Interested in teaching on one of the International Programs Office's existing faculty-taught programs? Considering developing a faculty-taught study abroad program with IPO? Please note that all new program ideas and proposals are on hold through the Fall 2017 Semester while the IPO searches for a new Academic Initiatives Coordinator.
All for-credit international programs arranged by UMass Amherst faculty that involve students must work with the Academic Initiatives Unit in Education Abroad. Getting approval from the Director of Academic Initiatives and your department chair is the first step, before meeting with the Academic Initiatives Coordinator in order to develop the program and receive approval from the Council on Overseas Programs and Exchanges (COPE) and the International Studies Committee (ISC) in the UMass Faculty Senate. Because the approval process can take up to a full academic year, and a minimum of one full semester of recruiting is necessary to fill a program, IPO asks faculty and staff to start planning your programs between 16-18 months before your desired start date.
Assess Your Program Idea
One of the first things to consider when evaluating a study abroad program idea is whether the program will be viable and how it will fit among the other study abroad programs available to UMass Amherst students. The following factors will help you in conducting your own assessment of your program's viability. The Director of Faculty-Led Programs can provide current student participation data by area of study, country or length of time abroad, on request.
- Demand for opportunities or new/additional opportunities in the particular countr(ies) you are planning to visit. As UMass has many study abroad programs, please consider first the number of existing programs in the country, as well as whether there are appropriate, high-quality non-UMass programs already serving the need.
- Demand for additional study abroad opportunities in the discipline(s). Consider whether there are existing programs serving this major and whether or not they fill to capacity.
- Risk assessment and management: Consider first State Department information, but also your personal experience/knowledge of the target country’s current events and any other relevant information.
- Understanding of your target student audience: Are your students interested in “traditional” study abroad destinations, or are they known for being more adventurous and open? Are they particularly price sensitive? Do they work or intern during certain months of the summer, thereby keeping them from studying abroad at certain times of the year?
- Broad-based support and administrative assistance from your department, dean, etc., to start and run the program. This will all be confirmed during the Faculty Senate approval process, but if you can earn this support in advance, it speeds things along considerably.
As per the policy of Faculty Senate, faculty wishing to direct short-term programs will generally be full-time faculty at UMass Amherst. Part-time, non-tenure-track, or contract faculty are eligible to direct short-term programs so long as they have an on-going, long-term contractual relationship with the university and the academic unit sponsoring the program. All faculty directors will be expected to undergo a vetting and training process to ensure that they are qualified for their assignments.