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Thank you for your willingness to lead education abroad programs and help further the Global Perspective Core Value within Robert Morris University. The time you spend planning and coordinating education abroad programs makes a world of difference to students, campuses and the global community we live in.
Below is the instruction sheet providing you the information and guidance as to what information we need to approve your program proposal and make it the best possible experience for you and your students. We strongly suggest that you consult with the Center for Global Engagement (CGE) before finalizing your proposal in order to discuss the logistics and planning of your program.
Dates: Please provide the dates of the FLEAP program. These are the dates that you are responsible for the students and are on official Robert Morris University business. If you are still finalizing dates, please provide your best estimate—indicate that they are tentative—and make sure you communicate with CGE when your dates are finalized.
Target Student Group Size: Some programs can only run if they have a minimum number of students. Other program leaders will cap their student numbers at what they feel is a manageable number. What is the minimum number of students that you can accept in your program? What is the maximum number of students that you can accept in your program? Your budget or itinerary may determine the minimum and maximum number of students you can take, for example, if you rent a bus that can fit only 12 people or if you need at least 15 students to keep the cost of the program under a certain amount.
Logistics: Some program coordinators may choose to plan all of the logistics of their FLEAP themselves. They are familiar with the area, are interested in that level of involvement and may believe that this will keep costs low. Others may choose to work with an outside service provider because they offer experience and expertise in planning a FLEAP in a specific location, providing an extra layer of support and guidance. If you choose to use an outside provider, please speak with CGE about a list of high quality providers that work in the host region and information on the bidding process. Either option is okay with CGE; but, you should carefully consider your own time, knowledge and resources, what activities you hope students will do during the FLEAP and your familiarity with the host culture and host country. Please provide the names and contact information of anyone that you are working with to plan and execute your FLEAP. This information is critical in case of an emergency.
Accommodations: The Center for Global Engagement must know how to get in touch with students and faculty leaders at all times. Will students be staying with a host family? In dorms or residence halls? In hotels? How will the housing be chosen? How will the housing be paid? Please list the type of housing (hotel, hostel, homestay, etc.) for both students and faculty and provide the contact information for each.
Proposed Transportation to Program Site: Group travel means that you will meet the students in the U.S. and travel together to the program site. Independent travel means that students will be responsible for arriving at the program site by the start of the program.
Field Trips: Will you be taking the students on any fieldtrips? Where will you go? How will you get there? How will the costs be covered (part of program fee or not)? Are there any special risks or safety considerations?
Itinerary: Example found in forms. It is okay if this is a tentative itinerary, but it is important that these details be finalized as soon as possible. There will always be last minute changes and adjustments, and that flexibility is important, but thinking through each day will help you get an overall sense of the program logistics. This itinerary will be especially important when creating your Program Fee. You are welcome to submit an itinerary created by an outside provider.
Proposed in-country transportation: Please be specific in terms of the kind of transportation you will be using. If you use anything other than public transportation, please provide the name and contact information of the company/organization you will be using.
Student Recruitment Plan: It is important that you are able to recruit enough students to run your program and the sooner you begin student recruitment the better chance you have of reaching your minimum participation numbers. While OIP is happy to offer your program to students who express interest, the majority of student recruitment happens before students ever come to our office. It is strongly suggested that you talk to students about your program, visit classes, and participate in the Fall and Spring Study Abroad Fairs.
Pre-departure preparation meetings: All students will be required to attend a Pre-
Departure Orientation and to complete the forms for studying abroad (possibly including some readings and a few short quizzes). You will be responsible for meeting with your students to discuss course and program expectations. It is not necessary that your meetings be for credit or that you meet a certain number of hours, but you should provide periodic updates to your students and the more prepared they are to go, the smoother the experience will be for all.
Host Country Specific Safety and Risk Management (example found in form):
This area is extremely important. Please think carefully about any natural disasters, health risks, criminal activity, or other safety issues that you or your students might experience. Is your FLEAP in a country that experiences earthquakes? In a city that has a high rate of petty theft? Are there diseases or other health issues that your students need to be prepared for? Are you participating in any high-risk activities (i.e., hiking, llama trekking, sky diving, swimming, etc.)? Please refer to the Country Specific information at http://travel.state.gov/ and your own, if any, experiences in the host country. For each safety issue, please let us know what you will do to prepare. For example, if you will be in an area that has dangerous traffic, maybe you will plan to have everyone picked up and dropped off at the hotel at the beginning and end of each day. If you go to a country that has tsunamis, maybe you will educate your students on what to do in case of a tsunami and have an emergency meeting place agreed upon beforehand. You will also be required to register your group with the American Embassy in the host country upon your arrival.
Salary and Per Diem: Every FLEAP is unique, including the way that a faculty member’s costs are covered. Some faculty members are able to combine leading a FLEAP with other international work or travel, reducing some of their costs. Others have academic departments or outside grants that contribute to their expenses. It is very important that everyone involved (the faculty member, department, college, CGE) is clear about whether salary and per diem will be paid and who will pay it. This will affect how the student fees are calculated, the process for getting travel expenses paid, and the minimum number of students needed to run the program. The “budget official” who needs to sign this page may be different for each school or department, but it should be the person who either makes the decision about salary and per diem or the person that is responsible for carrying out the departmental/school policies.
Completing a Site Assessment: When considering new locations for education abroad programs, community engagement abroad programs or international field experience trips, an advance site visit is required in order to accomplish the following:
Initiating a Faculty Education Abroad Program:
- Assess the site for safety.
- Connect with institutional partners (when applicable).
- Make arrangements for lodging, use of classroom space, organization and work place, planned excursions, etc.
- Establish a budget for the program.
- Study and assess availability of health services.
- Complete a detailed site assessment report, including information on precautions and/or steps that have been put in place to avoid and manage safety and emergency issues.
Effective academic year 2010-2011, all Faculty Led Education Abroad Programs are required to submit a program proposal. For new programs, a site assessment is also required as a prerequisite to initiating a program abroad. Once that has been accomplished, this FLEAP Program Proposal is completed and submitted for approval.
As required, all courses offered as part of a FLEAP must meet RMU academic standards. With some flexibility, all programs will be equal to or surpass the same quality and excellence of a program offered at an RMU campus in addition to the course competencies and content outline. The proposed education abroad program will not be approved if courses are offered for recreational and/or travel purposes only.
A proposal form is completed in collaboration with the Center for Global Engagement.
The faculty member/Program Director, Department Chair, Dean and the Executive Director of CGE sign the proposal and submit it to the Provost for final approval and signature. The approved proposal will be returned to the Center for Global Engagement. The original copy will be retained at the CGE and additional copies will be sent to the initiating faculty member and the Purchasing/Fiscal Office.
Note: Each school may have additional requirements before submitting an education abroad proposal. Faculty should meet with her/his Department Head and Dean to discuss the possibility and have their initial approval before moving forward.
The Center for Global Engagement works closely with faculty, Department Heads and Deans to ensure the compliance with RMU legal and purchasing requirements, risk management, and offers any support needed for a successful program.
Courses: Education abroad course content must foremost reflect the Robert Morris University Core Value and strategic goal of training globally competent individuals who value and respect cultural differences. Program course offerings should have a theme which explains/justifies the rationale for taking students abroad for increasing their global awareness, skills, and competency. RMU education abroad programs should be broadened to match a national trend toward greater diversity in education abroad program options, such as:
Language and culture courses:
All classes must be approved in a manner consistent with existing RMU course offering guidelines.
- Cultural awareness courses (Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, etc.)
- Thematic courses which integrate all course competencies (Political Ideologies, Intro to Sociology, etc.)
- Art, Art History, or Humanities courses which focus on the program's theme
- Intercultural Communication courses centered on the program’s overall theme
- Courses taught in a comparative perspective to include the host culture and the culture of the program participants (i.e., Comparative Human Institutions)
- Business courses centered on the program's overall theme (i.e., International Business)
- Other: In order to increase diversity in education abroad course offerings and host country destinations, faculty in other disciplines, especially math and the sciences, are encouraged to consider offering a course abroad.
It usually takes between 18 months to a year to plan a quality program and allow sufficient time to list the Faculty Led Education Abroad Programs in catalogs, schedules and promote the programs. Hence, to allow prospective students to plan ahead, please refer to the schedule below for the timeline for proposal submissions to the Center for Global Engagement.
Program Proposals For Programs Beginning:
May 1st are due by the following Summer
November 1st are due by the following Fall
April 1st are due by the following January
Short-term programs that are less than a week in length can be submitted any time up to sixty (60) days before the program start date. This will allow time to secure the necessary signatures and get the proposal to the Provost (President) for his approval within 30 days before the departure date.
For multiple-year programs with no content change, an Education Abroad Multi-Year Program Renewal form may be submitted which requires only a new budget and the program itinerary.
Reporting Requirements for Education Abroad:
Thirty (30) days upon the return, the FLEAP Director/Faculty is required to complete at least a one-page travel report, with input from other participating faculty (on their respective outcomes). The report needs to include the general aspects of the trip and outline what students have learned/outcomes as the result of the FLEAP. The report will be used in the annual report of the Center for Global Engagement.
In addition, students will be provided with a link to the on-line evaluation that they are required to complete.
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