April 18, 2007

 

To:                  Carmen Wilson, Chair Faculty Senate             

 

From:              Tim McAndrews, Chair

                        International Education Committee

 

RE:                 Evaluation of International Student Needs

                        Proposed Revisions to "Guidelines for International Study Tour Programs"

 

 

This report is being submitted by the International Education Committee (IEC) to Faculty Senate as per the second special charge outlined in the Committee Charge for the 2006-2007 Academic Year.  The special charge is as follows:

 

Evaluate the needs of international students studying at UW-La Crosse, the student support services available for international students on campus, and make recommendations about additional services needed.

 

This document also reports on additional revisions to "Guidelines for International Study Tour Programs" that the IEC recommends.

 

 


 

Evaluation of International Student Needs

 

In an attempt to "evaluate the needs of international students studying at UW-La Crosse, the support services available for international students on campus, and make recommendations about additional services needed" the IEC: 1) spoke with staff in the Office of International Education (OIE) regarding international student issues, 2) examined the orientation materials provided to international students upon their arrival, and 3) held two luncheons with members of the International Student Organization (ISO) to provide a forum for them to discuss international student issues and some concerns they have regarding their experiences at UW-L.

 

 

Issues Evident to OIE Staff

OIE staff provided the IEC with information regarding programs available to international students at UW-L and identified a couple of problem areas based on their obvious close relationship with international students.  OIE provided detailed information (online, through interviews, and in brochures) regarding the orientation program that all international students take part in upon their arrival to La Crosse, and this is elaborated on in the following section.

 

The major area of concern, according to OIE, is a lack of funding for services to help non-English speaking international students thrive academically.  OIE has been somewhat effective at obtaining private funds to assist in various services and programs they offer, but they are frustrated by the lack of access of international students to programs supported by more substantial federal and state funds. 

 

In particular, OIE has indicated that international students lack access to Disability Services (for language disability purposes) and tutoring services, and that non-native English speakers have not been well served by the Writing Lab.  It must be noted that international students do have access to Disability Services if they have a physical or learning disability, but OIE is frustrated with the fact that difficulty with English language comprehension is not considered a disability.

 

Lisbeth Reynertson has developed a fund to provide international students with note-taking services, but those funds are insubstantial to provide the degree of note-taking services required to benefit all international students.  The ESL Institute provides tutors for international students in the ESL program, but that program does not extend to international students outside of ESL.

 

 

Information Provided During International Student Orientation

The Office of International Education provides a week long orientation for international students studying at UW-L.  During this orientation week, students are introduced to the various services available to them on campus and in the community.  Following is a brief discussion of the events that are typically scheduled.  Though the schedule below may vary from year to year, those events listed are offered every year.

 

Day 1:        Students move into their residence hall and that evening the International Student Organization (ISO) hosts a dinner where students are introduced to other international students. 

 

Day 2:        a) Students meet with OIE staff to ensure that all visa and passport paperwork is in order.  Their Student ID's are also processed. 

 

                  b) Student ID photos are taken so their ID's can be processed.

 

                  c) OIE staff conduct a Banking Session for students so they will be able to handle their finances while in La Crosse.

 

                  d) As an introduction to the community, students may go to Valley View Mall and have dinner in a local restaurant with OIE staff and other international students.

 

Day 3:        a) English Placement Test is administered in Graff Main Hall

 

                  b) Academic Advising and Registration

 

                  c) Orientation Presentations

                        i) Jay Lokken (Director of OIE) welcomes students

                        ii) Residence life

 

                        iii) Academics, immigration, and health insurance (Lisbeth Reynertson)

 

                        iv) Campus Police (Scott Rohde)

 

                        v) La Crosse Friends of International Students (LCFIS)

 

                        vi) International Student Organization (ISO)

 

                  d) Reception Dinner (students meet the Chancellor, other administrators and faculty)

 

 

Day 4:        a) Results of English Test Scores

 

                  b) ESL Advising

 

                  c) Presentation on Meal Plans and Jobs with Food Service

 

Day 5:        a) Introduction to Computer Labs and Student E-Mail Accounts

                 

                  b) Sponsored Student Orientation (for students who need the university to send their bill to the embassy)

 

                  c) Murphy Library Tour

 

                  d) Health Center Presentation on Health Issues (in Allied Health Center)

 

Also, various lunch and dinner events are commonly sponsored by the ISO and LCFIS throughout the week and throughout their stay in La Crosse.  The following is a list of additional information provided to international students in their orientation literature.

 

1) A list of visa and immigration forms that must be filled out

2) Emergency telephone numbers

3) Hotel and taxi information

4) Details regarding housing and food services

5) Travel information to and from La Crosse (airlines, AMTRAK, bus services, etc.)

6) Insurance and financial information

7) Information on mail service

8) Registration information

9) Tuition fee schedule

10) Map of campus

11) Map of La Crosse area

12) List of grocery and convenience stores, including addresses and phone numbers

13) List of area restaurants, including addresses and phone numbers

14) English Placement Examination Guidelines (i.e., who needs to take which tests)

15) List of OIE staff and contact information (e-mail and phone numbers)

16) List of important offices and their location (OIE, Cashier's Office, Registrar, Student Life, Human Resources, ESL, Residence Life, Health Center, etc.)

 

It is evident that the orientation week activities involve a relatively intensive and comprehensive introduction to the La Crosse area, UW-L, and the services that are available to students.  Discussions with the ISO indicated that the students greatly appreciate the dedication of OIE staff in making them feel comfortable when they first arrive and in assisting them during their time at UW-L.  The following section presents the results of discussions between IEC and ISO members.

 

           

Focus Group Discussion with International Students

IEC member Tom Hench took the lead in organizing two focus group discussions (March 9 and March 30) over lunch with the ISO.  Faculty and staff present at the luncheons included Tom Hench, Rob Tyser, Jay Lokken, and Lisbeth Reynertson.  Student participants included the following:

 

     Name                                  Country                         Position/Affiliation

1. Tanmaya Singh                     India                             Asst. to Intl. Student Advisor

2.  Altaf Rizvi                            India                             V.P. Academic Aff. /Asst. to Intl.

                                                                                    Student Advisor/IEC Student Rep.

3.  Kenshi Setoguchi                 Japan                           V.P. Public Relations

4.  Onur Erdem                        Turkey                         V.P. Special Events

5.  Trang Dang             Vietnam                        V.P. of Administration

6.  Ha Nguyen                          Vietnam                        President I.S.O.

7.  Sonia Syafitri                       Indonesia                      ISOC Rep/Secretary

8.  Hoi-Wai Cheng                   Hong Kong                  V.P. Cultural Affairs

9.  Olesea Stirbu                       Moldova                      ISO Rep. to Baird Hall

10. Natasha Musalem               Dominican Republic      ISO Rep. to Baird Hall

 

The key focus group questions that the IEC had agreed would guide discussion were:

 

1.      What, if anything, would you change about your experience as an international student at UW-L to make it as good as it possibly could be?

2.      What key things are done particularly well at UW-L that you would not like to see fundamentally changed?

3.      What special need, or needs, for international students at UW-L is not presently being met as well as it should be?

4.      What support services for international students at UW-L, not already included in questions #1 or #3, need to be improved the most?

5.      What are the factors that drive international students away from UW-L?

 

The students were each given the opportunity to provide up to three responses on Post It notes for each question.  The Post It notes were then collected and students voted on which responses they saw as most important.  Then, further discussion elaborated on the issues that were raised.  The issues students raised in their responses for each question, the associated number of votes for each response, and subsequent issue elaboration is presented below.

 

1.  What, if anything, would you change about your experience as an international student at UW-L to make it as good as it possibly could be?

 

# of Votes

Issue Description

6

Need more scholarships/funding. (Institutional scholarships)

5

Professor Acknowledgement of foreign students and reasonable accommodations in class.

5

Require foreign students to live in international dorm their first semester on campus.

2

Career services . . . doesn’t presently serve/know us/Not helpful to foreign students

2

Tuition Fee System

2

Better diversity training for RAs/Hall Directors—Encourage more engagement and interaction among domestic and foreign students

1

More encouragement of American students to interact with foreign students. (U.S. students should be expected to reach out, too.)

1

Foundational scholarships (currently non-existent)

1

Meal plan and dining options should be optional

0

Student health insurance issues

0

Better informed academic advising by faculty

1

Students do not get to see the details of the ESL exams; not transparent

0

D2L/web site. . .need instructions on how to use effectively

0

Business classes should cover more international issues/ this is not just an issue for business classes.

0

Housing fees during semester breaks

0

Availability and better visibility of international news and media

0

Getting a student loan

0

More international channels on cable television

0

More on-campus work opportunities

 

Issue Elaboration for Question #1:

Tuition Fee System

•     Foreign students do not want to pay out-of-state fees

•     When international fees get reduced, then so do scholarships, accordingly. Therefore, there is no gain.

•     Please give us at least as much funding as we had before; more would be nice.

 

Professor Acknowledgement:

•     Encourage students to go to outside activities

•     International students do not come under diversity considerations

•     Campus climate should include international students as part of diversity

•     Note taking facility for students with language problems. (Cannot help presently because of federal funding)

•     Help foreign students when forming groups in classes

•     More group activities, in general

•     Professors should “take the first step” in trying to help foreign students

•     Better international training for faculty

 

Require foreign students to live in international dorm (psychological safety/security).

 

Registering for classes before arriving on campus:

•     It is the ESL students who have this problem

 

Foreign students would like an authentic voice/involvement in those issues and policies affecting them directly.

 

A specialist for international students in career services would be helpful.

 

2.  What key things are done particularly well at UW-L that you would not like to see fundamentally changed?

 

# of Votes

Issue Description

3

Relation between Office of International Education and International Students

2

The University should continue to encourage students to study abroad

0

Amount of events students can participate in.

1

Existence of ISO and LIFE

5

Majority of international students staying in one/the same dorm.

0

Good student:faculty relationships.

2

On-campus job opportunities (driven by the fact that most students cannot get jobs off campus because of lack of Social Security Numbers)

0

Opportunity to change rooms or dorms if problems arise.

1

The availability and quality of computer labs

(Note: Because there were only 4 students present at the March 30 discussion, the number of stickers/votes on this question, and questions# 3 and #4, are significantly less than for question #1, which was discussed at the March 9 meeting. Still, the votes cast do demonstrate some noticeable patterns and preferences.)

 

3.  What special need, or needs, for international students at UW-L is not presently being met as well as it should be?

 

# of Votes

Issue Description

 

Kitchen facilities need to be available in whatever dorms in which international students live so they can prepare some of their own food items as needed or desired.

 

Make money available for international graduate students.

 

Consider creating a new, or special, tuition rate for international students that is somewhere between the present $600/cr. hr rate for international students vs. the current $200/cr. hr rate for in-state students.

 

Encouragement by faculty for regular students to participate in international student events.

(Note: Because there were so few items included in this question, no voting occurred. Everyone simply agreed to take due note of these comments.)

 

4.  What support services for international students at UW-L, not already included in questions #1 or #3, need to be improved the most?

 

# of Votes

Issue Description

4

More help for students with language problems

3

Make a better link/make more visible scholarship opportunities for international students/applicants

1

More help with note taking where needed.

 

Academic advising

4

More transparency and accommodation is needed with ESL Testing.

There appears to be some inconsistencies or oddities between ESL and TOEFL with regard to what does or does not count for each. Other problems also might exist. TOEFL does not count if you take ES???

 

 

 

5.  What are the factors that drive international students away from UW-L? 

 

There were three responses that students gave in response to this question:

•     The frustration and challenge of passing English proficiency exams. Often insufficient feedback and transparency on English proficiency exams.

•     Cost — Compared to European alternatives UW-L is expensive. Compared to other U.S. alternatives, UW-L is a good value.

•     Tutoring and note taking—more help is needed here.

 

Focus Group Discussion Conclusions

A number of important themes kept recurring during the focus group discussion.  The students value and are highly appreciative of their present relationship with OIE, and they think that the UW-L should continue to strongly encourage U.S. students to study abroad.  There is also a strong desire on the part of international students to have a fair and honest voice in those decisions affecting them and a desire that appropriate consideration and accommodation be given to their desires where warranted.

 

In particular, four additional issues of concern seem to stand out.  First, there appears to be a very strong desire on the part of the international students to be housed in a common dorm for at least their first semester on campus.  Of course, in wishing for this, they still prefer U.S. roommates but would like to be grouped together in the same residence halls.  They simply wish for the nurturing understanding and comfort afforded by "other international students" at the end of a long day of interaction across all other aspects of university and classroom life.

 

Second, some accommodation also seems needed to help international students with career services, note taking, and tutoring.  Presently, because of federal restrictions in funding, some services often are not available for international students.  (Though slightly different, some problems also seem to be present at some level with regard to the ESL program and how language proficiency is evaluated and assessed; however, the exact nature of this problem needs further probing and examination).

 

A third area of concern relates to scholarships and funding. While no doubt a serious concern for many international students, this also is an issue that needs further investigation and examination before any effective action can be taken.  Suffice it to say, there is an underlying sense that funding issues could be addressed more effectively.

 

Finally, it is rather disturbing that one of the major concerns voiced by international students was the lack of professor acknowledgement of foreign students and the lack of reasonable accommodations in class.  International students seemed convinced of the need for university faculty, and residence hall directors, to continue to take those steps necessary to both welcome and accommodate international students into university life.  It is important to the international students that these university representatives need to be more proactive and approach the international students at their first meeting instead of the other way around.

 

 

Conclusions and Preliminary Recommendations

First of all, it should be noted that UW-L does a number of very good things to foster international student education, and international students respond positively when asked about the quality of their experience here.  However, the IEC did identify some issues and problems through its activities over the past few months including:

 

            1) Lack of funding for academic support services for international students

            2) Need for more scholarships/funding opportunities

            3) Professor acknowledgement of foreign students and reasonable accommodations in class

            4) Lack of requirement for international students to initially live in an international dorm

            5) Lack of encouragement of American students to interact with foreign students

6) Better diversity training needed for RAs/Hall directors (encourage more engagement between American and foreign students)

            7) Perceived lack of access to Career Services

 

Although action on some of the issues outlined above (particularly those related to funding) will require ongoing consideration by the IEC, Faculty Senate, and UW-L community as a whole, the IEC offers here a few initial steps that can be taken to address some of the problems and better serve the needs of international students.  These are listed below and subsequently discussed in more detail:

           

            1) Periodic discussions between IEC and ISO

            2) Panel discussion of international student needs during first week activities each Fall

            3) International/Ethnicity-themed experience at UW-L

4) Collaboration between EIC, ISO, OIE, and UW-L housing regarding international student housing

 

First, given the productivity of discussions with members of the ISO, the IEC recommends that part of its annual charge be to periodically meet with the ISO to discuss some of their ongoing concerns.  The IEC therefore proposes that the bylaws be revised as follows (bracketed boldface text represents additions to the current bylaws):

Duties and responsibilities of the committee shall include:

1.  Establishing, maintaining, and updating the procedures and criteria used to review proposals for offering credit-generating courses or programs of study at foreign or international sites.  The committee shall publicize the standards used to determine if awarding academic credit is appropriate.

2.  Receiving and reviewing all proposals for offering credit-generating courses or programs of study at foreign or international sites provided the proposed offering has been approved by the appropriate department(s) and dean(s).  The review shall provide for consultation with the Office of International Education.  Upon approval by the committee, the proposal shall be forwarded to the appropriate curriculum committee (or dean in the case of umbrella course topics) for further review.

3.  Reviewing the International Studies (INS) minor program and courses with the INS prefix.  The committee shall receive and review all proposals for revisions in the requirements for the INS minor and all proposals for new or revised courses with the INS prefix.  The review shall provide for consultation with the Director of the International Studies Curriculum.  Upon approval by the committee, the proposal shall be forwarded to the Dean of the College of Liberal Studies and to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for further review.

4.  Advising the Director of the Office of International Education and other administrative authorities and university committees in the development, application, and evaluation of policies and procedures for global education programs.

5.  Providing for the periodic review and assessment of the university's international education programs, policies, and procedures.  The areas reviewed shall include both credit and non-credit study tours, foreign study and exchange programs, and international student issues.

6.  Receiving annual reports on the number of international students enrolled at UW-L, the number of UW-L students participating in global education programs, and the number of international education opportunities for UW-L faculty and staff.

[7.  Meeting periodically with the International Student Organization and the Director of the Office of International Education to discuss issues regarding the needs of international students.]

Membership of the committee shall consist of nine faculty members, one academic staff member chosen by the Academic Staff Council, and three students.  The faculty membership shall include at least two representatives from each of the College of Liberal Studies and  the College of Science and Health, and at least one representative from the College of Business Administration.  [The student membership shall include at least one representative from the International Student Organization.]  The Director of the Office of International Education and the Director of the International Studies Curriculum shall serve as nonvoting consultants to the committee.  The committee shall elect its chairperson.  A committee member shall abstain from voting on the approval of any proposal to offer courses or programs of study at international sites if the committee member or the committee determines that the proposal presents a conflict of interest for the committee member.

Second, it is important that we immediately address the disturbing revelation that international students have the perception that UW-L faculty do not acknowledge their international students appropriately and that they do not provide appropriate accommodations in their classrooms for international students.  One member of the IEC indicated that he always invites international students to meet with him briefly after the first class meeting each semester so that he is aware of any international students and their specific needs.  The IEC would recommend all faculty members to engage in this simple act.  One way this message can be sent, particularly to newly hired faculty, is to hold a panel discussion regarding international student issues at the annual first week activities at the beginning of each Fall semester.  This would expose and educate newly hired (and existing) faculty members on how they might individually serve international student needs more effectively. 

 

Third, the IEC discussed exploring the development of an international/ethnicity-themed experience in which interested UW-L students could participate.  For example, some universities have specific dormitory accommodations for international students and American students with an international focus in their studies (or at least an interest in interacting with international students).  Students share housing as well as common study, lounge, dining, and recreation space.  Implementing such a model at UW-L would be a means by which the university could bring together international students and those American students who are particularly interested in learning about other cultures and being exposed to students with varying international backgrounds.

 

Fourth, international students expressed anxiety over the idea of being more integrated into UW-L housing in the coming year, and thereby more segregated from the community of international students (housed in several separate dorms instead of just one or two dorms).  With rising numbers of international students, it is becoming logistically difficult to maintain the current situation with most international students living in close proximity to one another.  However from the international students' perspective, they need to have, at the end of long and often stressful days of classes with mostly American students and professors, close access to a relaxing environment with a community of other students that are experiencing the same situation.  They feel that living in the same dorm satisfies this need.  We concluded that an appropriate means of addressing this issue would be to have IEC members facilitate a discussion between ISO representatives, the Director of OIE, and Nick Nicholas in housing.  Such a discussion may lead to a solution to the housing problem with which everyone is comfortable.

 

As is evident, these recommendations were arrived at only after extensive activities on the part of the IEC throughout the 2006-07 academic year.  Unfortunately, only a couple of the current members are returning members.  To ensure that consideration of these issues continues and some action is eventually taken, current members have expressed a strong willingness to meet with the new committee at the beginning of 2007-08 to bring them up to speed on these important issues. 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 Proposed Revisions to "Guidelines for International Study Tour Programs"

 

The IEC has continued working to improve the "Guidelines for International Study Tour Programs" and proposes additional revisions.  The proposed revisions derive from our discussion of the definitions of "New Study Tour" and "Ongoing Study Tour."  In the current guidelines, an "Ongoing Study Tour" is impractically defined in one place (in the Definitions section of the Introduction) as "a program that has been approved and has been successfully implemented at least twice in the past four years."  In another place (under the current Section III. B. in the guidelines below), it is even more impractically suggested that "After an international study tour program is approved and offered at least three times in the past five years, the program can be evaluated by the International Education Committee for conversion to the status of an ongoing international study tour program."  This definition will ensure that the vast majority of Study Tours will never make it to becoming Ongoing Study Tours, and therefore, would be illogically defined as New Study Tours, even though they have been offered in the past.  So, the IEC proposes a redefinition of "Ongoing Study Tour" as a program that has been successfully offered, period. 

 

A second problem with the current guidelines, as the IEC sees it, is that there is a fairly extensive and cumbersome proposal process for the Ongoing Study Tour (outlined in Section III. B., below), so achieving the virtually impossible designation of Ongoing Study Tour really does the tour leaders no good anyway.  The goal of these guidelines should be to facilitate the process of offering study tours that have had success in the past rather than bogging the tour leaders down with loads of paperwork.  So, the IEC proposes to eliminate the proposal process currently associated with Ongoing Study Tours.  Instead, the IEC proposes that Ongoing Study Tour leaders (according to the new definition) submit a simple one page form, entitled Ongoing Study Tour Summary Form (a copy is attached at the end of the Guidelines document below), to the IEC Chair, so the committee is aware of all current programs.

 

The document that follows is the "Guidelines for International Study Tour Programs."  Current sections of the document to be deleted are designated by red text, and the proposed replacement text is in blue.  Following the "Guidelines" is the proposed Ongoing Study Tour Summary Form.

 


 

GUIDELINES FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDY TOUR PROGRAMS

I.  Introduction

A primary purpose of the International Education Committee is to encourage and support the continuing growth and development of high-quality, international study programs at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  One of the responsibilities of the Committee is to review for possible approval each UW-L credit generating program offered at least in part at a site abroad.  To that end, the Committee develops guidelines for these programs.  The guidelines are intended for proposers and directors of programs, as well as for the Committee who reviews the programs.  The guidelines on these pages are for International Study Tour programs.

These guidelines are presented in three sections with an appendix.  This first section, the introduction, includes the "spirit" of these guidelines and some definitions.  Section II includes issues on which the Committee will focus in its deliberations of international study tour programs.  Section III presents the application procedures for each type of international study tour program, including the application deadlines.  Finally, the appendix includes the cover sheet and budget worksheet to be included with the proposal.

These guidelines and required forms are available from the Faculty Senate website: www.uwlax.edu/FacultySenate/committees/IECindex.html.

The Office of International Education has prepared a “Study Tour Manual” to assist faculty in the development and on-going administration of short-term study abroad programs. Faculty-led program proposals originate from the faculty and are administered by the OIE. Many of the policies and procedures described within are the result of mandates from UW System for safety and liability reasons. Faculty are encouraged to meet with staff in the OIE for program planning purposes.

 

The "Spirit" of the Guidelines:

The intent of these guidelines/procedures, and of the International Education Committee, is "to be a help, not a hindrance" to the advancement of high-quality, international study programs at UW-L. Accordingly, exceptions to these guidelines may, at times, need to be considered.  In those cases, the Committee will examine carefully the circumstances surrounding the need for an exception and will take those steps necessary to assure the continuing advancement of high-quality, international study tour programs at UW-La Crosse.

 

Definitions

International Study Tour Program

An international study tour program is a credit-generating course that is created and led by faculty/staff and that takes place primarily in another country.  These opportunities are (generally) short term in nature and may or may not involve another institutional (university) partner participating in the delivery of the program.  International study tours are classified further as "new," and "ongoing."  These terms are defined below:

New International Study Tour Program

A new international study tour program is a program that has not been previously proposed, or a program that has been proposed and approved but not offered in the past five years.

Ongoing International Study Tour Program

An ongoing international study tour program is a program that has been approved and has been successfully implemented at least twice in the past four years. If there are significant changes in this proposal from the original program, contact the chair of the International Education Committee to determine if it still qualifies as an ongoing program.

 

Program Definitions

An international study tour program is a credit-generating course that is created and led by faculty/staff and that takes place primarily in another country.  These opportunities are (generally) short term in nature and may or may not involve another institutional (university) partner participating in the delivery of the program. 

 

Faculty/staff proposing new international study tour programs (i.e., programs that have never been offered) must submit a detailed proposal to the International Education Committee following the guidelines outlined in the remainder of this document. 

 

Faculty/staff leading ongoing study tour programs (i.e., programs that have been offered in the past) must submit the Ongoing Study Tour Summary Form to the International Education Committee in the early planning stages of the program.  This document is available on the International Education Committee website (www.uwlax.edu/FacultySenate/committees/IECindex.html).  

 

If there are significant changes in an ongoing program from the original program, contact the chair of the International Education Committee to determine whether a more detailed proposal is required.

II.  Issues That the Committee Will Consider

Listed below are the main areas of focus for the Travel and International Education Committee in its deliberations of international study tour programs. These issues should be addressed in the appropriate places within the program proposal.

 

·         All appropriate measures have been taken to assure the health, safety, and well-being of all participants in the proposed international study tour program.

 

·         Arrangements have been made to provide adequate counseling and supervisory services at international destinations. (For example: contact persons, interpreters, emergency services, handicap accessibility, etc.)

 

·         Justification is provided for those cases, if any, where students need to be absent from other classes.

 

·         Good-faith efforts have been made to minimize the cost of international study tour programs to student participants.

 

·         Arrangements have been made with the Office of International Education for pre-departure training for both program proposer(s)/ (director(s) and participants in the language(s), culture(s) and country(ies) to be visited.

 

·         Credit-granting, international study tour programs are reasonably and responsibly linked to a relevant course title and/or catalog description.

 

·         Credit-granting, international study tour programs are designed to provide educational experiences integrally related to the curriculum but not otherwise available on-campus.

 

·         The course (including outline, instructional methods and evaluation procedures) are consistent with the course as approved by the University Curriculum Committee (LX-139) for the course. 

 

·         Proposals for credit-granting international study tour programs occurring during the regular academic year (i.e., Fall or Spring semesters) are offered as part of the proposer's (or program director’s) regular teaching responsibility and are not compensated additionally without further and appropriate justification.

 

·         Proposals for credit-granting international study tour programs occurring outside the regular academic year (i.e., Summer, J-term [January], or M-term [May]) are not considered part of the proposer’s (or program director’s) regular teaching responsibility and should be compensated appropriately, whenever possible.

 

III. Application Procedures

International study tour programs developed through the initiative of individual faculty and academic staff of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, but formally sponsored by the University, must comply with institutional and UW System budget and fiscal policy guidelines in such areas as personnel, salary and fringe benefit policies, and procedures.  The process is as follows:

 

·         Documentation and forms need to be prepared as outlined below. The International Education Committee will not review any incomplete or late application files.  Additional copies of these guidelines and the appropriate forms are available from the Faculty Senate website: www.uwlax.edu/FacultySenate/committees/IECindex.html.

 

·         Fifteen copies of the completed application package need to be submitted to the OIE, 116 Graff Main Hall to be forwarded to the chair of the International Education Committee or to the by the due dates listed below:

 

Deadlines for New International Study Tour Proposals

Term to be Offered

Proposals Due
Review by IEC

J-Term

November 1, 14 months prior

December meeting

Spring

February 1, prior academic year

March meeting

May/Summer

March 1, prior academic year

April meeting; revisions in May

Fall

October 1, prior academic year

November meeting

Deadlines for Ongoing International Study Tours

Term to be Offered

Proposals Due
Review by IEC

J-Term

April 1

May meeting

Spring

September 15

October meeting

May/Summer

October 15

November meeting

Fall

February 15

March meeting

Deadlines for Submission of Ongoing Study Tour Summary Forms

 

Term to be Offered

Proposals Due
Review by IEC

J-Term

April 1

May meeting

Spring

September 15

October meeting

May/Summer

October 15

November meeting

Fall

February 15

March meeting

 

A.   Documentation for New International Study Tour Programs

A new international study tour program is a program that has not been previously proposed, or a program that has been proposed and approved, but not offered in the past five years. The necessary documents for new international study tours are listed below with brief explanations:

 

1.       Proposal Cover Page

The cover page should conform to the style as presented in the appendix.  The cover page includes a checklist which is intended as a check that all sections are included in the proposal.

 

2.       Detailed Narrative

The body of the proposal (approximately five to seven pages, plus the appropriate LX 139 forms) should include a detailed description of

 

a.   Preparation (including dates) of the activities before and after the trip.

 

b.   Itinerary of travel and study when away from UW-La Crosse.

 

c.   The course goals, objectives, and work expected of participants.

§         Explanation of how the course content (including outline, instructional methods and evaluation procedures) is consistent with the documentation approved by the University Curriculum Committee (LX-139).  A copy of the LX-139 should be attached.

§         Differences in expectations if more than one course is listed (e.g., undergraduate and/or graduate courses).

§         Differences in expectations if courses are offered for variable credit, and

§         Grading criteria (if appropriate, and if such criteria are materially different from standard grading criteria).

 

d.   A detailed explanation of how communication will be accommodated in countries/territories where English is not the primary language (e.g., arrangements for interpreters, guides, etc.).

 

e.   Pre-Departure Language and Culture Preparation

This section should explain the steps to prepare participants to be both effective ambassadors of UW-L while in a international country/territory and to be minimally functional and conversant in the language and culture of the primary country(ies)/territory(ies) being visited. These steps should be taken in advance of the planned study-abroad trip and typically might include three or four training sessions of approximately 45-minutes each.

 

§         Language

For course in non-English speaking countries, sufficient language training should be provided to enable program leaders and participants to communicate orally with a minimum number of key words and phrases.  These words and phrases might include such things as:

°                     Phrases of basic courtesy, including greetings and introductions.

°                     Phrases asking for directions and information.

°                     Phrases covering issues of time, numbers, money and the like.

°                     Relevant place names.

°                     Days of the week.

°                     Names of common activities.

°                     Common foods and phrases for ordering common foods.

°                     Phrases for emergency situations.

 

§         Culture

                              Information on the culture of a country or region to be visited should be presented and distributed well before the time of departure. The cultural material to be covered could well include:

°                     History

°                     Politics

°                     Ethnicity

°                     Religion

°                     Cultural traditions

°                     Social organizations

°                     Geography

°                     Other

                              This section of the proposal should explicitly state

(1) The number of pre-departure sessions for culture and language as well as the length of these sections.

                              (2) The instructor in charge of the language training.

 

§         A description of the language and cultural materials to be distributed and any other pre-departure activities designed for language and culture.

 

§         Other pre-departure matters (e.g., logistics, clothing, funding)

 

f.    Language and Culture Backgrounds of Tour Leaders

This section of the proposal is intended to inform the Committee of the proposer(s)/director(s) experience in international travel and/or international study-abroad programs.  The purpose of this section is to identify to the Office of International Education what, if any, additional help and support may be needed by proposer(s)/director(s) to assure a successful study-abroad program.  Included should be the background and experiences of the leader(s)/director(s), as appropriate, in the areas listed below:

 

§         Prior experience in international travel/international study-abroad programs (include dates and particulars, as appropriate).

 

§         First-hand knowledge of areas to be visited (include dates and particulars, as appropriate).

 

§         Special training/experience in international studies, including studies and experiences in comparative cultures, history, science, philosophy, etc.

 

§         Relevant fellowships, scholarships, grants or awards.

 

§         International language knowledge and experience (including level of proficiency, as appropriate).

 

§         Related skills and interests, as appropriate (i.e., photography, art, geography, musical instruments, etc.).

 

3.   Budget Worksheet

      This form, a copy of which is included in the appendix, should detail as closely as possible:

 

a.   The comprehensive program fee to the participant/student.

 

b.       Reasonable/prudent expectations of additional costs to students for necessary items, such as food, local travel, etc.

 

c.       Explanation of competitive bidding arrangements.

 

d.       Full disclosure of all arrangements to pay the cost of travel for the director(s).  Proposals without this information will not be considered.  Where more than one leader/director is needed to support a program, please attach an explanation to the budget form explaining why the additional leader/director is needed and what the additional costs associated with the additional leader/director are.

 

4.   Letters of Support

Letters of support from the department/division and from the Dean/Director are to be included.  The letter from the department should indicate that

 

a.   The proposal complies with the departmental procedures and has departmental approval.

 

b.   Your department considers all necessary arrangements for release time, for coverage of the instructor’s other teaching responsibilities, and for any other departmental concerns affected by this proposal.

B.  Documentation for Ongoing International Study Tour Programs

After a international study tour program is approved and offered at least three times in the past five years, the program can be evaluated by the International Education Committee for conversion to the status of an ongoing international study tour program.  The leader/director of this program must provide a complete program review package after the third time the program has been offered, and after every third year thereafter.  This review will be based on an assessment of the program outcomes and not necessarily on the specifics of the original program proposal.

 

1.   Proposal Cover Page

The cover page should conform to the style as presented in the appendix.  The cover page includes a checklist which is intended as a check that all sections are included in the proposal.

 

2.   Statement of Program History

 

a.   A brief overview of program goals and purposes.

 

b.   A brief statement of program history, including, by year, numbers of participants, courses offered, dates conducted, faculty and academic staff involved, total number of credit hours earned, locations visited, and any other relevant issues.

 

      3.   Program Assessment and Feedback

 

a.   An assessment of the program to date.  This section can draw heavily from the post-trip assessment reports filed previously regarding:

 

§         Changes in the actual implementations of the programs from what were proposed (for example, changes in personnel, changes in itinerary, changes in sites visited and changes in activities), and the impact of these changes.

 

§         Any logistical problems encountered during the implementations.

 

§         Whether the curricular goals were achieved and how the determination was made.

 

§         How recommendations from previous programs were incorporated into subsequent programs.

 

b.   Assessment data/feedback from participating faculty and students. This feedback should address program outcomes—not necessarily the specific objectives of the original program proposal.

 

c.   Financial summaries, including income, expenses, and current balances, for similar tours conducted during each of the past five three tours.

 

4.   Recommendations for continuation, changes, and/or future plans.

 

5.   Language and culture backgrounds of tour leaders using the same format as for New International Study Tours.

 

6.   Budget Worksheet

 

7.   Letters of Support from the department/division and from the Dean/Director are to be included.

B.  Documentation for Ongoing International Study Tour Programs

Faculty/staff leading ongoing study tour programs (i.e., programs that have been offered in the past) must submit the Ongoing Study Tour Summary Form to the International Education Committee in the early planning stages of the program along with a copy of the most recent Post-Trip Assessment (described in Item D below).  The Ongoing Study Tour Summary Form is available on the International Education Committee website (www.uwlax.edu/FacultySenate/committees/IECindex.html).

 

Finally, if there are significant changes in an ongoing program from the original program, contact the chair of the International Education Committee to determine whether a more detailed proposal is required.

C.   Coordination with the Office of International Education

The director of the trip abroad should meet with the Office of International Education staff to ensure compliance with “ACIS 7.1 Policy Guidelines for the Development and Operation of Off-Campus International Educational Programs for University of Wisconsin System Students” and “Financial and Administrative Policies 45: Study Abroad Programs.”

D.  Post Trip Assessment

A post-trip assessment report is required and is to be submitted to the Office of International Education within 60 days of the completion of the program.  The director of the trip abroad should also report in person to the International Education Committee.  This section of the proposal should include the date by which the report will be submitted, as well as an overview/outline of the planned report.  The format of this section is open, but it should demonstrate that the report will provide appropriate commentary while addressing the following issues:

 

a.       A brief description of the program (for example, to which UW-L course(s) the program is applicable, the program goals, the sites of the program and the dates of the program).

 

b.       A complete list of participants and addresses (postal and e-mail) should be included.

 

c.       Changes in the actual implementation of the program from what was proposed (for example, changes in personnel, changes in itinerary, changes in sites visited and changes in activities), and the impact of these changes.

 

d.       Any logistical problems encountered during the implementation.

 

e.       The degree to which actual revenues and expenses matched the budgeted values.

 

f.        The degree to which the curricular goals and objectives were achieved.

 

g.       Recommendations for a subsequent program.

 


 

ONGOING STUDY TOUR SUMMARY FORM

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Title of Study Tour Program:

 

Proposers and Rank                                           Dept. and Campus Address                Phone#                  Email Address

 

 

 

Program Dates:                                                                        Estimated Program Fee: $

 

 

Countries to be visited:

 

 

Course(s) through which study tour will be offered:

Dept./Course #                         Course Title                                                                             Credits

 

 

 

Maximum number of participants: ___

 

Distribution of students: Freshman ___, Sophomores ___, Juniors ___, Seniors ___, Grad ___, Audit ___

 

Target audience (e.g., UW-L, regional, statewide, national): 

 

Brief Program Description:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description of Major Changes to Program:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please Attach a Copy of the Last Post-Trip Assessment

 

Signature of Proposer(s):                             Date:         Signature of Proposer(s):                                 Date:

 

_____________________________________   ________   _____________________________________        _________

 

_____________________________________   ________   _____________________________________        _________