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Faculty-led Academics

Academics

A faculty-led program is the unique blend of classroom learning along with experiential on-site learning. The goal of all programs is to combine the inherent global learning aspects with the discipline-specific learning in a way that fosters student development. The Forum on Education Abroad offers great resources on this topic - NDSU is a member, so please request a personal login for full access to the toolbox. 

Contact Hours

In determining the number of credits to assign to your course, bear in mind that faculty-led programs have the same academic rigor as on-campus classes. A good rule of thumb is that a week-long program is only worth 1-credit, so for example, a spring break program can be 3-credits, but only 1-credit worth of in-class contact hours can be counted abroad. The rest of the contact hours must be obtained on campus during course meetings.

Each credit requires the equivalent of 750 minutes (12.5 hours) of direct faculty instruction, with at least 1500 minutes (25 hours) of additional work by students. The following should be utilized to determine how to count the contact hours earned abroad:
  • Each hour of a guided experience that directly contributes to the learning goals of the course is equivalent to an hour of a traditional classroom lecture.
  • Experiences that are not guided, but that contribute to the learning goals of the course may be counted towards the out-of-class work.
Another consideration for the amount of credits to award is how the credit amount will progress the students towards their degree. A 1-credit course is less useful for students if they could take a 3-credit one that can fulfill an academic requirement.If you are considering a summer course, then please keep in mind that students who rely on financial aid and/or private loans to fund the program will be required to enroll for 6-credits. This means that a 1-credit or 2-credit program is much less desirable to students when it is held during the summer.

Curriculum Integration

One of the most important factors to creating a successful faculty-led program is the way that the credits tie into students' academic plans. This is most important to the students as they want the most value for their money and a course that only counts as an elective just does not have the same value as one that directly counts towards a major requirement. Curriculum integration means that the study abroad courses go beyond being just electives towards the major or general education requirements, but rather fulfill direct major requirements. The goal is to globalize the major curriculum in a way that cannot be done within the walls of a classroom. The best way to do that is to take an already existing course and to add an international component. Several departments have done this on campus: Nursing offers rotations in Kenya, Architecture students take their full course load in Europe for the spring semester of their 4th year (Syllabus 2016.doc), and Education has offered courses abroad that fulfill the diversity field experience.

In addition to thinking about how your course will fulfill major or minor requirements, it is good practice to network with colleagues to see how your course may count towards requirements in other majors as well. This is something that should be included in your marketing material to bolster the appeal of your course to a wider group of students. 

Course Objectives Mapped to Site Visits

One of the requirements for the faculty-led proposal is to map the learning outcomes for the course to the site visits and to count the contact hours related to those experiences. This process not only helps you to directly tie the experiential learning aspects to the course content, but also allows you to frame those experiences within your syllabus and to think about how you will want to sequence the learning. We have created a guide to help you create the learning objectives that align with the design your program: Connecting the Dots - Developing Learning Outcomes that Align with Faculty-Led Program Design.pdf. Also, here is an example of how to map your course learning objectives to the sites that you visit: Dubai UNIV 379 Learning Objectives.docx and here is a blank template for you to use as you build your program: Course Objectives Mapping Template.docx

Faculty-Led Learning Objectives

The following are the NDSU faculty-led learning objectives that have been created based on the NDSU Undergraduate Learning Outcomes. It is not required to utilize any of the learning objectives below, but it is highly encouraged to incorporate at least a couple of them as they are core learning aspects for any faculty-led program. Here is an example of a program that has integrated a few of them into the course: Jamaica Field School 2016 Syllabus.docx

Faculty-led programs will provide opportunities to explore academic content during an experience abroad with the goal to increase discipline-specific knowledge within a comparative, global context.
Through participation in the program, participants will:
  • Examine their own identity, values, views, and assumptions as they explore alternative human experiences in diverse societies;
  • Demonstrate appropriate conventions and communication skills in diverse interpersonal, intercultural, and international settings;
  • Analyze artistic, cultural, and historical components of diverse societies and the effects they have on the interplay between self and society;
  • Have an increased sense of independence with an ability to evaluate and think of creative solutions for real world problems;
  • Prepare to become globally engaged citizens with an awareness of social inequalities through collaboration with and service to people in diverse societies.

Faculty-led Program Learning Objectives Mapped to Outcomes

Learning Objectives Activities Inputs Outputs Outcomes
Examine your own identity, values, views, and assumptions as you explore alternative human experiences in diverse societies Guided site and business visits, local guest lectures, and readings. Curriculum in content area that provides comparisons between host culture and the U.S. Completion of coursework, specifically an embedded assignment that compares and contrasts what they learned. Students have the ability to successfully use what they have learned to think critically and solve problems using an increased global mindset.
Analyze artistic, cultural, and historical components of diverse societies and the effects they have on the interplay between self and society Interactions with host culture, lectures, excursions followed by discussions of what students observed. Curriculum and experiences related to host culture. Written reflections done prior to departure, while abroad and after return that articulate learning about the host culture and their own. Students recognize that cultures and values are complex and may vary in different contexts and can appreciate those differences.
Have an increased sense of independence with an ability to think of creative solutions to real world problems Preparation and expectation setting prior to departure, activities on-site that allow exploration on own, excursions. Pre-departure orientation and co-curricular activities in the host culture. Self-reported changes that are assessed upon return using a survey. Ability to navigate in the host culture and to traverse ambiguous situations with tolerance and confidence. Has an ongoing willingness to seek international and intercultural activities.
Prepare to become globally engaged citizens with knowledge of social inequalities through collaboration with and service to people in diverse societies Interactions with locals, host families, experiences where students are in a one-down position, service learning, site visits or lectures about local issues. Discussions and activities in host culture that help students to appreciate diversity. Inclusion of service learning or site visits that put global citizenship into perspective. Student reflections upon return articulate the growth in knowledge of what global citizenship and diversity means to them. Students can demonstrate knowledge of global issues and systems, are more engaged civically, and are able to navigate diversity with a higher level of confidence.
Demonstrate appropriate conventions and communication skills in diverse interpersonal, intercultural, and international settings Preparation and expectation setting prior to departure, activities on-site that allow demonstration of appropriate behavior Curriculum and experiences related to interactions with the host culture. Observation  by the faculty and written reflections done upon return that articulate what they learned by utilizing different skills than they had previously Students are able to conduct themselves in a variety of situations with confidence