Supporting Syrian Refugee Access to Higher Education Part II: Practical Models for Admission & Documentation

Supporting Syrian Refugee Access to Higher Education Part II: Practical Models for Admission & Documentation

LIVE FREE Webinar: Thursday, February 25, 2016  2:00-3:00pm ET

The U.S. has pledged to accept at least 10,000 refugees from Syria in FY2016. Of the more than four million Syrian refugees in the Middle East and North Africa, the Institute of International Education (IIE) estimates that as many as 450,000 are 18-22 years old. Is your institution prepared to welcome these students?  In the second of a multi-part series on the topic of Syrian refugee crisis, presenters will share practical models and experiences working through the challenges of students coming from this region in crisis.



Presenter: Brenda Tooley, PhD

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Monmouth College​



Dr. Brenda Tooley is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of International Recruitment at Monmouth College. She is deeply and directly involved in all aspects of international outreach, counseling and admissions and is a DSO.  She has traveled widely to establish faculty & student exchanges and institutional partnerships (to Brazil, Wales, China, Taiwan and Bulgaria, and recently to India, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Burma, the Philippines and Singapore). She was awarded membership in a Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Brazil in 2001, and has taught in China (at Fudan University, on an exchange program in the spring of 2005), and in Bulgaria, as a Fulbright Scholar in 2010. She returns regularly to Bulgaria to teach and continue research projects, participating as an instructor in the Fulbright International Summer Institute in Bulgaria in 2012 and 2014. She introduced the IIE consortium addressing the crisis in Higher Education in Syria to senior leadership at Monmouth College in 2012 and has led the college’s substantial involvement in outreach to Syrian students since that time. Monmouth presently enrolls 19 Syrian undergraduates. Two Syrian students have graduated from Monmouth:  Mariela Shaker (in May, 2015)  and Rami AlShareef (in December, 2015). Mariela is a graduate student in violin performance at DePaul University; Rami is employed at a medical tech company in Chicago.


Presenter: Jerry Doyle

Vice Provost - Student Access, Success and Diversity Initiatives
Illinois Institute of Technology



Jerry Doyle’s professional experience includes teaching economics and mathematics in Tanzania and working for the University of Brunei. Within the U.S., his admission experience includes positions at Emerson College, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, as a Resident Tutor at Harvard University, and in the Office of Admission at the University of Chicago. For five years, Doyle served as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Enrollment and Financial Aid at Illinois Institute of Technology, working with more than 2,700 undergraduate students to oversee an admission and financial aid process that ensures students realize their educational and professional goals in the STEM+ fields.
In 2011, Doyle developed and launched with his colleagues the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy (now known as the Illinois Tech Global Leaders Program), a two-year free STEM initiative to build a pipeline of diverse and underrepresented Chicago Public School junior and senior students. 
Doyle became Vice Provost for Student Access, Success, and Diversity Initiatives (SASDI) in 2011. The focus of this office is to create the ideas, relationships, and collaborative partnerships within and across institutions to enable long-term sustainable enrollment pathways to higher education. One such initiative launched in 2012:  the IIT Syrian student initiative, which enrolled 40 students during the 2012-14 academic year. This work has led to the establishment of the IIE Syrian Higher Education Consortium which now has forty members.
In fall 2014, Jerry also added leadership for Illinois Tech’s Career Services to his responsibilities at the university. In this role he leads initiatives to support student and alumni in their career paths through and beyond graduation. 
Doyle received his Master of Science from the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, and earlier studied economics at the University of Chicago.



Moderator: Melanie Gottlieb

Deputy Director, AACRAO



Melanie Gottlieb joined the staff as Deputy Director of AACRAO in 2015. She came to the national office with 18 years as an AACRAO member, with experience in Records & Registration, Enrollment Managment and International Recruitment and Credential Evaluation.  She has served the association in a variety of leadership roles throughout her career, most recently as Vice President for International Education on the AACRAO Board of Directors.  Melanie earned an MA in Information Science from the University of Missouri - Columbia and a BA in History /American Studies from Marlboro College in Vermont. 



Additional Information:

2016 AACRAO Annual Meeting
March 20-23, 2016 (Sunday-Wednesday)
Phoenix, AZ

AACRAO offers professional development opportunities through meetings held throughout the year. For more information vist:​

AACRAO International Education Services (IES)
AACRAO's International Education Services (IES) has provided evaluation of foreign educational credentials since 1965; from 1965 to 1991 for the US Agency for International Development, and since 1991 for member institutions and the public.  We currently serve over 1,500 schools and organizations.
IES provides on-campus training and consultations. For more information, visit, or


Each EDGE educational system profile includes:​

  • An overview describing the educational history of the country.
  • An educational ladder or ladders to reflect changes in the educational structure
  • Grading system(s)
  • Sample credentials
  • Placement recommendations
  • List of postsecondary institutions
  • Resources used to develop the profile
  • Author biography and notes
  • Glossary — when applicable

The AACRAO EDGE is a dynamic resource for evaluating foreign credentials. The web format enables updating and revision as needed. More information about AACRAO EDGE, including available countries, sample profiles, and more can be found on the AACRAO EDGE information page.

AACRAO offers a valuable library of resources on higher education issues related to this webinar. For a listing of our recent publications, please visit: AACRAO Publications website


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For questions about the webinar please contact AACRAO at or call 202-293-9161.