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Proposing a Faculty-led Program

Faculty-led programs offer a unique opportunity for a faculty member to lead a group of university students abroad. We're excited to continue to expand international education opportunities for our students and faculty. A centralized process for administering these programs allows the university to address issues such as resource allocation, efficiency, budget and enrollment management, institutional liability, risk management, and academic integrity. We hope this information will provide a starting point for discussion as we move to building policies and processes that will ensure any international program offered to the SPU student population meets the high standards we expect of not only the academic content but also the administrative procedures and student services provided.

To get a better idea of the breadth of existing offerings, take a look at the programs currently offered by SPU.

Program Proposal and Approval Process
If you are interested in proposing a Faculty-led Program, please follow these steps:
  1. Learn about the SPU policies and guidelines in the Policy Guide for Faculty Leaders (note the timeline and proposal deadlines).
  2. Set up a meeting with the Study Abroad Director to discuss your intent and the timeline and process for implementing the program.
  3. Complete the online Faculty-led Program Proposal application and obtain necessary signatures and approval by the Department Chair and SPU Curriculum Committee. Recurring programs do not need Curriculum Committee approval unless there are significant changes to course content.
  4. Identify a program provider or in-country host and begin working with them on a draft proposal of your itinerary, logistics, and program inclusions. With the proposal we will need a draft proposal from the provider so that we can set a preliminary budget. The Study Abroad Director will act as a resource and suggest suitable providers if you do not have one in mind. Providers and in-country hosts must be vetted and approved by the Study Abroad Director and SPU Counsel.
  5. Completed proposals for all new and recurring programs must be submitted to the Study Abroad Director by November 1 for programs that will occur the following year.

Approval Criteria
A successful proposal will demonstrate strong academic quality, cultural enrichment for students, integration into the SPU curriculum, and where possible, opportunities for experiential learning. It will also give indications of a solid administrative structure and financial plan, as well as an initial plan for addressing questions of student health and safety. Consideration will be made to how a proposal fits into the University’s strategic priorities, including the geographic location, the present and future student interest in the subject matter and location, the relationship of the proposal to other University initiatives, and the program’s potential to enhance the University’s global profile. Priority will be given to proposals that give evidence of sustainability over time, including the involvement of more than one faculty member.

Program Standards
SPU supports Standards of Good Practice of the Forum on Education Abroad. Forum members developed these standards for the field so that there would be an agreed-upon set of best practices on all aspects of study abroad, including student selection, academics, policies and procedures, health and safety, ethics and integrity, etc. For the full set of Standards and queries, see the Forum on Education Abroad website.

Timeline for Program Approval Process
Proposals for new and recurring study abroad programs are due by November 1 each year for programs beginning the following summer through spring quarter of the next year. It's never too early to start planning as the process may take at least 18 months from first concept to the program's projected start date. 

Continuing Program Authorization
After each program occurrence, the faculty director should submit a written report to the Study Abroad Director so that continuing program approval can be considered. Faculty proposing recurring programs must submit an updated proposal form by November 1 each year. It does not need to be approved by the Curriculum Committee unless there are significant changes to course content. 

Forms and resources for faculty-led programs