3W Optional Event

Understanding the Changing International Landscape and the Essential Building Blocks for International Enrollment Strategy

China and other countries are on the move in powerful and notable ways in the education space.  It is important to understand how that movement could benefit or hurt any school, day or boarding. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss the shifting landscape of international student enrollments for American private schools and to guide the thinking about and development of new enrollment strategies for international student enrollments. This workshop is designed as a blended format including a panel discussion by international educational professionals, followed by a round-table discussion among session participants. Although the discussion will focus primarily on Chinese student enrollments, it will be applicable to understanding international student enrollments from other countries and that dialogue will be facilitated, welcomed and encouraged.

Learning Objectives: 

Participants will

  1. Have an expanded understanding of the international student enrollment market for American private schools. As such, they will be:
  2. Better prepared to strategically approach their school’s board, head and ultimately inform their school’s marketing efforts and enrollment goals for international students

Professional Competencies Covered

  • Business insights
  • Global Perspective
  • Plan and Aligns

Performance Behaviors  Covered

  • Advance School Mission
  • Develop Best Practices
  • Evolve Social & Emotional Intelligence

Audience Experience Level

  • Entering Profession (0-2 yrs experience)
  • Emerging (2-5 yrs experience)
  • Advancing (5-10 yrs experience)
  • More than 10 yrs experience


Xiu Chen Cravens, Ph.D.

XiuCravens.jpegDr. Xiu Cravens teaches courses in international education policy analysis and research methods as a faculty at the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations. She holds an administrative appointment as Peabody College's associate dean for international affairs, directs Vanderbilt’s U.S.-China Center for Education and Culture, and serves as the China Liaison for the Vanderbilt International Office.

Xiu Cravens' research interests focus on the analysis of educational reform policies that are particularly related to the organizational and cultural contexts of schools in the United States and other countries in the world. Her academic work has been devoted mainly to two areas: understanding the role of school leaders (principals and superintendents) in a changing policy environment, and addressing the conceptual and methodological challenges of cross-cultural comparison and generalization in international education policy research. Recently, she participated in research studies on developing teacher capacity through shared instructional leadership in Shanghai and Tennessee, charter school effects with the National Center on School Choice, the development and validation of the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education® (the VAL-ED), and the cross-cultural validity and reliability of the VAL-ED in Chinese urban schools. She has authored or co-authored research articles that appear in academic journals such as the Comparative Education Review, Educational Administration Quarterly, Journal of Educational Administration, Elementary School Journal, Leadership and Policy in Schools, and American Journal of Education.

Stephen Robinson, Ph.D.

Stephen-Robinson-high-resolution.jpgDr. Stephen Robinson is a career educator with a global focus. He has served in universities, independent schools, a foreign bilingual school system, and recently participated in a project to reimagine education for American schools. A native of Oklahoma, Steve has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Southern Nazarene University and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. Post-doctoral studies have included Fulbright Fellowship, U.S. – German International Education Administrators Program, Germany; Wharton-IRHE Executive Education Program for the Knight Collaborative, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Institute for Independent School Leaders, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard University; and the Leadership Development Program, Center for Creative Leadership.

For the past two years, Steve Robinson has served as the Canon for Education for the Episcopal Diocese of Honduras. In this missionary assignment, he has supported the bishop with the diocesan education programs, with a primary focus on strategic planning, system development, and leadership development within the seven bilingual schools of the diocese.

David Freeman

David_Freeman_small.jpgDave Freeman is a teacher, education consultant, entrepreneur, and cross cultural trainer.  He currently serves as Vice President of Student Experience at Three W International. As a stockbroker turned educator, Dave has had the opportunity to work and serve in both public and private schools in China, Taiwan, and the U.S..  Along with his unique background and varied life experience, Mr. Freeman has also founded a number of small businesses aimed at developing cross-cultural solutions through education and training.   During the fifteen years that he’s been involved in the development and delivery of cross-cultural workshops, Dave has gleaned wide-ranging experience in teaching, training, and consulting.  Mr. Freeman has truly taught and coached individuals from all walks of life.  Not only has he provided professional development and instruction to students and teachers in a school setting, but he’s also had the opportunity to conduct group and individualized training for numerous Fortune 500 companies.  Dave most enjoys approaching his craft as a teacher/trainer and his ability to combine educational expertise, entrepreneurship, and cross-cultural understanding, has set him apart in the world of consulting.

His life's work is made up of a variety of experiences and opportunities that have brought together China and the U.S. in multiple ways.  Dave grew up in Taiwan as a child of missionaries. He lived at an orphanage that his parents ran and attended a local Chinese school. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has a deep understanding of both eastern and western mindsets.