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Proposing a 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 Faculty-led Policy Guide (note the timeline and proposal deadlines).
  2. Discuss your idea with your department chair and dean.
  3. Set up a meeting with the Study Abroad Program Manager to discuss your intent and the timeline and process for implementing the program.
  4. Complete a proposal form for New Programs or for Recurring Programs.
  5. Work with Study Abroad Program Manager to Identify a program provider or in-country host and begin working with them on a draft proposal of your itinerary, logistics, and program inclusions. Providers and in-country hosts must be vetted and approved by the study abroad office and university risk management department.
  6. Completed proposals for all new and recurring programs must be submitted to the Study Abroad Program Manager by September 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
Completed proposals for both new and recurring programs are due by September 1 each year for programs beginning the following summer through spring quarter of the next year. Final proposals must include an online proposal form, course approval, dean approval and draft proposal from logistical provider. 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 complete an online proposal form by September 1 each year. 

Forms and resources for faculty-led programs