Faculty-Led Program Proposals
ACES faculty who are interested in developing and leading a new course abroad are strongly encouraged to meet with ACES Study Abroad staff as well as their unit's executive officers to discuss their proposed course before submitting a proposal.
Faculty should keep the following in mind when designing a new course or adding an international travel component to an existing course:
All ACES faculty-led study abroad programs must provide students with clear academic goals and learning objectives that are tied to the study abroad location.
While many humanities and social science courses naturally provide students with global perspectives and cultural context, it is equally important for science and other STEM disciplines to incorporate these into any study abroad course. Course instructors should ensure that in addition to field or lab work, STEM courses include instruction, excursions and cultural activities both on campus and abroad that will allow students to contextualize their studies and increase their global competency.
Most faculty-led courses are set up as a first or second eight-week fall or spring course, depending on the travel dates and academic goals of the course. For example, most courses that travel over winter break are set up as second eight-week fall semester courses so that the class can meet on campus throughout the second half of the semester leading up to the time abroad. ACES Study Abroad staff will work with each faculty member to determine how best to set up the course, depending on whether the bulk of the on-campus work should be completed before or after the time abroad.
The ACES Study Abroad office invites ACES faculty and staff members to work with their departments to develop short-term study abroad courses that will be listed under their department’s rubric. These courses should have a specific disciplinary focus and must be approved by the department head.
Faculty-led courses travel abroad for anywhere from one week to one month over fall, winter, spring, or summer break.
Every faculty-led study abroad program should aim to have two leaders or staff present for the entire duration of the time students are abroad. Faculty leaders may choose to co-lead a course with another faculty or staff member or employ a teaching or program assistant (usually an advanced graduate student) to accompany the groupt. ACES Study Abroad staff and academic advisors may accompany a group and can serve as the second leader. Preferably, program leaders will be able to offer subject matter expertise and location expertise for the program proposed.
Candidates with a current instruction and/or advising appointment with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus in one of the following employment categories are eligible to lead short courses abroad.
- Tenured and tenure-track faculty
- Specialized faculty (PhD preferred)
- Emeritus faculty
- Academic professionals (master’s required, PhD preferred)
Graduate students are not eligible to direct a program abroad, although co-teaching may be considered. ACES Study Abroad program leader positions are unpaid, volunteer-based. It is up to each program leader to discuss implications to primary employment duties and/or contract with their direct supervisor.
Working with in-country agencies and partners:
All faculty-led programs work with institutions based in-country. These agencies can be travel agents who arrange in-country transportation and logistics for the group, third-party providers that provide logistical and program development support in-country, academic and research institutions that provide classroom or lab space, or Illinois partners (usually universities we have exchange agreements with) who may provide some combination of classroom space, logistical support, housing, and more.
Faculty and Staff who are interested in running a program over the winter break, spring break or summer must complete an online proposal by the associated deadline. It is strongly encouraged to set-up a meeting with the Assistant Director of Study Abroad early on in the planning process. We recommend a minimum of 9-12 months advance notice to run a program.
Selection and review process
- Winter Break: February 15th
- Spring & Summer Breaks: July 1st
All ACES Study Abroad course proposals are reviewed by an appointed college-level international programs committee. ACES departmental proposals are reviewed first by the department head and by ACES Academic Programs leadership. All proposals must be reviewed and approved by International Safety & Security and ACES Study Abroad.
International Safety and Security staff review all in-country program logistics and may advise on changes to itineraries based on travel warnings and security concerns.
Proposal selection criteria are as follows:
ACES STUDY ABROAD SUPPORT SERVICES
- Clear academic learning objectives tied to the program location
- Course should provide same academic standards and rigor to equivalent on-campus courses
- Program director has strong connection to and knowledge of the program site
ACES Study Abroad will assist with student recruitment and course promotion through the creation of flyers and informational materials, hosting study abroad fairs and advising sessions, and email announcements to students and advisors. While ACES Study Abroad can assist in recruiting students, it is generally the case that the faculty member is more persuasive in the recruitment process. Therefore, we will work with you to create a plan to promote your course widely and make sure eligible students are aware of the opportunity and have all the information they need to apply.
ACES Study Abroad also manages the application cycle for you. Our staff creates the study abroad course application within the campus-wide My Study Abroad system and manages student inquiries throughout the process.
For faculty-led courses abroad, the faculty leader is responsible for reviewing all complete applications and selecting a final list of accepted students. If appropriate, ACES Study Abroad will request a ranked wait list for a course. Each course is different and has different prerequisites so each faculty leader may set their criteria accordingly.
PRE-DEPARTURE ACTIVITIES & RESOURCES
ACES Study Abroad staff works closely with each faculty leader to arrange program logistics and ensure faculty have the resources they need to lead a group abroad. Our office offers pre-departure workshops for students that cover country-specific information, safety and security, and identity discrimination abroad. ACES Study Abroad staff also offer pedagogy and instructional design consultations to assist faculty best adapt their courses to a short-term study abroad experience.
INTERNATIONAL SAFETY & SECURITY
All faculty and program leaders are required to attend a pre-departure safety & security workshop with the Office of International Safety and Security. For more information on upcoming workshops, please visit https://safetyabroad.illinois.edu/
All faculty members should review the comprehensive international safety & security resources located on the Illinois International website. There, you'll find information on insurance, training, and resources, as well as emergency information for while you are abroad.