Information for Faculty
Developing a Study Abroad Course
Taking a group of students away or abroad means accepting extra responsibilities, but the rewards of sharing an educational experience with your students are many. We are here to help!
Faculty members who lead Study Away programs make an invaluable contribution to internationalizing the MWSU experience. Students who might not otherwise consider studying away are often willing to participate in a short-term program led by a trusted faculty member.
Any faculty member in any discipline can propose a study abroad course. Before formulating a proposal, you should meet with the staff of Study Abroad and Exchange Programs at the Western Institute to discuss your plans, to learn about the policies/procedures governing study abroad courses, and to map out a very rough budget for the course. Call Tammy Glise in the Western Institute office at 271-4194 to help you get started.
All proposed study abroad courses must be approved by your departmental chairperson, college or school dean, and staff in the Study Abroad office.
It is never too early to submit a proposal for approval. We recommend that proposals be submitted at least nine (9) months before the course is to be offered. Proposals may be submitted as early as eighteen (18) months in advance. Proposals submitted six (6) months in advance may not be approved by the Western Institute.
The Western Institute will only consider complete proposals. A complete proposal consists of two elements:
- A completed Study Abroad Course Worksheet [pdf]
- A course syllabus containing the following information:
- Statement of goals and objectives for the course
- Faculty contact information
- Trip destination and duration
- Assigned readings
- Required assignments and activities
- Specific grading standard
- Student safety statement – This can be something as simple as: “Although London is a very safe city, it carries some risk. Therefore, students are advised to sightsee with a partner or group, and to be very cautious after dark.”
- A statement acknowledging the tentative nature of the calendar
- All statements and information that must appear on all Missouri Western syllabi (academic honesty, disability, attendance).
It is imperative that a Study Abroad course have as much academic rigor as any traditional on-campus course. If the academic content of the proposed course does not meet acceptable criteria, or if the syllabus does not adequately meet all of the aforementioned guidelines, then the course proposal will be returned for revision.
Upon approval of a study abroad course, you will work with the Study Abroad and Exchange Programs staff to determine the actual costs of the course. Missouri Western regulations require the Study Abroad and Exchange Programs staff to obtain three competitive bids for all major costs associated with the course – airfare, hotel, on-site transportation, etc. When these bids have been acquired, you will meet with the staff of Study Abroad and Exchange Programs and the Western Institute Financial Officer to establish a final budget for the course. Part of this process will involve determining the minimum enrollment figure required for the course to “make.” Once the budget and enrollment figure are finalized, they cannot be changed.
With final budget and enrollment figures, you and the Study Abroad and Exchange Programs staff can begin to actively recruit for the course.
We will be glad to meet with your class to explain how the Study Abroad process works and to assist students in getting their paperwork completed fully.
All classes must meet with the university’s Risk Manager before they will be allowed to travel.
If a study abroad course does not meet the minimum enrollment figure, then the course (or at least the travel portion of it) can be cancelled at the discretion of the Study Abroad and Exchange Programs staff.
There is a considerable amount of paperwork that a student must complete in order to participate in a study abroad course. Our office will create the appropriate forms tailored to your course. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all required paperwork is completed and on file in the Study Abroad and Exchange Programs Office three (3) weeks before the travel portion of the course. Any student failing to meet this deadline will not be allowed to travel. We ask for your help to clearly communicate this information to his/her students and to encourage them to comply with procedures before the deadline.