These guidelines and procedures outline the process faculty and staff will use to develop, approve, offer, and evaluate study abroad courses. These guidelines and procedures conform to the rules and regulations of the Board of Trustees of Austin Community College, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and to the quality standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
- A study abroad course is defined as a course in which students receive any part of their course instruction at a site or sites outside the borders of the United States.
- Study abroad courses must meet all quality standards required of similar instruction offered on-campus.
- The initiating faculty member is responsible for developing the instructional content for the course, obtaining all of the associated instructional material, and delivering the instruction.
- The faculty member has responsibility for all academic and logistical arrangements for the course in accordance with the procedures below.
- The appropriate Department Chair, Dean, and Vice President have general approval and supervision responsibilities at their level of authority. The appropriate Department Chair, Dean, and Vice President also have the responsibility to communicate to the faculty member and to the Director of International Programs any additional requirements they deem appropriate.
- The Director of International Programs is responsible for assisting the initiating faculty member, Department Chair, Dean, and Vice President in all matters relating to the study abroad course.
- At every stage of the procedures the Director of International Programs will provide assistance, guidance and expertise and will maintain a Guidelines, Policies and Support (GPS) manual for faculty and administrators interested in study abroad.
- Approval of Study Abroad Intent Proposal
Note: The Department Chair or instructional Dean may establish additional requirements, such as review by department, departmental committees, or task force.
- One year prior to the expected offering of the course the initiating faculty member will submit the Study Abroad Early Intent Proposal to the appropriate Department Chair.
- The Department Chair will review the Study Abroad Early Intent Proposal and, if approved, forward it to the instructional Dean. If the proposal is not approved, the departmental chair will return it to the initiating faculty member.
- The Dean will review the Study Abroad Early Intent Proposal and, if approved, forward it to the Director of International Programs. If the proposal is not approved, the instructional will return it to the Department Chair.
- The Director of International Programs will inform the initiating faculty member of the approval by letter and assist the faculty member in preparing and submitting a fully developed program description utilizing the Study Abroad Program Description. This description should include itinerary, course syllabi, course materials, budget and any relevant documentation that might assist approving authorities.
- Approval of Study Abroad Program
- Once the program is fully developed the Director of International Programs will certify by letter that it meets all ACC requirements and return it to the faculty member.
- The faculty member will submit the Study Abroad Program Description to the Department Chair.
- The Department Chair will review the program and if approved forward it to the instructional Dean. If the proposal is not approved, the Department Chair will return it to the initiating faculty member, with rationale for the decision.
- The Dean will review the program and, if approved, forward to the appropriate Vice President. If the proposal is not approved, the Dean will return it to the Department Chair.
- The Vice President will review the program and, if approved, forward to the Curriculum Committee. If the proposal is not approved, the Vice President will return it to the Dean, with rationale for the decision.
- The Curriculum and Programs Committee will submit the course, if approved, to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).
- When approval from the THECB is obtained, the faculty member, in conjunction with the Director of International Programs, will complete the following actions:
- Set up a budget account and request a p-card and p-card training from Business Services.
- Faculty will initiate the process by submitting “Out of State Credit Course Request” to the Department Chair. Department chair receives/approves, forwards to Dean who approves and forwards to Curriculum Services. CS forwards to Vice President for final approval. The Department Chair will follow established schedule development processes to add out-of-state sections to course schedules.
- Prepare and execute a marketing plan to publicize the course.
- Ensure that all participating students complete the required and department recommended student application forms and are informed of all academic, administrative, visa and health insurance and logistical requirements.
- Set up orientation meeting with participants to introduce the course and course requirements, to outline individual risks and responsibilities, hand out detailed day by day itinerary and to discuss college responsibilities.
- Arrange for transportation, lodging, meals, entrance fee, passport, visa and other logistical and travel-related matters.
- Order textbooks and materials.
- Assure that students are registered for course and have paid tuition.
- Provide Director of International Programs and Risk Management list of contact information for instructor(s) and students for entire trip.
- Plan for unexpected difficulties like student illness and medical issues, homesick students, financial issues, etc.
- Maintain a written record of student contact hours to document compliance with THECB requirements.
- Complete the study abroad course in accordance with the approved curriculum and “Out of State Credit Course Request Form”.
- Ensure that grade reports are completed in compliance with ACC policies and procedures.
- Within one month of completing the study abroad course the faculty member will submit the Study Abroad Post-Trip Report to the Director of International programs. The Department Chair, Dean, or Vice President may require the faculty member to make reports at departmental, Dean, or college-wide meetings.
- The Director of International Programs will review the completed post trip report for completeness. The completed report will be forwarded to the Department Chair, Dean, Vice President and other interested parties.
- The Director of International Programs will maintain a historical file for each study abroad course.