firstname.lastname@example.org). A selection committee, led by faculty and staff from the Yellowstone Consortium, will determine which proposals are funded each year.
For more information on the UISFL grant or the Program Development Grants, please stop by ISSS (ORB 111) or email Amanda Enriquez at email@example.com.
Funding by the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) program has been awarded to NWC and MSUB to develop new study abroad programs for Japan, South Korea, and China. All full-time NWC students are eligible for these programs. Students will begin language studies at NWC or MSUB before studying at one of the MSUB partner universities in China, Japan, or South Korea. Students are required to spend one full year (two consecutive semesters) abroad.
If you are interested in studying abroad at one of the three MSUB partner universities, please stop by the Office of Intercultural Programs (ORB 111) or email Amanda Enriquez at firstname.lastname@example.org.