Leading a Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program
By leading a program abroad WKU faculty provide students with an opportunity to engage a subject in an international context and experience an environment that transforms them in a way that is not possible on campus.
Faculty-led study abroad has become increasingly popular with WKU students and is a fundamental part of the university's "international reach." More than half of WKU students who study abroad participate in faculty-led programs. This reflects the national trend in which 56% of students study abroad on short-term programs.
In addition to inspiring students, faculty may also develop international connections and explore research opportunities because of their involvement in leading short-term programs abroad.
The Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs initiated the joint operation of WKU faculty-led study abroad programs in December 2011. Under the mandate, the Chief International Office (CIO) would retain overall supervision of the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning (SAGL), while the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach (DELO) would administer faculty-led study abroad programs (FLSA) cooperatively with faculty program leaders, their departments and colleges.
In response, DELO and the Office of International Programs (OIP) signed a Joint Operating Agreement that set in motion the development of the new faculty-led study abroad model. Study Away and SAGL were tasked to develop and administer the new FLSA model with the goal to increase: the ease of access for faculty, the quantity and quality of programs offered, and the number of students participating annually. SAGL is the primary contact for students, while DELO would work directly with the faculty in implementing FLSA programs.
A new administrative manual is under development, building upon the current Faculty-Led Study Abroad Policy Manual (rev. Oct 2011) and the Study Away Faculty Led/Approved Program Guidelines (rev. Dec 2011) and is grounded in WKU policies.
One of the key variables in achieving WKU's international goals is increasing the number of FLSA programs. The purpose of the new administrative model and OIP/DELO partnership is to make the process of creating an FLSA program more accessible and transparent to faculty.