Faculty: Leading a Study Abroad Program
Leading a Study Abroad Program
Program Development and Support
Creating a study abroad programs requires careful planning. If you are interested in leading an international education experience, you should submit a proposal to Education Abroad at least 12-18 months in advance of your desired program date. This allows for sufficient time to finalize all aspects of the programs and ensure its success.
Faculty leaders will have to take on certain responsibilities in addition to teaching and curriculum development.
These responsibilities include:
Coordinating plans with overseas institutions and other UNO departments
Securing local travel arrangements
Recruiting student participants for the program
Coordinating with the Education Abroad Office for a specialized pre-departure orientation focusing on health and safety
Managing allocated funds for the program
Serving as an on-site language resource for students where appropriate
Supervising students during the program
- Owning and operating a smart mobile phone while in country with an international data and talk plan or phone rental with equivalent capabilities
Education Abroad has several resources that can aid the planning process and help launch new programs. We are also able to assist with travel logistics and marketing strategies.
Faculty-led programs are an invaluable opportunity for UNO students. If you are at all interested in coordinating a program, please contact Education Abroad to discuss the possibilities.
Program Leadership Team
UNO requires that all faculty-led programs are managed by two responsible parties. This requirement can be met in the following ways:
The primary leader should be a UNO faculty member with academic expertise in the program’s field(s) of study. A qualified UNO lecturer, instructor, Ph.D. candidate, or staff member may be approved to serve as the primary leader at the discretion of the department and college. If a Ph.D. candidate is the primary leader, there should also be a UNO faculty/staff member designated as "program director" to provide oversight.
The leadership team and the on-site partner(s) should have complementary characteristics and skills. The most effective way to “bridge a gap” associated with local knowledge, host language skills, and student support is to work with a professional education abroad organization.In addition to the primary faculty leader, the leadership team must include one or more co-leader(s):
- On-site partner: Faculty Leaders collaborate closely with the Education Abroad office to identify and select on-site partner(s) to handle all pre-arranged logistics. All programs must have at least one on-site partner but no more than three partners, as necessary. For the on-site partner to meet the responsible party requirement, a dedicated program manager must be provided by the partner for the duration of the program.
- Another UNO faculty leader: Depending on the nature of the program, two faculty members may choose to teach in alternate years, co-teach one course, or offer two or more distinct courses. Leaders should consult with their departments and colleges about instructional salaries and minimum student enrollment numbers. Leader’s travel expenses are typically incorporated into the program budget, but if the student group is small relative to the number of leaders, the leaders are encouraged to seek departmental or college funding for one leader’s travel expenses to keep the overall cost down for students.
- A UNO staff leader: Some leaders invite a departmental or college advisor, an Education Abroad staff member, or a Student Affairs professional to co-lead, often assuming duties associated with student support, financial management, and cross-cultural understanding. Staff leaders’ travel expenses are often incorporated into the program budget. A staff leader typically will not expect a labor stipend. However, some supervisors may request a buy-out of the staff member’s time.
- A UNO graduate assistant: The opportunity to co-lead may be offered to a full-time UNO graduate (not undergraduate) student who is uniquely qualified to co-lead the program. The opportunity should not be offered simply as a reward or “perk.” The faculty leader should put in writing the expectations, limitations, duties, and privileges of the assistantship, and both the leader and assistant should sign. The department or college should complete the hiring paperwork for the assistant. A labor stipend is optional, and may be incorporated into the program budget or paid by the department/college.
- A faculty leader at a partner institution: Some UNO programs run in tandem with other universities to share logistical support. The leaders at the two institutions might agree to co-teach the course and/or serve as back-up leaders to students from the other institution. This leader must be on-site for the duration of the program.
- A non-UNO technical expert: While rare, some faculty leaders invite a technical expert not affiliated with UNO on a permanent basis to serve as an academic co-leader. The primary UNO leader is responsible for ensuring that the expert understands and complies with all University policies, including those prohibiting harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct. The UNO leader must share all UNO Education Abroad training materials with the expert, and will assume full responsibility for the expert’s conduct. The UNO leader should put in writing the expectations, limitations, duties, and privileges of the expert, and both the UNO leader and expert should sign. The department or college should complete the hiring paperwork for the expert. An expert’s travel expenses and/or labor stipend may be paid by the expert, incorporated into the program budget, or paid by the department/college.
Family Member with Formal Leadership Role
As appropriate, a family member may serve as a co-leader with a formal affiliation to the program.
- If a family member serves as a co-leader, this must be specified in the program proposal.
- Family members who are both UNO employees may co-lead with chair/dean approval, in which case both employees will be expected to assume the full responsibilities associated with program leadership.
- A non-UNO employee family member with the appropriate qualifications (i.e. strong familiarity with host country, language skills, teaching experience at the college level, and subject area expertise) may be eligible to serve as a co-leader, but must be hired by the academic unit to perform specific duties.