Are you interested in teaching in an experiential learning environment? Do you want to enrich your teaching and research and develop a unique cultural immersion and learning program for your students? If so, you are invited to explore developing a Passport to Learning program through Regional & Continuing Education (RCE).
Passport to Learning programs are short-term, faculty-led study abroad courses offered on a self-support basis during the Winter Session and Summer Session. They may be offered for academic credit or on a non-credit basis; programs may be designed for specific majors or may be open to all majors as well as members of the community or students attending other universities.
Developing a quality faculty-led study abroad program is rewarding and worthwhile, although it requires time and effort and can be a daunting process. RCE, in partnership with the Office of International Education and Risk Management, will work closely with you and your academic department/college to help you build a successful and memorable program.
Principles for Developing a High-quality Faculty-led Study Abroad Program
Security and Safety
The safety and security of our students while overseas is of primary importance in developing and conducting a faculty-led study abroad program. CSU, Chico does not support programs in areas of the world listed on the State Department Travel Warning list. The program development process focuses on managing the risk inherent in international travel and establishing an emergency response plan.
The program must adhere to the same high standards of development, content, and departmental and college approval as courses taught on campus. Course syllabi are required as part of the final program proposal and are updated each time the program is offered. The academic experience of the student participants is the primary purpose of these programs. Faculty research is encouraged in programs where students participate in and contribute to the research project. Students evaluate all aspects of the program, including academics.
Strong programs facilitate participants’ integration into the host culture so that students engage with that culture and society at fairly sophisticated and complex levels and, by means of this connection, arrive at a deeper understanding of its people and culture. The course syllabus should incorporate some academic content relating to the host country, culture, economy, and history. From this integration and engagement, the participant should learn not only about the host country and region, but also about their home society and country. Perhaps most importantly, the process of integration and engagement will teach the participants a great deal about themselves as well.
Fiscal and Budgetary Responsibility
Study abroad programs can place an additional financial burden on students, so program development is focused on providing the highest quality program at the most conservative cost. Programs offered through program budgets are developed in cooperation with RCE staff, and funds expended for programs are carefully monitored and accounted for at all stages of program development and implementation.
Study abroad is an important component of CSU, Chico’s commitment to internationalization and a great way for students to expand their horizons and gain first-hand international experience and knowledge. Short-term faculty led programs are particularly ideal for students who cannot commit to a semester-long or full year study abroad program. These programs also increase the diversity of students studying overseas and provide a needed option for students with limited time or resources for study abroad or for those who are more comfortable traveling with a CSU, Chico faculty member.
Without this academic integrity and cultural integration, participants remain merely tourists and, although tourism is sometimes educational, it is usually not “credit-worthy.”
The program should have an explicit element that enables the participants to become, at least for a while, “residents of” and not merely “tourists visiting” the city and region where the program is located. We want to go far beyond “educational tourism;” one of our goals is to avoid giving participants the feeling that they are just passing through the society in which they find themselves. All education abroad programs - and especially short-term, faculty-led study abroad programs - must find the means to enable participants to interact with and engage in the host culture.
Additional Faculty Resources:
Study Abroad Office Resources
CSU, Chico Travel Manual
Office of Research & Sponsored Programs Travel Guide
Risk Management Guidelines for Off-Campus Activities
Request Form for Field Trip or On/Off Campus Activity (liability waiver and consent form)