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Policy and Procedure Guide For Faculty Led Study Abroad Programs

Policy Purpose

The Office of International Education and Programs (OIEP) works directly with faculty to develop Faculty Led Study Abroad (FLSA) programs. All credit bearing and noncredit bearing courses with a travel component (international or domestic) are coordinated through the Office of International Education and Programs Study Abroad office along with the Faculty leader and their Department Chairperson and School Dean. Faculty Led Study Abroad programs are a great way to enhance the curricula of various academic departments as well as expand the geographic diversity of the study abroad programs currently offered at Farmingdale State College (FSC). Since these programs are shorter in duration they are an economical option for our students. The OIEP is committed to creating more short term, credit bearing study abroad opportunities for students at an affordable rate. There are many factors involved in offering FLSA programs beyond the academic component. Leading a group of students in this type of endeavor is a commitment of time and energy. Faculty leaders should realize that they are involved in every aspect of the program and are often on duty 24 hours a day. The NAFSA: Association of International Educators Guide to Successful Short Term Programs Abroad states that “study abroad faculty must be true leaders, skilled in diplomacy, logistics, and group dynamics.” This Policy and Procedure Guide will assist you throughout the development and implementation phases associated with creating and running a successful Faculty Led Study Abroad program.

Persons Affected

Faculty, Staff, Students


Faculty Eligibility The Faculty leader must be:

  • Employed at FSC as a full time, part-time, visiting professor, or adjunct professor.
  • Academically qualified to offer the travel experience as a course: i.e. business, natural sciences, language, art, social sciences, etc.
  • Emotionally and physically prepared to manage the 24/7 presence of a varied student population and their concerns and needs.
  • Prepared to address all issues involved in conducting a faculty-led program from planning through final evaluation (e.g. academic issues, financial issues, personnel issues) and submit a complete program proposal to the OIEP by the posted program proposal deadline.
  • Prepared to ensure student safety and wellbeing while traveling.
Assessing the Academic Need for a Study Abroad Program When developing a new study abroad program, consider the following: Academic considerations:
  • Does the program meet the strategic goals and/or curricular needs of your academic department?
  • Does the program enhance a college major and/or satisfy portions of the campus’ General Education requirements?
  • Does the program offer something unique that cannot be accomplished on campus? Revised 3. 2019 DRAFT(007) 4
  • Will this program have a strong academic component? • Is there a specific reason that this program should take place in the specified location? o What is that reason?
  • Does the time of year when the program is planned appeal to students?
  • Is the length of the program appropriate for the academic content? • Is there a minimum GPA requirement for program participation?
  • Class standing (i.e. upper division only)?
  • Prerequisites required for language or other courses?
  • Will the program attract students from different degree programs?
  • Will this program be able to be offered in years to come? If so, how frequently?
  • What will be the methods of instruction?
  • Will this program offer opportunities for experiential learning?
  • Does the program proposal meet the SUNY Credit/Contact Hour Policy? Destination considerations: Travelling with the student group to and from the overseas destination is required.
  • Identify any connections in the proposed host country or city which may add value to the program content.
  • Know the geographic and academic area well and be prepared to convey your knowledge of both to the student group.
  • Have sufficient expertise in travel to recognize/anticipate the pitfalls, routes, safety concerns, and advantages the proposed destination offers.
  • Possess an ample network of contacts in the region to support planning and development of the program as well as learning outcomes.
  • Speak the local language (in locales where English is not widely used).
  • Consider the political/economic stability of the country/ies and weigh these factors against the academic value of the program.
  • Assess the minimum level of physical fitness required of the participants (where applicable). Itinerary considerations: Be sure to plan your program with enough down time so that participants have the opportunity to recover from jetlag, self-exploration, shopping, socializing, and sightseeing opportunities not included in the group itinerary. They need time to experience the host culture to get the full benefit of the travel experience. When possible, please address how you will combine the following elements in your program:
  • Instruction by local scholars and experts.
  • Opportunities for student interaction with people of the host culture.
  • Reflection on learning experiences.
  • Connecting with any Farmingdale alumni who are from the host country or currently working in the program vicinity. 5 Study Abroad Travel Periods Thanksgiving Break
  • Students are registered for this course in the Fall term.
  • The travel experience is held during the Thanksgiving holiday break. A typical program length is 9-10 days. Students who are enrolled in Accelerated Saturday courses are not permitted to participate in Thanksgiving study abroad programs.
  • Between 12.5-17.5 contact hours may be satisfied during the Thanksgiving Break travel depending on the structure, frequency, and duration of activities abroad. It is recommended that such travel courses be developed as FSC-approved hybrid courses with a substantial online component delivered via Brightspace.
  • A Thanksgiving Break study abroad course is typically 3 credit hours. Winter Intersession
  • Students are either registered for fall or spring semester for a course with a winter intersession travel component or the student is registered for a winter intersession course.
  • Faculty leading winter intersession travel experiences are expected to hold a regular series of classes and/or meetings in the fall or spring semester to deliver academic content and prepare students for departure. Depending on the structure, frequency, and duration of activities abroad the Winter Intersession travel may satisfy between 15-25 contact hours.
  • The travel experience is held any time after the fall semester has ended and prior to the start of the spring semester. A typical program length is 10 – 14 days.
  • A Winter intersession study abroad course is typically 3 credit hours. Summer Session
  • Students are registered in the summer term.
  • The travel experience is held any time after the spring semester has ended and prior to the start of the fall semester. A typical program length is 14 – 21 days.
  • Summer semester courses are typically 3 – 6 credit hours but could be as many as 9 – 12. Spring Break
  • Students are registered for this course in the Spring Semester.
  • The travel experience is held during Spring break. A typical program length is 8-10 days. Students who are enrolled in Accelerated Saturday courses are not permitted to participate in Spring Break study abroad programs.
  • Between 15-20 contact hours may be satisfied during the Spring Break travel experience depending on the structure, frequency, and duration of activities abroad. It is recommended that such travel courses be developed as FSC-approved hybrid courses with a substantial online component delivered via Brightspace.
  • A Spring Break study abroad course is typically 3-4 credit hours. 6 Program Promotion
  • Faculty will be asked to actively promote the study abroad program on campus by: o Participating in the FSC Study Abroad Fair (held in September and February) o Conducting in-class presentations and informational sessions o Posting flyers o Developing program descriptions for the FSC website. The OIEP will assist in the creation of these materials as we need to follow FSC branding guidelines.
  • • When promoting to students, course pre-approval and judicial review must be obtained by the OIEP for all students applying. Final acceptance of students is at the discretion of the Director of International Education and Programs.
  • Faculty must be prepared to submit itineraries, relevant activities and academic information about the course/program to the OIEP according to establish timelines to facilitate and create promotional materials and web content in a timely manner. Course Credit Students must complete the Overseas Academic Program Course Approval form with all appropriate signatures to receive the corresponding credits. Students who study abroad will receive transfer credits only when those credits have been approved prior to the student participation in the study abroad program. All credits received abroad through FSC or another SUNY institution are vetted and are received under a signed academic policy agreement. In the case that credits received on a study abroad program have not been pre-approved, an appeal may not be justifiable. Any loss of Financial Aid due to the failure to gain pre-approval will result in all costs being paid by the student. II. How and When to Submit a Program Proposal Faculty are required to plan for a study abroad course at least 14 months in advance of when the travel experience will take place. We recommend discussing options with the OIEP as well as your School Dean and Department Chairperson 24-14 months prior to proposed program date. Study Abroad Faculty Led Proposal Submission Deadlines OIEP must receive the approved Study Abroad Faculty Led Proposal Request by:
  • September for a Winter or Thanksgiving Break course offered the following year
  • March for a Spring Break or Summer course offered the following year 7 Timeline Use this timeline as a guide for planning your program. Please note that courses will be approved on a case-by-case basis – those deviating from the timeline below assume the risk that their course may not be approved. 12-14 Months Prior To Travel
  • Faculty leader makes an appointment with OIEP and receives: The Study Abroad Faculty-led Faculty Checklist The Policy and Procedure Guide for Faculty-led Programs The Study Abroad Faculty-led Proposal Request
  • OIEP will review Policy and Procedure Guide with Faculty leader at the meeting
  • Faculty leader submits the Study Abroad Faculty-led Proposal Request form to OIEP
  • Faculty leader must complete and submit the Travel Authorization Form to OIEP
  • Faculty leader must complete and submit the UP-8 form to their Chairperson
  • OIEP will arrange a meeting between OIEP, Director of OIEP and Faculty leader
  • After obtaining Director of OIEP approval, OIEP will submit itinerary to program providers
  • OIEP will review bids with Faculty leader, revise itinerary if necessary Faculty leader will choose provide Director of OIEP will make final provider decision
  • OIEP will prepare the program budget sheet and present to OIEP Director for approval 6-12 Months Prior To Travel
  • OIEP will develop marketing plan and share with Faculty leader Complete Wufoo for website creation Create posters Set dates for classroom visits Set dates for tabling in Campus Center Send emails to students Set scholarship deadline & application information
  • OIEP will setup the following dates with the Faculty leader: Program Go/No Go date Pre-departure orientation (2 weeks prior to departure) Pre-departure call with program provider (before orientation) Debrief call (2 weeks after return)
  • OIEP will request a CRN from the registrar’s office OIEP will share CRN and registration information with the Faculty leader
  • OIEP will provide the Faculty leader with the Study Abroad Emergency Response Plan Faculty leader must sign the acknowledgement form Revised 3. 2019 DRAFT(007) 8
  • OIEP will provide the Faculty leader with the international travel cellphone agreement Faculty leader must sign the acknowledgement form 2-6 Months Prior To Travel
  • Faculty leader must complete the health insurance enrollment form and submit the enrollment form to OIEP
  • OIEP will enroll the Faculty leader through the Health insurance website and email an electronic copy to the Faculty leader
  • OIEP will email the health insurance PowerPoint to the Faculty leader Family travelling with the group must obtain their own travel health and emergency insurance at their discretion.
  • If the Faculty leader is traveling with family members, submit the following to OIEP: Family Member Release and Waiver Form Copy of Family member’s passport
  • Faculty leader must submit a copy of their passport to OIEP
  • Faculty leader must complete and submit the Emergency Contact Form to OIEP
  • Faculty leader must complete and submit the Travel Authorization Form to OIEP
  • Faculty leader must apply for a Travel Card through the Purchasing Office This card is required to book travel if being paid for through your department.
  • Faculty leader must apply for a NET Card (Non-Employee Travel) This card is used for making purchases for the students while abroad, especially while in an emergency (I.e. train tickets). 1 Month Prior To Travel
  • OIEP and Faculty leader will conduct the Pre-departure call with the chosen program provider (3 weeks before departure)
  • Faculty leader must sign the final itinerary acknowledgement form
  • OIEP and Faculty leader will conduct the student Pre-departure orientation
  • OIEP will collect student emergency contact information and share with the Faculty leader
  • OIEP will collect student passport copies and share with the Faculty leader
  • OIEP will collect student health insurance card copies and share with the Faculty leader
  • Faculty leader must email STEP enrollment confirmation to OIEP 1 Month Post Travel
  • Faculty leader will conduct a debrief meeting with OIEP  Faculty leader and OIEP will conduct a debrief call with the program provider
  • Faculty leader will submit travel receipts to OIEP  Faculty leader will return travel cellphone (if used)
  • OIEP will send out student survey and share results with Faculty leader 9 III. Faculty Compensation and Costs Enrollment: A minimum number of 12 students is required for each course with a travel component. This enables realistic package pricing for the group. Enrollment below 12 may jeopardize faculty transportation, lodging and other itinerary costs. Faculty Compensation/Teaching Load: To obtain full salary stipend, at least 12 students must be enrolled in the course. With enrollment below 12, compensation is subject to the payment terms of the Academic Statement Policy which indicates compensation at a per student rate. Faculty Travel: When travelling abroad with students, and a minimum enrollment of 12 is reached, the expenses included in the itinerary will be covered. Any deviation from the services, meals and/or accommodations provided as outlined in the itinerary are billable and payable by the faculty member. Any change in program cost due to addition of faculty and/or faculty family members are billable and payable by the faculty member. Note: In travel courses with two faculty members, program costs (travel, lodging, transfers, etc.) will only be covered when a minimum of 24 students is reached. If enrollment numbers are not met, the costs for travel and all itineraryindicated costs are billable and payable by the faculty member unless otherwise approved by their academic department, school dean and/or the OIEP. IV. Health, Safety and Emergency Management The Safety and Security of Participants: The safety and security of our students and Faculty leaders while they are traveling is a consideration of the highest importance at every stage in the development and administration of study abroad programs. For this reason, the OIEP will not support programs in areas that the US Department of State has issued warnings for American citizens to not travel to. Prior to travel visit www.travel.state.gov to help you prepare for traveling with persons with a disability or LGBTQ concerns. Insurance: As established by the SUNY International Insurance Committee, international health insurance for our students, faculty and staff including evacuation, repatriation and medical assistance is required. The insurance may only be waived if a student, faculty or staff member hold citizenship and insurance in the location abroad. Insurance website information will be provided at orientation. A list of English speaking doctors can be found on the insurance website. What To Do in the Event of an Emergency: In any emergency that arises, the Faculty leader is the official representative of FSC and has the dual obligation to represent FSC vis-á-vis an overseas university or the US Embassy, and to ensure the safety and well-being of the students entrusted to her/his care. Faculty leaders must familiarize themselves with emergency procedures before leaving the US. It is recommended the Faculty leader prepare an emergency action plan to share with the participants before or upon arrival at the final destination. The Faculty leader should discuss appropriate emergency preparedness steps with the participants that include how to handle weather disasters, communication protocols, injury, illness and establishing a meeting place in the event of an emergency. 10 If a crisis or emergency arises, the Faculty leader will be in constant contact with the OIEP, and will receive direction from the FSC campus. OIEP will try to assist as best as possible but often this is a challenge due to location and time differences. You should always seek guidance from local staff (program provider, partner institution, health insurance representative) to assist you. The Faculty leader must consider the remote possibility that the program could be cut short and the entire group directed to return home suddenly. Should a terror attack, natural disaster, etc. occur during your time off campus, you will be responsible to report in to the OIEP and confirm your safety and whereabouts. The faculty leader will be given a copy of the Study Abroad Emergency Handbook during orientation. Topics covered include issues of personal and institutional liability, health insurance, student conduct and emergency management. V. Ethical Guidelines The Forum on Education Abroad has developed standards of good practice for the field of education abroad. It is expected that any international offering supported and endorsed by FSC, will adhere to the Forum’s Code of Ethics. “The purpose of the Code of Ethics is to provide a guide for making ethical decisions to ensure that those in the education abroad field provide services in accord with the highest ethical standards, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that students’ international educational experiences are as rich and meaningful as possible.” Excerpts from the Code related to this guidebook are below. Gifts, Gratuities, Discounts, Rebates and Compensation
  • Institutions and individuals should guard against allowing gifts, gratuities, hospitality, or compensation of any kind to improperly influence decision-making or create the appearance thereof.
  • Institutions and organizations should have a process for reporting payments such as reimbursements, honoraria, or consulting fees for work conducted on behalf of provider programs. No paid travel should be accepted by an employee of an institution if offered by an education abroad program provider or other third party, unless substantive work, such as program assessment or program development, is required.
  • Institutions should have a process for reporting any gift from an education abroad program provider or other third party that has an apparent value exceeding $50.00. Any rebate, commission, or discount provided by a provider organization should be used to defray costs to students.
  • Provider organizations and institutions should neither accept nor offer gifts or gratuities, unless these are purely nominal. VI. Faculty/Staff Accompanied by Spouse/Family Members 11
  • Approval for minors/children of faculty participating in study abroad programs will be in agreement between parents/legal guardians, the Director of International Education and Programs and the Dean of Students.
  • It is expected that any faculty/staff member participating in a Study Abroad Program is primarily and intensely engaged in the student learning process. As such, accompanying parties must not hinder this responsibility or even present the perception that this responsibility is compromised.
  • Only those direct family members/partners who are formally approved in advance by the Director of International Education and Programs may accompany the faculty/staff member during the study abroad program. All others must apply, be accepted and be registered as students.
  • Faculty/staff members are responsible for all expenses incurred for spouse/partner/family who accompany him/her on a faculty-led program. It must be transparent for all those involved in the program, especially the student, that no portion of the student program fees, in any way, subsidize non-participants.
  • Family attending a program should arrange their own flights and ground packages. The obtaining of insurance for those individuals travelling with the FSC group is at the discretion of the individual.
VII. Post Travel Experience Equally important, is to consider including post-travel classes or debriefing meetings. A student’s study abroad experience should not end the minute they return to campus. Students will be eager to share their experiences with anyone who will listen – this might be the perfect opportunity to include them in promoting for your next faculty-led experience! Consider discussing students’ reactions to the host country, the culture, the language, the food, etc. Have them express their experiences by writing a post-travel response paper or an article for the student newspaper, etc. Also, encourage students to share photos and memories of their trip with the OIEP to be promoted on the study abroad webpage.

Policy History

Revised 3. 2019