Over the years, IAU College has modified and enhanced its programs and curriculum in order to meet the needs of the students it serves. As an example, the curriculum was recently expanded to include eight new business courses, all of which are AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accredited after being fully vetted by the business faculty at Fairfield University. IAU's academic calendar closely mirrors the traditional fall and spring semester calendar that many U.S. institutions follow and its courses are comparable in design and demand of those offered by the students' home institutions. Therefore, students will be quite familiar with course structure, grading and testing. IAU's courses are rigorous and unique, especially because they are able to incorporate region-specific content and experiences.
IAU College faculty is comprised of a core group of highly accomplished and recognized professors, most of whom have the highest degree available in their field. IAU also maintains specific standards for its faculty, including only using native speakers to teach French language courses. IAU's high quality faculty is complimented by visiting professors who are among the top individuals in their respective fields. Most recently, visiting professors have come to IAU from Harvard University, Fairfield University and University of New Haven.
Classroom practices at IAU College incorporate active engagement, more so than the average French university. Students assume independent responsibility for their learning, which may be a change from their home campuses. IAU believes this commitment to one's academic endeavors yields personal growth and renewed passion for their area of study.
While every course is unique, students can expect testing methods similar to those they have already experienced: research papers, exploratory essays and both multiple-choice and written exams. Classroom attendance is required, along with completion of homework assignments and successful performance on midterm and final exams.
Studying abroad is a transformative experience. Through study and immersion in local culture, IAU College students acquire a new sense of self-awareness and an expanded perspective of our global world. This enhanced outlook particularly addresses political, cultural and social beliefs. Students are encouraged to recognize and dispel preconceived notions so that they may have an open mind to better broaden their understanding of other countries and their people, language, culture and traditions. The personal growth that occurs through studying abroad can last a lifetime. Skills such as independence, self-motivation, willingness to embrace change and challenges, adaptability and self-assurance are assets that will benefit students far beyond their time abroad. Expertise such as this is also attractive to prospective employers. In the end, however, students are the determining factor in what they gain from their international experience. The possibilities for learning, growth, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are endless.
Accreditation and Oversight
Since enrolling its first class in 1958, IAU College has served as a center for education abroad for U.S. undergraduates. It is a not-for-profit institution of higher education and as an independent, non-degree granting institution, issues its own transcripts. IAU has worked with over 700 U.S. public and private colleges and universities. Most of these institutions are familiar with the high standards of IAU programs and accept direct transfer of academic credit. A number of these institutions have sighed direct affiliation agreements which allows for the direct transfer of academic credit. IAU remains outside the scope of regional U.S. accreditation since it does not offer degrees. However, in rare cases when the home institution will not directly accept IAU credit due to lack of accreditation, students may enroll at IAU through one of its program sponsors such as Fairfield University, SUNY-Fredonia, Truman State University or Miami Dade College. These institutions can provide the final transcript to IAU alumni.
IAU's governing body is its sixteen-member Board of Trustees, eight of whom are IAU alumni. The Trustees oversee key IAU components such as its finances and properties. Most recently, IAU purchased a new building in Aix, literally steps away from its current facilities, which will enable IAU to expand its offerings in business, French, and the fine arts. IAU also has a Council of Academic Advisors (CAA), made up of international education professionals who provide oversight of IAU's curriculum. CAA members review contact hours, syllabi, workload management and the overall academic student experience.
IAU College holds an 'absolute' charter awarded by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, is recognized by the Rectorat of the Université d' Aix-Marseille and is registered with the French Ministry of Education. As a foreign host site for the College Consortium of International Studies, IAU is subject to regular program review. The most recent site visit identified no areas needing improvement.