Friday, January 30, 2009

Improving Short-Term Programs

Short-term internationl programs are increasing in popularity nationwide, the Forum for Education Abroad says, and now the organization has come up with standards of good practice in those programs.

FEA considers short-term programs to be those of eight weeks or less and says they represent the greatest single kind of study-abroad experience for American students. They're attractive to a variety of students who can't or won't consider full-semester programs for economic, personal or social reasons.

(Our three-week May Term program at Simpson remains the most popular option for students who wish to take their studies abroad, but we have invested considerable funding and effort to build semester programs in England, Spain, Germany, French Polynesia and Thailand.)

The FEA standards will be an item of discussion at the FEA "Being There: Teaching and Learning Abroad" conference in Portland, Ore., in February. (We'll be providing coverage of the conference at Smart Study Abroad.)

For now, the new FEA standards are that short-terms study abroad programs should:
  • Be related to the education abroad mission of the organization and has well-defined academic and/or experiential objectives.
  • Be reviewed in the light of its stated educational purpose for fostering student learning and development.
  • Be maintained by organizations with clearly stated and publicly available policies on academic and non-academic matters.
  • Provide pre-travel orientation and support for students that is consistent with the institution's mission.
  • Maintain, and make publicly accessible, a commitment to fair and appropriate policies regarding student selection and conduct.
  • Have adequate personnel and financial resources.
  • Establish and maintain effective health, safety, security and risk management policies, procedures and faculty/staff training.
  • Be organized with standards set out in FEA's Code of Ethics for Education Abroad, especially with regards to operations, staffing, cultural sensitivity, avoidance of conflicts of interest, law and marketing.
A full copy of the new FEA standards report is available here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Locations of visitors to this page