International Program receives name change

By Tai Cox

International Programs and Services is changing its name after 30 years.

Now called the Center for International Education, the name is all that has changed; services will remain the same, said Carla Coppi, director of the program. She said she has always thought the name did not convey the depth of what the service represented.

“Globally, the name change will make it known that we are the center focal point on campus to coordinate all things international,” Coppi said.


Chancellor Rita Cheng officially announced the new title at her State of the University address Wednesday.

“The new title more accurately reflects the work and expanded emphasis of this very successful program,” Cheng said.

Students who are not U.S. citizens are required to work with the center because it is a federally mandated service. There are over 1,500 students in the program this semester, Coppi said. Official enrollment numbers released Tuesday revealed international student enrollment has risen 16 percent this fall from last year.

The center provides information and instruction regarding immigration regulations, assists the students with financial aid help, offers programs to showcase individual cultures and offers many other services geared toward international student success, Coppi said.

She also said she hopes the center will be able to move locations in the future, as it is located in the northwest annex building.

“We feel the location does not exactly send the right commitment message,” Coppi said. “Hopefully when the new student services building is completed, we can obtain one of the vacated spaces the other departments move from.”

Coppi said the center needs a location that expresses what it is and what it does. She said the center could also use more space for meetings and conferences. Coppi said she wants to eventually have a building that could house all of the international students.


“We one day want a building that all of the students can reside in together, furthering their bond, also where we can have meetings and events,” Coppi said.

Nafis Kahlid, a junior from Bangladesh studying journalism, said going to the service is an academic necessity.

“For undergrad international students, they help you with your paperwork and help you with student work referral forms if someone wants a campus job,” he said. “It’s pretty important. I pretty much have to go there. I cannot process my files like regular students. That’s what the system is like.”

The program has a weekly coffee hour at 3 p.m. every Friday  for students to socialize and get to know each other.

“Getting out there and mingling with other people is an important part of this program,” Coppi said. “We want to serve as match-makers to our students to get to know other students and build relationships.”

The Center for International Education has partnerships with nearly 100 countries all over the world, and it works closely with the Study Abroad program on campus for American students who would like to receive an education in another country.