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California Community College Student Outcomes Abroad Research Project


Program Development and Implementation

Which type of program do you want to create or enhance?: There are many types of program models that can be used. Programs can be independent, faculty-led with students from just one college, a larger consortia-based program where students from multiple colleges attend, or they can work with private study abroad organizations. Below you will find examples of each type of program as well as additional information on issues such as credit transfer, health and safety, and liability.

A list of topics to consider which can be found below:

Types of Program Models: According to NAFSA's Guide to Education Abroad for Advisers and Administrators Third Edition "An institution's overall educational mission, philosophy, and goals inform the kinds of programs it provides its students abroad and at home, by defining the intended educational outcomes." Study Abroad Levels: Toward a
Classification of Program Types by Lilli and John Engle, Frontiers: Volume XI Fall 2003 provide additional discussion of the need for program classification. Below you will find a list of possible types of programs to consider for your study abroad program.

Campus Center Abroad- This model generally focuses on specific course materials by discipline or topic and the home university is responsible for all aspects of programming from logistics to course development. Students generally participate in courses with students from their home institutions only. A campus center can be considered to be a branch of the university abroad with the same rules and regulations in place.
Direct Enrollment in a Foreign University- Students enroll directly in a pre-existing foreign university. Sometimes there may be a home campus resources center to help students navigate their way around their new host institution. These programs generally require a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two institutions.
Independent Students- Home campuses while endorsing or supporting a students desire to study abroad have no direct contact with foreign institutions. The student handles all aspects such as matriculation abroad and generally keeps all course related work for evaluation after returning to the home institution.
Multi-Institutional Programs- Two or more institutes work together to create a program in which students from only those participating institutions are involved.
Consortia Program- Two or more institutions share all aspects of a study abroad program from administration to operation or determine program responsibilities among the members of the group.
Working with a Program Provider- These programs are run by an independent organization who take responsibility for both operation and academic content. There are three main types of program providers:
Non Profit: examples include groups such as IES
For Profit: examples include groups such as CEA
Consortial Model: examples include groups such as the Southern California Consortium for Study Abroad
Exchange Program- Exchanges mean a 1 to 1 exchange. For example, for every American student that goes out to a particular institution, a foreign student comes to that student's home university.
Hybrid Program- This program can be considered to be a middle ground between a Campus Center Abroad and Direct Enrollment in in a Foreign University. Hybrid programs are generally offered in cooperation with a foreign institution and often have a faculty member or leader from the American institution at the foreign institution. These programs usually offer more cultural immersion than a Campus Center, but are not fully integrated into a host campus.

Other important issues:
Academic credit: How will your institution account for credit received abroad? There are many models of transferring academic credit from a study abroad program to the home institution. Each institution has different rules and regulations to govern this process. It is important to find the best plan for your institution. "Does Study Abroad Grading Motivate Students?" in Volume X, Fall 2004 in Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad provides a background on academic credit and how it transfers between the study abroad program and the home institution as well as the connection between grading and motivation during a study abroad program.

Health, Safety, and Liability: When creating or expanding a program health, safety, and liability are important issues to consider. There are several ways to account for these issues through the use of waivers and liability releases. Additionally to keep abreast of the latest health and safety issues around the world there are several different resources to consider which can be found at a clearinghouse for health and safety issues in study abroad. The role of ethics in study abroad is also important to take into account when creating or improving an existing study abroad program. A helpful document to guide you through this process is The Forum on Education Abroad Code of Ethics for Education Abroad who's purpose "is to provide a guide for making ethical decisions to ensure that those in the education abroad field provide services in accord with the highest ethical standards, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that students' international educational experiences are as rich and meaningful
as possible."

Financial Planning/Budgeting: How will you pay for this program? What would it cost your students? In Frontiers: The interdisciplinary Journal for Study Abroad. "The Opportunity Cost of Study Abroad Programs: An Economics-Based Analysis" by George Heitmann provides an analysis of study abroad costs.

Marketing/Promotion/Publicity for Study Abroad: Several resources can be found at including sample brochures, posters and presentations that can be used to generate interest in the program. There are also several resources that can be used for group specific advice and diversity outreach. Evaluation of programs and data collection will also prove fruitful for future marketing as stated by NAFSA's resource library "Improve study abroad marketing efforts. Study abroad data can play an important role in marketing an institution's study abroad programs, both on- and off-campus, particularly when looking at longer term participation trends. If a particular program isn't attracting students as successfully as it did in the previous two years, for example, that could signal a need for your study abroad office to collaborate with the faculty members and departments involved in the program to intensify recruiting efforts. Collecting study abroad data can also help you pinpoint regions of the world or certain majors that are underrepresented in study abroad participation and thus might require more focused marketing support. Conversely, accurate data can help identify popular programs that don't need heavy promotion."
Additional resources can be found at

Support on the Home Campus: What kind of resources will be available at your home campus to support new program development or enhancement of existing programs?

On Site Support: Useful issues to understand once your program gets on its feet. You've created your program, students have enrolled, but what will you do once you get there?

  1. Evaluation: It is important to evaluate your program and collect feedback about the value of the course in the opinion of the faculty members, students, and staff. Different programs and organizations have taken a different approach to how programs are evaluated. Some have evaluations for students faculty and staff at various points during the program while others do all evaluations at the end of a program or term. See which model fits your college the best. There is also a need evaluate program development as per the needs of the students attending. In Universal Design and Study Abroad:(Re-)Designing ProgramsFor Effectiveness and Access in Frontiers XVIII Fall 2009 Soneson and Cordano discuss ways to meet the needs of non traditional student groups.

Orientation Materials:
There are a variety of materials that can be used to help prepare students for studying abroad. The Center for Global Education has prepared online courses for students to use before during and after their study abroad programs. These courses can be viewed here:

Additionally, other professionals in the field have also taught courses for students prior to studying abroad. Course materials courtesy of Dr. Bruce La Brack of the University of the Pacific can be found here:

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