From Study Abroad programs to the English Language Institute, the College's Center for Global Engagement connects students to international opportunities and important resources. The Collaborative Online Learning Initiative (COIL) is the latest addition to the Center's resources.

The American Council on Education (ACE) announced today that the College of Staten Island was named one of six U.S. colleges and universities chosen to be a part of the U.S.-Japan COIL Initiative, which aims to expand U.S.-Japan higher education ties through collaborative online international learning (COIL), a method of linking faculty and students in two countries for shared teaching and learning using online communication.

The College of Staten Island and DePaul University (IL), James Madison University (VA), University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Sinclair Community College (OH), and Northern Arizona University will each partner with a Japanese higher education institution to develop, deliver, and assess COIL courses to be offered in 2019 and students in the two countries will then work together to complete assignments that meet shared learning objectives.

“We firmly believe that global engagement is critical to education,” said CSI President Dr. William J. Fritz. “Through initiatives like COIL, the College is connecting students and faculty to institutions in Japan, which make global engagement practical and meaningful.”

The award will support the development of a COIL course by Jane Marcus-Delgado and Valeria Belmonti, both of whom have extensive experience in interdisciplinary international education and telecollaborative pedagogy. Marcus-Delgado is director of CSI’s International Studies program and an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and Global Affairs. Belmonti is director of CSI’s Modern Languages Media Center and was Associate Director of Technology/Coordinator of Heritage Telecollaboration at the Center for Integrated Language Communities, a National Language Resource Center (2014-2018).  The course designers will work with a Japanese institutional partner to give CSI students the opportunity to engage with their counterparts on global issues that impact them personally and will enhance their academic experience.

Stephen Ferst, director of CSI’s Center for Global Engagement and a leading voice in U.S. international education who regularly presents on campus internationalization at national and international conferences, will also participate in supporting the COIL initiative.

CSI will send a three-member team to participate in a workshop alongside other U.S. and Japanese teams in Washington, DC, October 24-26, 2018. Once the COIL courses are underway during the 2019 semester, representatives from ACE and invited experts will visit campus to provide additional support and monitor progress.

“An indispensable aspect of the selection process was that the six schools represented the vast diversity of U.S. higher education. Students who attend community colleges, small private, large public, or other types of institutions deserve access to global perspectives,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell.

Originally developed and disseminated by The State University of New York’s (SUNY) COIL Center and often referred to as virtual exchange, COIL is a cost-effective, accessible method for delivering global learning and intercultural experiences to greater numbers of U.S. students. ACE will work with the SUNY COIL Center to provide professional development and support to the U.S. institutional teams selected for the initiative.

The Initiative is designed to test the idea that students who participate in COIL courses will increase their understanding of the partner country, sharpen their cultural competency skills, and become better prepared for in-person education exchanges. If successful, ACE aims to expand the program to include additional U.S. and Japanese partner institutions.

Follow along with CSI’s progress under the hashtag #USJPCOIL. With questions about the Initiative, please email


The U.S.-Japan COIL Initiative is supported through a grant from the U.S. Embassy Tokyo, and coordinated in partnership with Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT)​.


ACE is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. As the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, ACE represents over 1,700 college and university presidents and related associations. For more information, please visit or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.