International Educator - May/June 2015 - 59

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EDUCATION ABROAD
By Janet Hulstrand

Best Practices for Short-Term,
Faculty-Led Programs Abroad
IN THE PAST DECADE, the number of students interested in short-term education abroad
programs has risen steadily. In the 2004-05 academic year, short-term programs accounted for
51.4 percent of all study abroad programs.1 The figure has risen about 9 percent since-today a
whopping 60 percent of all U.S. students studying abroad now participate in short-term programs.2
Among these, faculty-led programs continue to grow in importance. And while there is a great
deal of variation in the details of policies and procedures governing faculty-led short-term programs from institution to institution, there are some generally agreed upon best practices cited
by education abroad experts to assist any institution in developing or managing such programs.
Ensure the Academic Integrity
of Programs
Developing, nurturing, and maintaining academically
sound programs, and ensuring that they are recognized as
such is of crucial importance. "One of the most important
things for credit-bearing courses is that they be unassailably academic. That's the way to maintain credibility with
campus constituents, students, and parents," says Kathy
Tuma, associate director of international and off-campus
studies at St. Olaf College.
Having a thorough and well-defined process for reviewing course proposals is the first step. "There has to
be a reason to teach the course abroad," says Tuma. "We
ask faculty to submit a tentative itinerary. We want to
know, for example, how they will turn a tour of the Uffizi
Gallery into an academic experience rather than just a
touristic one. Will guest speakers address subjects that
are pertinent to the course material? If it's a political science class about world courts, will the students actually
go to sessions of the various courts? We do a thorough review of proposed courses with that kind of thing in mind."
At Elon University, proposals are reviewed by a standing
committee that comes out of the general faculty council. "It's
a faculty committee that is kind of deputized by the overall
curriculum committee to serve in that capacity for facultyled programs abroad," says Elon Dean of Global Studies Lee
("Woody") Pelton. "Faculty have to explain why the destination is consistent with the academic goals for the class. Then
the committee either approves it, or sends it back for revision."
58  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N E .15

Most proposals reviewed by the committee are initially
sent back for revision, a process that helps ensure that the
programs will be of the highest academic quality. "It's not
about denying proposals, it's about nurturing faculty," says
Rhonda Waller, director of study abroad. "Many of the
members of the committee have had a course up for review
and have had to go back and revise it. So faculty understand the spirit in which constructive criticism is offered."
Pelton and Waller sit on the committee and lend their
voices to the discussion during the review process, but
they are not voting members. "We don't speak to the bona
fides of the course, and we don't approve courses," says
Pelton. "But we know the business end of things. So, the
faculty committee decides whether the course can run,
but they don't decide when it will run. We might keep a
course on the books but say that we don't think it's a good
idea for it to happen this year, for one reason or another."
As the designated faculty fellow for Elon's Global Education Center, Donna Van Bodegraven mentors faculty who
are proposing new courses. "We have high expectations
for academic rigor," says Van Bodegraven. "We require all
faculty to hold a one-credit preparatory seminar that their
students take during the fall semester. Their course proposals must include the draft syllabi for both the course and the
seminar." The seminar, Pelton explains, "is really a beginning
of the course. It includes practical information about visas
and other logistical matters. But offering a credit-bearing
seminar also gives professors the chance to get the students thinking about what they want them to think about



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2015

Pathfinders
Job Search: An American Tale
On the Rise
Frontlines
In Brief
Voices
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
International Enrollment
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 2
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Frontlines
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 8
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2015 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 16
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 20
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Voices
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Pathfinders
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 36
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Job Search: An American Tale
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2015 - On the Rise
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 54
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 56
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 60
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 64
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 68
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2015 - International Enrollment
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 72
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 76
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2015 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 81
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 82
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 83
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover4
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