ACM Pedagogic Resources > ACM/FaCE > Projects > Integrating Study Abroad into the Undergraduate Curriculum > Issues in Study Abroad > Faculty Development

Using faculty development to advance study abroad integration

How and why are faculty responsible for study abroad learning outcomes?

  • Most institutions do not seem to share a common set of learning goals for study abroad. However, both Beloit College and St. Olaf College have developed a set of learning goals that are shared with faculty and students.
  • Faculty involvement (and the ways in which this occurs) varies by discipline. In the sciences, for example, it may come out of faculty having research collaborators who are abroad, or in conference attendance.

How can faculty recognize study abroad as critical to their own work and the learning that takes place on campus? How can they help students understand the relevance of study abroad to the subject matter they study on campus?

  • While a number of institutions have some kind of forum for faculty to talk about their teaching, including faculty-led study abroad programs, others do not. However, there was consensus that sharing information about faculty led programs - and other teaching related to study abroad - would be productive, both in terms of learning from each others' work and creating a shared understanding of an institution's study abroad program.

What do faculty need to know to be effective advocates and practitioners of study abroad integration?

  • Leading study abroad programs has been effective in helping a number of faculty internationalize themselves and their teaching. For some, they have found this particularly effective when they have been able to cooperate in a program with a colleague from another discipline.
  • Faculty orientation—in course design, on safety and health matters, ethical issues—is important for providing faculty with the necessary tools for success as teachers and directors abroad.

What kinds of faculty development will advance study abroad integration most effectively? What kinds of faculty development activities are effective and appropriate for faculty in both fields that are traditionally associated with study abroad (modern languages, area studies, international studies) and those that are not (sciences, philosophy, etc)?

  • A number of institutions are looking at ways to encourage the curriculum development in conjunction with curricular revisions putting more emphasis on cross-cultural learning. Student projects - research, fieldwork, creative projects - undertaken during study abroad can be effective in enabling students to connect their study abroad to their majors - and therefore to the work they do with faculty.
  • Mentoring and coaching for junior faculty and encouragement for non-tenured faculty member participation in study abroad are important ways to involve the next generation of faculty.
  • Faculty involvement (and the ways in which this occurs) varies by discipline. In the sciences, for example, it may come out of faculty having research collaborators who are abroad, or in conference attendance.
  • Other ways in which faculty can be encouraged to get involved: Encouragement of cross-disciplinarity (e.g., in faculty seminars), which allows them to do something abroad which they can't do at home; debriefing and discussion of how to fine-tune for the next time; reading and discussion groups.

How can we support faculty development activities around study abroad integration despite financial limitations? How can external resources support these activities?

  • A number of institutions have used external funding sources - Freeman Foundation, Mellon Foundation, Fulbright-Hayes - to create faculty seminars around study abroad and curriculum development. Cornell College, for example used a Mellon grant for environmental science to give course releases and grants for faculty to develop courses. St. Olaf has applied for Fulbright-Hayes funding to take 13 faculty members to India to create courses. Similarly, Beloit College has used Mellon and Freeman funding for faculty development seminars that begin in Beloit and then travel to selected countries.