Title VI and Fulbright-Hays Foreign Language and Area Studies Program Evaluations

Enacted in response to world events that challenged assumptions about the preparedness of the United States to compete with other nations, programs authorized under Title VI of the 1958 National Defense Education Act were designed to ensure that American students gained the skills necessary to communicate across borders. Over fifty years after the authorization of the initial programs, the need to train students in foreign languages and area studies in order to compete in the global marketplace is more essential than ever. In a world in which the military, economic, and environmental security of the United States are closely intertwined with other nations, it is imperative that American students are proficient in the multitude of languages and cultures from around the globe.

As noted in a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences reviewing the Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs, while instruction in less commonly taught languages and area studies has increased over the last 50 years, the 14 Title VI programs have yet to comprehensively evaluate the degree to which the projects funded under the statute have demonstrated an effect on international education and foreign language instruction in the United States. Under this project,

AIR is working closely with the International Education Programs Service (IEPS) of the U.S. Department of Education, to systematically evaluate a number of Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs, including the Language Resource Centers, the National Resource Centers, and the Group Projects Abroad. The focus of the evaluations is on assessing the role of these programs on foreign language and area studies instruction and capacity in the United States.