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Online Faculty-Led Program Proposal

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The Office of International Affairs promotes international engagement opportunities and study away in the USA programs for faculty and students by administering well-designed, carefully organized and academically sound programs abroad and within the U.S. These short-term programs permit faculty to teach and integrate experiential learning in a location of their choice. Please review below to learn all the components for the new process. Before submitting a program proposal, you may view an example of what you will be completing in DocuSign.  

Ready to complete the online proposal form?
Complete the form here.

SDSU faculty leaders have remained committed to the academically rigorous goals and strong student learning outcomes for both their international and domestic travel programs. The largest proportion of SDSU students taking part in an international education experience or study away program are on the SDSU faculty-led programs. These short-term programs ranging from 1 to 6 weeks long have SDSU faculty leaders accompanying students, teaching the content and providing students a strong sense of safety. Faculty actively engage students in making important connections with course content, understanding the locations, meeting people, visiting businesses, experiencing cultural and historical sites and enjoying new cuisines.

Moving forward, all Department Heads, Directors and College Deans would like more connection to these programs. Thus, we have created a process to promote that opportunity with an online form that will begin by having the faculty leader request it from the SDSU Education Abroad staff. After completing all portions of the online document described below and signing it, the form will be routed to the faculty leader’s Department Head for review, approval and signature. If the Department Head has concerns, he/she will not sign and return the form to the faculty requester for a revise/resubmit. After revisions, approval and signature by Department Head, the College Dean will receive the proposal, review it and sign if he/she approves. Once the program proposal is fully approved, a copy will be returned to the faculty requester and an appointment can be made with a member of the Education Abroad staff to fully develop the program. 


General Information

Role of the Office of International Affairs
  1. Pre-proposal planning: Faculty leaders planning to propose a new or established program proposal should consult the Education Abroad staff to request the online program proposal form. Leaders may ask some basic questions regarding issues of program logistics, potential competition with other SDSU Education Abroad programs and to learn of any known health and safety issues pertaining to the proposed location. 
  2. Proposal review: Education Abroad staff will meet with faculty leaders after the proposal has been approved. During the initial meeting, the proposal will be reviewed for potential provider recommendations, for marketing plans, program costs and budget considerations, the academic course offering and credits and health/safety concerns.
  3. Program administration: All approved SDSU Education Abroad credit-bearing programs while administered by the Office of  International Affairs are actually constructed in partnership with the sponsoring department(s) and college(s). 
Role of the Academic Units
  1. Pre-proposal planning: Faculty planning to submit a new program proposal should consult with the sponsoring department(s) and college(s) on issues regarding academic design, instructional delivery methods and fit of the program with the college’s strategic plan for Education Abroad programming. Faculty leaders will want to discuss with their Department Head how their workload may determine when the academic course and travel will take place. 
  2. Proposal review: Academic units and colleges are responsible for review of the program proposal, course subject matter and instructional delivery methods. Program proposals will be submitted to and must have the signed approval by department chair(s) and college dean(s) before the program can be fully constructed with the Education Abroad staff.
  3. Program administration: Decisions regarding the academics of the program, courses offered and instructional delivery methods are made by the sponsoring academic unit(s). 

Submission Procedures

Faculty members interested in proposing a new SDSU faculty-led Education Abroad program must do the following:
  1. Contact the Education Abroad staff to request the program proposal form. The name of the faculty requester’s Department Head and Dean will also be needed at that time.
  2. Complete program proposal information which has been sent to your email address. Faculty members will complete the online form, upload the Program Narrative (described below), upload a syllabus and sign. Once submitted, the form and attachments will be emailed to the designated Department Head/Director for review. 

Program Narrative

The Program Narrative document is uploaded within the program proposal form. Within this document, the following items must be addressed. Please address each of these key components in the order they are presented below:
  1. Academic rigor: Education abroad programs are held to the same academic standards as on-campus courses. In addition to meeting any specific college or department course guidelines, SDBOR policy regarding minimum contact hours needed for the number of credits offered must be followed. Each academic credit requires a minimum of 15 contact hours (or 45 hours for a 3-credit course) plus an additional 30 hours of student homework per credit (90 hours for a 3-credit course). In other words, two hours of “study time” must be available to students for each daily contact hour. Time spent on field trips or academic excursions can count as “contact hours” on a 3-to-1 ratio (i.e., for every three hours spent on an excursion, one hour may be counted as a contact hour). Courses based entirely on fieldwork or experiential learning activities are considered “field experiences” courses and require a minimum of 45 fieldwork hours per credit (135 hours for a 3-credit course).
  2. Program Description: Define the program in terms of program subject matter, learning outcomes, instructional models and a list of SDSU courses to be taught on-site. State whether the courses count toward a major/minor and/or fulfill other graduation requirements. A syllabus can also be uploaded in the narrative section.
  3. Relationship to other SDSU Education Abroad programs in the host country/region and in the subject matter area: Specifically address the following: a) opportunities for cooperation with other SDSU programs and departments (or those of other universities) in the locale, and b) potential undesirable consequences of competing with established SDSU programs for interested students.
  4. Field experiences and guest lecturers: Provide an overview of the types of and degrees to which field trips, host-institution faculty and aspects of the host culture and environment will be woven into the program and courses. Indicate nature and level of contacts already made. Indicate the number, type of and general credentials of the host country’s faculty or speakers to be utilized for the program.
  5. Foreign language: Describe plans for incorporating foreign language coursework into the program, if applicable.
  6. Health and Safety: Include a brief description of program environment and logistical arrangements you believe will be needed addressing issues of health, welfare and security of students. Topics of particular interest may be security of housing and/or any known transportation risks.
  7. Logistical arrangements: Provide a description of planned logistical arrangements, including student housing and meals, classrooms, and educational excursions.
  8. Student qualifications: Specify minimum, as well as desirable, student qualifications for participants such as major and GPA.
  9. Evaluation/Assessment: Describe how the sponsoring SDSU department will evaluate the assess student learning outcomes. List the specific learning goals against which the program will be assessed, and how such assessment will be accomplished. Will the faculty leaders agree to work with OIA for assessment purposes?

Review of Proposal

  1. Upon receiving the email from the faculty requester, the Department Head will review the form, read the attached narrative, choose to approve and sign. However, if the Department Head reviews and declines to sign, the faculty requester will receive an email that will provide a reason. The faculty requester may set up a meeting with the Department Head to discuss the reasons, revise and then resubmit the proposal. 
  2. After the Department Head approves the program proposal, the form and attachments move to the faculty requester’s Dean for review and approval. Again, if the Dean declines to sign, the faculty requester will see the reason. The faculty requester will then follow the instructions from the Dean regarding the reasons for decline and the revise/resubmit process.  
Ideally, all proposals should be fully approved at least twelve months prior to the date of program implementation. However, exceptions for approved proposals coming to the Education Abroad staff after May 1st of each year may be made by the College Dean. 

After Program Approval

Faculty leaders will set up an appointment in person or by Zoom to meet with Education Abroad staff where the full program planning process will begin, the number of students needed to run the program will be determined and a budget will be created.

A best practice in the field of international education is to employ the services of a professional program provider organization or to collaborate with a host university. A detailed description of program provider services will be discussed at the first meeting with Education Abroad Staff. After a program provider has been identified, a request for proposal will be sent to their staff. After the program package has been approved by the faculty leader(s), contracts will be written and signed by both the provider and SDSU.  

The provider price for SDSU will be added to the SDSU internal budget to determine the number of students needed* to run the program. Once this is completed, a firm price can be advertised to the students.  As soon as a firm package price for students is established, a brochure page will be created on the application database with all program details and a link to their specific site will be sent to faculty leaders. Faculty will be assigned to a reviewer status and the Education Abroad staff will monitor for required SDSU documents and questions. Please note, programs cannot be advertised or marketed to students until final approval and a final price has been determined. Once the program package price is established, it will be advertised and will not be changed up or down.

*Under the decentralized budget model at SDSU, faculty leaders’ salaries and credit offered will dictate the number of fully committed students we must have to run any program. This number is identified in the budget and will fully reimburse the college for the credit tied to the program if the program credit is offered during the FA or SP semester. However, if the program runs during the summer, faculty member’s annual salary and the amount of credit being offered will determine the number of fully committed students needed for the program. This is calculated to be able to pay faculty salary and benefits for the summer program. All other program costs are managed in a program package cost for the students. Further, when the program offers credit, the credit amount will be shared by the number of faculty leaders. Thus, a 3-credit experience with two leaders will be split and each will have 1.5 credits as a part of their earnings calculation. 

Confirming the Program and Final Steps

Once the program has enough fully committed students to meet the established budget, the program will be confirmed with the committed students and leaders in an email. The email will let students and leaders know how the charges will be billed and subsequent steps. Faculty leaders’ out-of-state travel requests (OSTR) will be created by Education Abroad staff and the academic course can now be created as an off-campus tuition section with the Registrar’s Office so that committed students can now enroll.  All contracts, provider arrangements/invoices/payments, billing to students, preparation for students, preparation for faculty leaders, insurance enrollments, Department of State Enrollment and funds needed by the faculty leaders before going abroad will be managed by Education Abroad staff.