The Office of the Dean of International Studies and Programs at Michigan State University (MSU) is pleased to announce a national conference to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title VI funding that was held March 19-21, 2009 in Washington, DC. Planning for the conference was constituency led and drew upon the expertise of a ten-member National Advisory Committee. The National Advisory Committee consists of appropriate experts whose services provide the intellectual leadership necessary to develop and promote an understanding of the international education programs and conference content.
The International Education Programs Service (IEPS) located in the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) Office of Postsecondary Education, manages fourteen international education programs. Ten of the programs are authorized under Title VI of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and four are authorized under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hays Act) of 1961. Title VI was originally authorized as Title VI of the National Defense Education Act of 1958 as a response to the launch of Sputnik and the U.S. government’s recognition that a stronger and broader capacity in foreign language and area studies was needed. It was later incorporated into the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Three programs that were included in the original 1958 legislation continue today as the National Resource Centers (NRC) program, the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) program, and the International Research and Studies (IRS) program. Over time, additional programs have been added to Title VI in order to address the nation’s growing interest in international education. Title VI programs now address business needs for international expertise, strengthening undergraduate education, international as well as area studies, advancement of technology use, and overall improvement of foreign language training and assessment.
In consultation with the National Advisory Committee, the conference program was developed to: 1) highlight the significant impacts of Title VI programs in the United States over the past 50 years; 2) demonstrate the pressing need for Title VI programs given future and current needs; and, 3) address future directions of Title VI programs. Presenters at the conference included invited keynote speakers determined in consultation with the National Advisory Committee. In addition, concurrent breakout session panels included speakers solicited in a "Call for Proposals."