Passport to Learning

Program Roles & Responsibilities

Many people are involved in the successful development and operation of faculty-led programs. Below are the key responsibilities of the faculty leader, Professional & Continuing Education, the Study Abroad Advisory Committee, the Office of International Education, and Risk Management. In addition, the college sponsoring the program plays a key role in the review and approval of each program.


Faculty-led study abroad programs begin with a faculty leader’s commitment and dedication to creating programs that are as rewarding as they are involved. The leader is instructor, logistical coordinator, and at times, counselor (both academic and personal). Running a faculty-led program is a full-time commitment for the duration of the program and is different from, and much more demanding than, teaching on campus.

The ideal faculty leader possesses the following skills and abilities:

  • First-hand, specifically relevant experience in the country or countries involved (OR plan to work with a customized program provider) and have appropriate knowledge of the countries to achieve the goals of the program and ensure the health and safety of participants. 
  • Academic expertise in the content areas covered by courses for which credit will be offered.
  • Organizing and planning skills and the ability to keep track of a number of details simultaneously.
  • Enthusiasm for recruitment and a willingness to spend time speaking with students to promote the program.
  • Good health to handle the physical and emotional demands of a program overseas, particularly in multi-site programs or in locations that may be more rigorous than life in Chico.
  • Leadership qualities and the willingness to take charge in any situation in which students need to be directed rather than consulted.
  • Appreciation for the increased contact with students that is inevitable in an international travel course setting.

Faculty leaders are responsible for the following components:

Program Development:

  • Submit a Preliminary Proposal for International Faculty-led Programs to the Study Abroad Advisory Committee.
  • Develop the program, including academics and logistics.
  • Locate providers abroad to provide services (housing, transportation, instruction, guide/interpreter, etc.) necessary to the operation of a safe, successful program.
  • Ensure any required contracts/agreements are in place and approved by appropriate University staff (e.g., Risk Management and Procurement).
  • Plan and implement excursions and other program activities.
  • Serve as the primary contact between California State University, Chico and any vendors abroad (hotels, tour guide operators, academic institutions, etc.) whose services will be utilized for the program.
  • Work collaboratively with PCE to develop a fiscally responsible program budget.
  • Create academic content for the program consistent with the standards for University courses with the equivalent workload and assessment for the same course taught on campus.
  • Develop the course syllabus. 
  • Choose textbooks and resource materials appropriate for the courses.
  • Based on Study Abroad Advisory Committee feedback, complete the final proposal form with all supporting documentation to be reviewed and routed for campus approvals.


  • Upon approval, actively promote the program and recruit students by holding information sessions and following up on student inquiries.
  • Share information with other faculty, at Chico State or other institutions, who may assist in recruitment.

Pre-departure preparation:

  • Develop and attend the group-specific orientation and any on-site orientation sessions. The Office of International Education will assist you with the pre-departure orientation.
  • Provide PCE and participants with a detailed itinerary which includes emergency contact addresses and telephone numbers.
  • Comply with all government regulations regarding travel, study and research in the host country.


  • While abroad, be available to students on a regular and emergency basis for consultation on individual and group problems, including those that are non-academic in nature.
  • Advise PCE and the Office of International Education immediately of any emergency related to, or injury of, a course participant or third party. For liability reasons, all such reports must be followed by a detailed written account from the faculty leader.


  • Submit final grades using grading practices that conform to University policies.
  • Provide all original receipts to PCE, itemized, translated (if necessary), and converted to US dollars in spreadsheet format.
  • Assist PCE in securing invoices from service providers if necessary.
  • Arrange for confidential evaluations to be completed by participants and returned to your college office.
  • Within one month of the program's completion, submit a comprehensive program report to PCE and, if appropriate, the academic department chair.

Professional & Continuing Education

Faculty-led study abroad programs offered in Special Session on a self-support basis are administered by Professional & Continuing Education (PCE) in partnership with the academic colleges and departments. PCE staff support faculty leaders in all aspects of self-support program development:

Program Development:

  • Meet with faculty to conduct an initial program concept review and estimate student fees for the Preliminary Proposal for Faculty-Led International Programs.
  • Assist faculty in program development to ensure all academic , financial, and risk management concerns are identified and addressed.
  • Assist faculty in developing a strong, thoroughly prepared final proposal for review by the Study Abroad Advisory Committee. 
  • Provide guidance on program budget development to ensure that budgets are both fiscally responsible and in compliance with CSU policies.
  • Provide advice on CSU policy and resources related to self-support programs and study abroad.

Program promotion:

  • Develop marketing materials for use by faculty, including a program web page, application packet, and flyers if appropriate.
  • Help promote information sessions led by the faculty leader.
  • Promote the program to eligible students who seek general study abroad information from PCE.

Program administration:

  • Set timeline for program application and acceptance process to facilitate successful recruitment and program administration.
  • Establish a minimum enrollment required for the program to “go” and an application deadline.
  • Create a program application packet with all required documents including waivers of liability and financial and medical information.
  • Secure medical insurance for all students and faculty leaders. 
  • Collect all application and post-acceptance materials. Provide application and applicable post-acceptance materials to faculty leader in a timely manner. Track and monitor application completion by students, including verification of passport and visa procurement.
  • Set up the study abroad course in CMS and enroll students.
  • Assist faculty as needed in the preparation all travel paperwork and work with Travel Accounting and the faculty leader to ensure that University policies and procedures are followed.
  • Liaise with Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, the Office of International Education, and other divisions of the university to assist students and faculty leaders.
  • Coordinate with the Office of International Education to deliver a pre-departure orientation and to promote the program through the OIED website.
  • Provide support in case of an emergency abroad.

Financial matters:

  • Set the final program price prior to marketing the program and determine a payment schedule compatible with required payments for services abroad.
  • Ensure appropriate student fee approvals are in place.
  • Process application deposits and fee payments.
  • Work with aid recipients and Financial Aid to resolve questions on aid eligibility and disbursements.
  • Process payments for services provided as part of the program in compliance with University policies and procedures.
  • Submit faculty Special Session pay request per CSU Salary Schedule 2322
  • Prepare the faculty leader’s travel claim and reconcile program expenses against the budget.

Study Abroad Advisory Committee

Established by the University President to ensure a systematic and intentional framework for the management of study abroad programs, the Study Abroad Advisory Committee serves to review program proposals, provide feedback, and facilitate a formal approval process. The committee is comprised of University faculty, staff, and students who are committed to the development of high-quality learning programs. The purpose of the committee is to support faculty and shepherd program proposals through the development and approval process:

  • Review and provide feedback on preliminary proposals and help faculty leaders evaluate the viability of the proposed program before investing a significant amount of time in program development.
  • Create a mechanism for collaboration and communication about proposed programs.
  • Review and feedback on the final program proposal.
  • Submit the final program proposal for review and approval by the appropriate University personnel, including the campus’ Senior International Office, the Director of International Education, Deans, and Professional & Continuing Education.

Office of International Education & Study Abroad

The Office of International Education and the Study Abroad Office serves students and faculty who wish to expand their learning and teaching experiences to international destinations. The Study Abroad Office provides a rich array of resources for students and faculty preparing for international travel:

  • Conduct mandatory pre-trip orientations that are designed to strengthen the relationships among program participants.
  • Provide students and faculty with international travel information to ensure a smooth, enjoyable experience abroad.
  • Conduct faculty orientations for faculty leaders.
  • Assist in recruitment and outreach.

Risk Management

Risk Management is committed to the safety and well-being of Chico State faculty and students as they are involved in University activities and is a key partner in developing safe study abroad proposals. Risk Management assists faculty leaders in identifying areas of risk, ensuring efforts are made to mitigate that risk, and that all participants have the necessary documents in place to protect the resources of the University.

Department Chairs & Deans

Chairs and deans are responsible for reviewing the program proposal to ensure that it meets the academic standards of the department and college. Approval of the program proposal indicates support from the department and college for the program, and ideally departmental colleagues will assist the faculty leader with recruitment efforts.


Students are responsible for entering into a study abroad program with an open mind and a willingness to experience a new culture; for participating fully in the program and all organized activities; and for completing and submitting work as they would if they were on the Chico State campus. They are expected to handle program costs responsibly, and ensure that all fees are paid by the fee payment deadlines. Students represent California State University, Chico while abroad and are responsible for abiding by the university's Code of Student Conduct and for representing themselves, their university, and their country in the best possible light.