International Partnerships

Millersville University (MU) encourages individual faculty, staff, and departments to initiate new international partnerships to foster Millersville University’s mission for providing a diverse, dynamic, meaningful experience to inspire learners.

In order to develop new international partnerships that align with Millersville University goals and Office of International Programs & Services's (IPS) international mission, all potential international partners must be thoroughly researched, assessed and approved by various constituents at MU. IPS is committed to providing the best possible global experience for students and faculty at MU and ask anyone who is proposing a new partnership to carefully consider the rationale for the program and thoroughly read through the following information related to new program development.

Guide to Developing International Partnerships

International Partnerships Proposal Form

Timeline of New Partnership Development

Dean's Endorsement Partnership Proposal Collaborative Research Assessment & Decision Preparation of Agreements Program Implementation Periodic Assessment
Initiator Initiator Initiator Initiator Initiator Initiator Initiator
Notify and communicate partnership plans, intensions, and goals to the Dean of their college. Complete the International Partnership Proposal Form and submit to IPS. Meet with IPS to discuss detailed information about the partnership. N/A N/A Work with IPS to begin program implementation and marketing to student/faculty as applicable.  Provide input or feedback upon request from IPS.
IPS IPS IPS IPS IPS IPS IPS
N/A Receives Proposal Form from the initiator. Begins  gathering data for the Associate Provost to make an informed decision.  Notifies Initiator of the decision and confirm terms of the agreement.  Prepares official agreements to be signed. Collaboratively conducts full implementation of the program.  Evaluates new partnerships after the initial year and all others on a 3-5 year cycle. 
Duration Duration Duration Duration Duration Duration Duration
1-2 Weeks 1-6 Months 1-2 Weeks 1-2 Months 1-6 Months Every 3-5 years
  • Factors to Consider for New Partnerships

    Themes of International Partnership Building:

    • Strategic Partnerships: the shift from ad hoc friendship agreements to agreements that are considerably more comprehensive in nature;
    • Quality Vs. Quantity: increased selectivity as institutions establish partnerships that contribute to their internationalization portfolios in various ways;
    • Diversity of Partnerships: the rise of short-term, collaborative degrees, and research-or industry-focused programs;
    • Partnerships in New and Emerging Markets: a commitment to the introduction of partnerships in nontraditional destinations or with locations not already partnering with MU.

    When evaluating an international partnership, IPS will consider the following factors:

    • Potential quality and sustainability of the partnership and the benefits to both institutions
    • Safety concerns (High risk-locations, State Department travel advisories, etc.)
    • Financial considerations (comprehensive costs, available scholarships, financial structure of partnership etc.)
    • Resources available to MU students or visiting MU faculty at partner institution (on-campus support, physical and mental health resources, orientation programs, arrival services etc.)
    • The breadth of interested program types (potential university is interested in multiple ways of partnerships)
    • Do we already have student mobility partnerships through third party providers in the intended location or with the intended university?
    • The accreditation and academic standing of the potential partner (accrediting bodies, national and regional rankings, etc.)
    • Evidence for student or faculty interest in location (Target numbers in given academic year, student inquiries for location, etc.)
    • Academic calendar for the partner institution (Available terms of study, semester start and end dates, etc.)
    • Academic review and course offerings for MU students at partner institution (GPA and language requirements, course availability, etc.)
    • Academic opportunities available to MU students at partner institution that may not be available to students at MU (Research and study opportunities, internships, or service learning options, etc.)
    • The geographical location and campus access to nearby cities or towns (Size of city, public transportation options, housing options and safety of location etc.)
  • Types of Partnerships

    All partnerships will sign a general MOU which will give a written expression of interest in general partnership. Many activities can be done under a general MOU, while other types would need an amendment or an addition to the MOU such as dual degree or exchange programs.

    • General Collaboration: This model could include any of the following:
      • Short term collaborative research or projects with students and/or faculty
      • Joint/Collaborative teaching (virtual, hybrid, video conferencing or guest lectures). This low-cost partnership component is often fostered by technology through virtual classrooms, video conferences, email exchanges, and web-based platforms. Consider working with a partner institution to develop new course modules. Collaborative teaching is also an effective way to incorporate guest faculty in the classroom and is a good springboard for other collaborative efforts
      • Short term programs (Incoming): MU offers short term customized programs through the English Language Institute (ELI) generally offered in the summer and winter terms. Student programs are generally language and culture learning or university preparation programs. The ELI also offers faculty/staff training programs such as the Summer Management Institute, in partnership with multiple offices. This program assists international faculty and staff to learn about higher education in the U.S.
      • Short term programs (Outgoing): Faculty-led study abroad at Millersville is called MU Guided. Faculty can work with our international partners to develop MU Guided programs for students. These are typically offered in summer, winter, or spring break.
      • Faculty Exchange. Faculty exchanges are excellent catalysts for deeper partnerships, and federally-funded programs such as the Fulbright Scholar Program can facilitate these opportunities for you. Visiting scholars could instruct whole courses or components of whole courses, guest lecture, or collaborate on research.
    • Exchange Program: An exchange partnership is an agreement with a partner institution that involves direct exchange of students to and from the partner institution and MU. Typically, MU will send students to the partner institution in exchange for receiving students from the partner institution to study at MU. Participants will enroll as exchange students at the partner university for 1-2 semesters but will pay their tuition at MU for that term.
      • 1:1 Model – MU will send one student to the partner institution in exchange for receiving one student from the partner institution to study at MU.
      • 2:1 Model – MU will send two students to the partner institution in exchange for receiving one student from the partner institution to study at MU.
    • Unidirectional Program: A unidirectional partnership is an agreement between two institutions that allows the direct study and enrollment of students from one institution to the other. The program is similar to exchange programs in duration (1-2 semesters), independence, and academics, but does not provide two-way mobility.
    • Special Academic Program: These are programs that allow students to participate in an internship or practicum academic component, including research. For MU students this could be international student teaching, field placements for certain majors such as Social Work, or internships.
    • Articulation Program: An articulation program is an agreement with a partner institution which documents the transfer policies in a specific field of study or major. This program goes into detail regarding guaranteed admission or conditional admission, transfer credits, scholarships, and academic course requirements. Some articulated programs also have a requirement for faculty exchange in the specific discipline.
    • Dual-Degree Program: A dual degree program allows an agreement with a partner institution in a specific field of study or major to transfer courses to MU to complete an MU degree in addition to completing a degree in the student’s home institution. All new partnerships of this type are required to also be articulated. In addition, the timeline must be flexible in order to allow students to take 1-2 semesters at the English Language Institute, if is needed. 
      • 2+2 Model – This is the most common type of model. The student spends two years in their home institution before transferring to MU.
      • 1+3 Model – The student spends only one year in their home institution before transferring to MU.
      • 1+2+1 Model – This is a special program through the Ministry of Education in China, and should not be repeated with any other partnership.
      • Others – There are many other types of dual degree partnerships. Contact Global Education if you’d like to discuss other models not listed above.
    • Transfer Program: Similar to a dual degree program in terms of various models, except the student earns one degree. Students transfer credit and earn a degree from either the host intuition or the home institution.
    • Consortia: A group of two or more institutions that work together and pool resources in order to achieve a common goal. Consortia are a great way to broaden a partnership and take advantage of institutions with complementary strengths.