SDSU International Affairs joined the American Council on Education (ACE) as part of the Fall 2020 internationalization Laboratory cohort. The ACE Internationalization Laboratory is structured around the ACE Comprehensive Internationalization framework, and will guide our campus through strategic planning to internationalize students’ SDSU experience and advance the International Affairs mission to inspire globally conscious citizens.

Learn more about what this means for SDSU.

Learn more: SDSU Participates in Prestigious Internationalization Laboratory

The ACE Internationalization Laboratory will guide the creation of a global strategy in support of SDSU’s Strategic Plan - We Rise, We Defy; Transcending Borders, Transforming Lives.

 Global Strategy Image

SDSU’s Global Strategy Implementation team has identified three central values 1) Access, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, 2) Transborder Engagement, and 3) Sustainability as common threads underpinning the work in the following six focus areas.

  • Articulated Institutional Commitment and Administrative Structure
  • Faculty Policies and Practices
  • Collaborations and Partnerships
  • International Student and Scholar Experience
  • Global Education Opportunities
  • Curriculum, Co-Curriculum, and Learning Outcomes

Which ACE resources are available to the SDSU community?
The ACE Internationalization toolkit covers various areas of comprehensive internationalization, and includes best practices from other institutions that have completed the ACE Internationalization Lab.

What is the timeline?
SDSU began the ACE Lab process in August 2020. The process will conclude in July 2022 with a final report and deliverables. The ACE Internationalization Lab Cohort 18 Timeline outlines all steps in the process. Note that due to COVID-19, the steps that would require SDSU staff to travel are being conducted virtually.

How does this align with SDSU’s Global Strategy Implementation?
The ACE Lab will guide the formation of a Global Strategy for SDSU with each of SDSU’s 8 focus areas receiving specific attention through a targeted subcommittee.

Who is involved?
Dr. Cristina Alfaro, AVP of International Affairs, is overseeing the ACE Internationalization Lab for SDSU. Dr. Alfaro’s co-chairs in the process are Dr. Adrienne Fusek, Director of Global Education and Partnerships and Mr. Ricky Paniagua, Assistant Director of International Student Services. Other members of the International Affairs Leadership Team and the Global Strategy Implementation Team will all be engaged in various parts of the process. SDSU’s ACE advisor is David Fleshler, J.D., who has 10 years of experience with ACE, and currently serves as Senior International Officer at Case Western Reserve.

What will be the benefits?
Leveraging the ACE Internationalization Lab to create a comprehensive Global Strategy will ensure  a strategic, coordinated process that aligns and integrates policies, programs, and initiatives to position SDSU as more globally oriented and internationally connected.

Activity #29

Charge: Original charge was to create a Global Strategy Action Plan to address global program infrastructure, international student recruitment, yield and retention. This charge was subsequently modified to combine efforts related to SDSU’s comprehensive internationalization strategy, under the guidance of American Council on Education’s (ACE) Internationalization Lab cohort and advisor. 

Chairs: Cristina Alfaro, Ricky Paniagua, Maria Keckler

Members: Comprehensive Member List

Progress to Date:

  • Finalized committee membership and established administrative procedures.
  • Planned the internationalization review
  • Determined the format and scope of the committee's final deliverable.
  • Publicized the Internationalization Lab engagement throughout campus and beyond.
  • Internationalization review: Data collection (in progress)


SDSU Global Strategy Timeline

Target Dates


Through October 2021

  • Internationalization review: Data collection.

November 2021-March 2022

  • Internationalization review: Data analysis.
  • Develop outline for the committee's final deliverable.
  • Determine peer review visit dates and identify potential reviewers.
  • Write and review the committee's final deliverable
  • Determine who needs to review drafts and establish a review schedule.
  • Submit final version or a working draft to ACE advisor/Activity 29 Executive Sponsor.

April 2022 - July 2022

  • Finalize deliverable
  • Plan next steps and follow-on activities.
  • ACE final report submitted to institution leadership by July 31, 2022.

Contact Information: 

Cristina Alfaro: [email protected]

Ricky Paniagua: [email protected]

Maria Keckler: [email protected]