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    OCTOBER 13, 2005
 
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Temple Japan hits record high enrollment numbers

Photo courtesy Temple University Japan

Temple University Japan recorded a new high in the number of undergraduate students and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) doctoral cohort students enrolled this fall.
 

Local and overseas students have fueled a 50 percent rise in the number of full-time undergraduates.

Temple University Japan recorded its highest number of undergraduate students enrolled since 1996 this fall semester, with the total reaching 575 — 16 percent higher than the 496 of fall 2004. The number of full-time undergraduate students was up almost 50 percent.

One reason for the enrollment increase is a larger number of students from outside Japan, which reflects two factors:

ē A higher number of study abroad students from the United States. These students, who numbered 72 (up from 52 a year earlier), come from Temple and other U.S. universities, typically in their junior year, to study for one or two semesters at TUJ. The increasing popularity of TUJís study abroad program ó it has tripled in size over the past three years ó reflects efforts to enhance the studentsí experience in Japan, such as by strengthening the Japanese-language program, organizing more excursions and tours around Japan, and arranging home stays with Japanese families.

ē The admission of overseas students planning to do full degree programs at TUJ. With its recognition from Japanís Ministry of Education, TUJ can now sponsor visas for students from around the world who want to matriculate and complete their degrees there. As a result, in fall 2005, TUJ admitted about 20 degree-seeking students from the United States, France, China, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. By offering a U.S. degree in English combined with a chance to learn about Japan and Asia, the number of such students is expected to increase dramatically.

Another reason for the jump in undergraduate enrollment is TUJís revamped undergraduate curriculum, which is encouraging a much higher proportion of local students are deciding to stay at TUJ rather than transfer to Main Campus. In response to student suggestions, over the past two years TUJ has added new majors in international affairs, psychological studies, art, and tourism and hospitality management, and has strengthened its communications major. This enhanced curriculum means that many more students can achieve their academic and professional objectives at TUJ. In addition, students at TUJ enjoy smaller classes and the extensive internship program.

With undergraduate enrollment expected to continue rising, TUJ has taken steps to expand and enhance its operations. These include establishing an Overseas Admissions Office to manage overseas recruiting and an Office of International Students to serve overseas students; launching searches to hire faculty members in such areas as international affairs, Asian studies and Japanese; and working on plans to build a large, multipurpose campus building ó the Temple Educational Center ó in central Tokyo.

The TESOL doctoral cohort

TUJ also recorded a new high in the number of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) doctoral cohort in the fall semester with 54 students in the total. The eighth Tokyo doctoral cohort and the fifth Osaka doctoral cohort each began on Sept. 9.

The masterís degree in TESOL is the oldest program at TUJ, introduced at the campusís establishment in 1982. Since 1988, the program has offered a doctoral cohort, first at TUJís Tokyo campus and then, in 1995, at the Osaka campus. Graduates earn the doctor of education degree with a specialization in TESOL.

The first, pilot doctoral cohort in Tokyo comprised 13 students. Its success led to the doctoral cohort at the Osaka campus in the mid-1990s. The year 2005 cohorts in Tokyo and Osaka boast 27 students each, which is the record high in the number of students. Most of the cohort students are actively teaching English at advanced educational institutions, and more than half of the students are non-Japanese. For the majority, the goal in obtaining a doctoral degree is to step up the career ladder.

Doctoral cohort classes are held on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons so that students can continue to work while they study. Students spend 2 1/2 years completing the course work and then proceed to writing their dissertations, for a total of four to seven years to obtain their doctoral degree. Each dissertation is supported by a sponsoring committee made up of five graduate professors.

The learning environment for TUJís doctoral cohorts offers many advantages. Foremost is the specialization and dedication of the faculty, the central figure of which is Kenneth G. Schaefer. His more than 20-year commitment to educating TESOL specialists is evident in his classroom and in the encouragement he provides to students as they work their way through the lengthy challenge of earning a doctorate. Students gain from faculty members eager to impart their expertise and from sharing their knowledge and experience with classmates through interaction in and out of the classroom.

- By Eriko Kawaguchi

 

 


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