Mid-Career Professionals

Mid-career is not strictly time-bound, but in the span of a 30–40-year career, mid-career can be loosely defined as beginning after 7-10 years of direct or related experience in international education (following early-career) and continuing another 10-20 years in increasingly responsible roles (followed by late-career). It is not necessarily based on the professional’s rank or title, but rather the years of experience and expertise the professional brings to the field.

Mid-career is defined by the attainment and continued advancement of competencies that broadly equip professionals for success in their current roles and progression into more senior positions or expanding the scope of responsibility and/or influence within their current role(s). These competencies include, but are not limited to:

  • program development and management
  • project management
  • partnership/stakeholder partnership and management
  • supervisory responsibility/skills
  • strategic planning
  • financial management
  • risk management and crisis response
  • designing experiential education programs and related student learning outcomes
  • assessment and evaluation
  • knowledge of student development theory and practices to support diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • event planning and management
  • leadership within international education and higher education administration

Mid-Career Clearinghouse

The Mid-Career Clearinghouse is a collection of resources intended to support mid-career professionals to advance their professional skills. The Clearinghouse is a project of The Forum’s mid-career working group. The working group welcomes submissions of resources for consideration.


Submit a Resource



General Resources
Clifton Strengths Assessment Test
This can be a valuable tool to assist in the development of a good staff/team.

Collaborative Online International Learning
The SUNY COIL Center pioneered the COIL model more than 15 years ago. It helps connect students and professors in different countries for collaborative projects and discussions as part of their coursework.

Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education
Promotes standards in Student Affairs, Student Services, and Student Development Programs.

Gateway Resources
Gateway Resources provides comprehensive and informative resources aimed at informing the daily work of international educators and scholars around the world.

Kilmann Assessment Tool
This is a tool that can assist program directors and managers learn how to deal with conflict in the office and create an environment that will make everyone more efficient.

National Black MBA Career Learning Center
Publicly available video resource library for resume writing, interviewing, building a personal brand, and other job-related items.

General Readings:

Certifications & Courses

Diversity and Inclusion Certificate
This online certificate program from Cornell University trains professionals on how to make an organization a more supportive and engaging place to work.

Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration and Leadership
This program provides participants with a foundation in theory and current practice of higher education administration and leadership

IDI Qualifying Seminar
These seminars are available for individuals to be trained and licensed as IDI Qualified Administrators to use the Intercultural Development Inventory.

International Education Diversity & Inclusion Certificate Program
This program offered by Diversity Abroad offers professionals the opportunity to develop the skills and confidence needed to champion diversity & inclusion initiatives.

LinkedIn Learning Courses
Linkedin Learning provides online courses led by industry experts. Courses range from management to mastering Excel.

Professional Certification in Education Abroad
The Professional Certification in Education Abroad program is intended for colleagues in the field who want to certify their knowledge and expertise in the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad.

Professional Certificate in International Student Recruitment and Enrollment Planning
The professional certificate program is designed for international education professionals seeking to expand their awareness, knowledge, and skills related to international student recruitment.

Study Abroad USA: Building Capacity for US Institutions
This online course is brought to you by the US Department of State and Arizona State University. It is designed for internationally-minded faculty, staff, and administrators working in US higher education institutions who would like to increase rates of study abroad participation.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging

Forum Fellowship
This fellowship supports education abroad professionals from HBCUs, Tribal Colleges, and Hispanic Serving Institutions. Fellows are able to complete The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program and are matched with a mentor that can support them through the duration of the program.

Insight Into Diversity 
This magazine strives to advance the national conversation about diversity and inclusion through thought-provoking articles on current trends and relevant news; interviews with innovators, thought leaders, and experts; explorations of best practices; and profiles of successful programs and initiatives.

NAFSA Interest Groups
Open to all international educators interested in connecting and networking with colleagues who have similar interests. Communities promote sharing information and experiences with colleagues.

NAFSA RISE Fellowship
The Fellowship supports the continued learning and sustained engagement of participants as they establish themselves in their professional journey. It is designed for international education professionals who identify with one or more underrepresented minority backgrounds.

Evaluating Doctoral Programs

Recommended Readings

Higher Education Resources

American Association of Colleges and Universities
AAC&U provides tools and resources that help faculty, academic and student affairs leaders, provosts, and presidents communicate broadly the value of an equitable, high-quality liberal education.

American Council on Education
ACE mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. It conducts and publishes research in a variety of higher education aspects.

American College Personnel Association
ACPA is the leading comprehensive student affairs association that advances student affairs and engages students for a lifetime of learning and discovery. It provides publications, research, & resources for student affairs professionals.

Campus Compact
Campus Compact advances the public purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. Campus Compact provides a wide array of resources for Global Service Learning.

HigherEd Jobs
HigherEdJobs is a source for jobs and career information in academia. It helps college faculty and administrators advance their careers and to help employers attract employees.

Inside Higher Ed
Inside Higher Ed is a source for news, analysis, and services for the entire higher education community.

Journal of Higher Education Management

The journal provides opportunities for the discussion of the current issues, problems and challenges facing higher education. I also allows for the exchange of practical wisdom and techniques in the areas of higher education leadership, policy analysis and development, and institutional management.

NACADA Advising Communities
Advising Communities provides an opportunity to join others with similar academic or specific student population interests or institutional types in advising.

NASPA Knowledge Communities & Divisions
Knowledge Communities (KC) are networks that explore key topics, professional functions, and personal identities among student affairs educators.

NASPA Publications & Resources
NASPA publishes books, periodicals, and other media to support student affairs professionals in their daily work to promote student learning and success.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Chronicle of Higher Education is the largest U.S. newsroom dedicated to covering colleges and universities.

Funded International Professional Development Opportunities

CAOR Faculty Development Seminars
CAORC offers fully-funded overseas seminars that help faculty and administrators gain the requisite first-hand experience needed to develop and improve international curricula at their colleges and institutions.

CIEE Site Visits
Site visits are designed for participants to gain first-hand knowledge about on-site facilities, meet with faculty, resident staff, and students, and acquire a better understanding of the culture and local environment in which programs operate.

DAAD Development-Related Postgraduate Courses
The EPOS programme offers individual scholarships to participants from developing countries so that they may study development-related postgraduate courses at selected universities in Germany.

DAAD Germany Today
This opportunity is designed to give participants a broader overview of Germany’s higher education landscape. Representatives from universities, research institutions, and funding agencies in the United States and Canada, as well as colleagues from the fields of education policy and politics may apply.

DAAD Seminars
The seminars for professionals and managerial staff from developing and newly industrialised countries contribute significantly to the development of intercultural skills, professional networking, and active participation in development cooperation.

Erasmus+ supports training both at education institutions and at relevant organisations operating outside the sector. Opportunities to take part in professional development activities are available to staff working at all levels of education.

Fulbright International Education Administrator Seminars
Fulbright Seminars help U.S. international education professionals and senior higher education officials create empowering connections with the societal, cultural and higher education systems of other countries.

Fulbright Specialist Program
The program pairs highly qualified U.S. academics and professionals with host institutions abroad to share their expertise, strengthen institutional linkages, hone their skills, gain international experience, and learn about other cultures while building capacity at their overseas host institutions.

IES Abroad Professional Development
A number of opportunities are available for staff members from study abroad offices, as well as faculty. These opportunities are designed to enhance the knowledge, experience, and insights of faculty and staff.

ICOS Online Training Sessions
ICOS’ online sessions for staff are aimed at increasing intercultural awareness and intercultural competency for those who work with or teach international students.

Study in Spain Educational Tour and Workshop
The Workshop and Educational trip to Spain is intended for educators and professionals interested in study abroad programs for American students. Potential candidates includes Education Abroad and Global Studies Directors, Program Administrators, Faculty and Program Directors and other specialized advisers and professionals working in Direct-enrolling, Exchange, faculty-lead, Internship or any other program that includes international mobility.

Mentoring & Networking
ACE Women’s Network
The ACE Women’s Network facilitates the networking of women interested in pursuing leadership opportunities in higher education.

AIEA Senior Advisers Program
The Senior Advisers Program provides experienced and newer SIOs with an opportunity to engage in direct dialogue while learning from each other throughout the academic year.

All Things International Education
This Slack community allows you to connect with International Educators from around the world.

EAIE Expert Communities
Expert Communities are groups that provide support, networking opportunities and resources for professionals working in specific areas of international higher education.

Global Leadership League
Career Connections pairs experienced experience professionals who want to learn from their expertise regarding a professional challenge, while both parties forge a meaningful professional relationship and expand their network.

International Educators Circle

International Educators Network
The International Educator Circle is meant to allow international educators the opportunity to network, strategize on ways to remain connected to the field despite lay offs, examine ways to transition out of the profession, guide newcomers to the field and more importantly, provide support to those who have been laid off from their jobs.

Network NAFSA
Network NAFSA allows you connect with professionals in the field through a variety of communities and interests.

The Study Abroad Advantage
The Study Abroad Advantage is a platform to connect students that have studied abroad with employers who understand the advantages of hiring them.

On-Campus Resources
Your institution might offer an array of resources and benefits on-campus to further develop your professional skills. Some of these might include:

  • Ability to audit courses
  • Access to professional assessments (such as Strengths Quest, DiSC, Myers Briggs, etc. )
  • Employee Affinity Groups
  • Institutional Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Trainings & Workshops
  • Institutional Grant Programs
  • Institutional Leadership Workshops & Training
  • Language tables or other activities
  • Tuition Remission
  • Volunteer or be elected for faculty/staff councils
Written Publications
The following are some publications or reading lists that can further your knowledge of the field of education abroad. You can also contribute an article to some of these publications.

Mid-Career Education Abroad Competencies Rubric

This rubric is intended to guide hiring managers as to the skills and experiences that professionals in education abroad may have attained during their career. It may be useful for developing job descriptions and classifications or when interviewing candidates. For professionals in the field, the rubric may indicate areas for professional development that may be helpful with regard to career advancement. The rubric might also be able to be used to support a case for promotion or salary increases.


Competencies Rubric
Competency Developing Advancing Mastering
Program Development and Project Management Some knowledge of best practices for program development and project management.

Support proposal and approval process for faculty-led programs. Assist in developing new programs in collaboration with other staff and faculty. Support or oversee projects within the study abroad office such as managing the study abroad fair or assisting in developing a returning student program.

Good knowledge of best practices for program development and project management and able to apply this knowledge to program design/development and to specific projects.

Oversee the development of a new program in collaboration with faculty leaders and/or faculty committees. Oversee more long-term and/or ongoing projects such as a Global Ambassador or Peer Advisor program, promotional efforts, assessment efforts, etc.

Strong knowledge of best practices for program development and project management.  Experience applying this knowledge to program development and the management of complex projects.

Develop and oversee processes for program development, approval, and ongoing assessment. Oversee complex projects with multiple stakeholders such as strategies for fundraising in collaboration with Advancement/Development and Finance, strategies for program portfolios and curriculum integration in collaboration with faculty and academic/curricular committees, etc.

Risk Management and Financial Management Some knowledge of best practices for risk and financial management. Familiarity with resources such as the CDC, State Department Travel Warnings, etc.

Manage program and operating budgets. Assist with crisis response and help develop emergency plans. Participate in Lodestone International workshop

Good knowledge of best practices for risk and financial management. Can sometimes apply this knowledge to develop and enact emergency plans, crisis response, and budget oversight.

Attend OSAC risk management workshop. Display strong knowledge of OSAC Risk Matrix. Enroll in Financial Management Skills Training Courses. Develop and manage program and operating budgets. Respond to crises abroad and develop emergency plans.

Strong knowledge of best practices for risk and financial management. Consistently applies best practices to develop and enact risk mitigation strategies, crisis response, and budget oversight and strategy.

Develop and manage program and operating budgets including budget projections, fundraising/grants, and strategies for financial management. Conduct risk assessments of office and program operations and institute changes to mitigate risk. Oversee emergency plans and crises response. Implement OSAC Risk Matrix into all aspects of program design and risk management. Attend Foreign Service Institute Training “MQ918 Study Abroad Administrators Security Overseas Seminar.” Identify faculty for SASSIE (Solutions for Academia Safety & Security International Experiences) risk management training.

Supervisory/Management Experience managing a portfolio of responsibilities that may include programs, student staff, events, initiatives, etc. Some knowledge of best practices for management.

Manage student assistants, student ambassadors, internships abroad, volunteering abroad, photography contest, social media presence, etc. Contribute to organization of study abroad fair where applicable. Self-assessment of management/leadership abilities and strengths (e.g., Clifton Strengths Assessment).

Experience managing professional staff and some experience overseeing a more significant portfolio of responsibilities and collaborating with staff and faculty across campus. Good knowledge of best practices for management and some ability to apply knowledge to daily management practices.

Directly manage small number of professional staff. Perform self-assessment of leadership style (Interactive Leadership Style Assessment). Develop new skills. Collaborate with faculty leading programs and with staff in critical offices such as Financial Aid, Registrar, etc.

Extensive experience managing professional staff, overseeing a department or office, and strong knowledge of best practices for management and familiarity with career development theory. Can consistently apply this knowledge to successfully manage down, across and up, including to faculty and higher administration.

Manage a larger number of staff and/or managing managers. Mentor new/young staff; support down. Refer to Managing Performance for Success to develop strategies for employee support, development and mentoring. Conduct annual performance reviews. Develop and implement communication strategies with employees. Delegate responsibilities to staff. Encouraging development of new skills in new/younger staff. Represent the office and its needs to faculty and higher administration. Implement staff retention practices.

JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) General understanding of JEDI work, practices and theory.

Comfortable and able to articulate own identities, biases, and how they impact professional relationships and work. Familiar with the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad specifically as it relates to JEDI. Served on a volunteer committee focused on JEDI.

Demonstrate a strong understanding of JEDI work (theories and practices) and ability to impart knowledge and facilitate conversations, initiatives and strategic planning that strongly support JEDI.

Has attended conferences devoted to JEDI in study abroad. Has conducted a self-assessment for JEDI for their office using the Prompts for Self-Assessment. Assists to develop and implement JEDI strategy for office including programs, assessment, advising, website, scholarship allocations, social media, and hiring and training.

Possess a solid understanding in JEDI and displays culturally responsive leadership through effective and impactful communication, initiatives, and strategies. Able to affect and foster positive change through advocacy and anti- oppressive scholarship and work.

Presented at conferences on JEDI issues in study abroad. Written or co-authored articles on JEDI in study abroad. Regularly teaches courses on intercultural learning and/or global citizenship. Developed and/or lead (co-lead) short-term programs specifically for underrepresented student populations. Regularly assess underrepresented/underserved student populations and provide strategies to address gaps.

Assessment/Student Learning Some knowledge of best practices for administrative and student learning assessment, and of student learning, student development, and experiential learning theories and research. 

Be able to navigate and apply the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. Attend Forum workshops and earn a Forum Credential. Assist with assessment including data entry and survey management. Lead orientations or other sessions that support student learning in connection with study abroad.

Good knowledge of best practices for administrative and student learning assessment and of student learning, development, high-impact practice, and experiential learning theories and research. Can sometimes apply this knowledge to ongoing assessment work including survey design, quantitative and qualitative assessment, uses of results for improvement, and to program design/development and student advising.

Develop content for orientations, student advising and/or other sessions that support student learning in connection with study abroad. Support the development of new programs. Develop materials for students and program leaders to enhance student learning. Assist in sharing knowledge and resources with faculty program leaders. Demonstrate familiarity with at least one education abroad assessment tool from the following: BEVI, IDI, CCAI, GPI*. Display knowledge of assessment criteria for discipline-specific education abroad programs, i.e., second language proficiency, STEM, business (AACSB), etc. Conduct program and student learning assessment including data entry, survey management, data analysis, and uses of data for improvement.

Strong knowledge of best practices for administrative and student learning assessment, and for student learning, student development, and experiential learning theories and research. Consistently and successfully applies this knowledge to ongoing assessment work including assessment strategies, design and implementation and to program design/development and student advising. Fosters student-centered and driven initiatives.

Develop and deploy broad strategies to enhance student learning across programs. Develop and oversee processes for program development, approval, and ongoing assessment. Lead orientations and/or educational sessions for faculty program leaders and/or share assessment data with faculty and other stakeholders. Display a solid understanding of several IE assessment tools (BEVI, IDI, CCAI, GPI). Develops and/or maintains assessment policies of office/program. Demonstrate proficiency in survey design, data collection and analysis, and making data-informed decisions.

Higher Education Leadership and Networking Some knowledge about the landscape of International Education and Higher Education more broadly. Has developed some connections beyond own institution or organization.

Familiar with professional organizations and publications such as The Forum on Education Abroad, AAC&U, Chronicle on Higher Education, EAIE, etc. Has collaborated with contacts outside of own institution or organization on a conference session or in a volunteer position.

Good knowledge about the landscape of International Education and Higher Education more broadly. Has developed multiple connections beyond own institution or organization and is active in the field (through conference presentations, publications and/or volunteer roles).

Has attended conferences offered by a variety of professional organizations and regularly reads higher education and international education publications. Has collaborated with contacts outside of own institution or organization on multiple conference sessions, publications and/or in a volunteer capacity.

Strong knowledge about the landscape of International Education and Higher Education more broadly. Has developed extensive connections beyond own institution or organization, is active in the field (through conference presentations, publications and/or volunteer roles), and holds or has held a leadership position within the field.

Regularly attends and presents at conferences offered by a variety of professional organizations and maintains active knowledge of higher education and international education scholarship. Has edited or co-edited a volume or special issue of a journal. Has served in a leadership role with a professional organization or on a board or advisory group.