The Office of Education Abroad
What is my role as department head?
Department heads support Missouri State’s comprehensive internationalization efforts, in part, through their work with the Office of Education Abroad Programs. There are four primary ways department heads interact with the Office of Education Abroad: 1) reviewing requests for pre-approval course transfer for semester and year-long study abroad students, 2) communicating protocol regarding student course enrollment facilitated through the Office of Education Abroad, 3) reviewing short-term faculty-directed (STFD) proposals for academic rigor, approving those proposals or requesting revisions, and 4) ensuring that faculty who plan credit or non-credit bearing international travel with students collaborate with the Office of Education Abroad Programs to ensure that Missouri State meets its duty of care, e.g., all participants must complete an application which includes the Statement of Responsibility, Release, Waiver of Liability & Hold Harmless Agreement. The application prompts the Office of Education Abroad staff to enroll students in international health insurance, provides itinerary information for emergency evacuation, and secures emergency contact information.
Students request pre-approval for their semester and year-long study abroad programs through the Request Transfer Credit Preapproval portal on the Registration page of My Missouri State. Department heads receive information about the specific course, including description and syllabus, and then the student’s proposed MSU course equivalency. Department heads are responsible for responding to the request within two weeks of the request. If the department head approves the course for all future requests, then that course will be added to the Transfer Equivalencies by Course database, thereby reducing the need for future requests for that specific course; if a course is approved only for the requesting student, then it will not be added and will have to be reviewed for each subsequent request.
Students participating in semester or year-long study abroad experiences and international internship programs must enroll in the SAP placeholder class or an MSU internship course that is built by the Office of Education Abroad with the Office of Education Abroad attribute. Students participating in short-term faculty-directed programs enroll in courses built by the Office of Education Abroad. The Office of Education Abroad is responsible to communicate the Office of Education Abroad course enrollment information to students and check compliance. Department heads underscore this protocol with faculty advisors and the Office of Education Abroad Program Directors. The reason for this requirement is to ensure that Banner data includes the Office of Education Abroad students to maintain their student status for the Office of the Registrar, the Office of Financial Aid, and Institutional Research.
A STFD program is an academic international or domestic experience that is one to eight weeks in length. All STFD programs include academic course work. Short-term faculty-directed programs must be approved through the program director’s department head, dean, and the Office of Education Abroad. The two components of a STFD is the Academic Proposal (which includes the Emergency Plan) and the Budget. The key role of a department head is to review the academic elements and rigor of the program, while being aware of the Office of Education Abroad policies.
The primary role of an Office of Education Abroad program director is to serve as professor and program director during the program. This includes pre- and post-travel activities/assignments. Such programs are, first and foremost, academic programs and, like their counterparts on campus, are intended to support the learning outcomes of the MSU student participant.
Prior to the program
- Approve all elements of the academic portion of the Office of Education Abroad program proposal before it is submitted to the dean for approval, and general review of the proposed budget. (The Office of Education Abroad Accounting Specialist conducts a thorough review of the budget, per university guidelines, so the final review and approval is not dependent upon the department head.)
- Once the dean has approved the program, the proposal is forwarded to the director of the Office of Education Abroad.
- The director of the Office of Education Abroad is then responsible for final approval of the Emergency Action Plan, as well as the budget and policy compliance.
After completion of the program
The Office of Education Abroad manages the financial close-out and accounting of the program:
- Collects the completed expense report and all receipts;
- Reviews all expenses;
- Sends the expense report to Financial Services for approval; and
- Generates the PAF to compensate the faculty program director.
On a practical basis – what should I be aware of?
- Exceptions to Policy: The Office of Education Abroad is an area where questions regarding exceptions to policy may arise more frequently; however, the Office of Education Abroad is charged with ensuring compliance with the university’s policies, which are in the best interest of the students, and ensure equity in compensation to faculty.
- Compliance with University Policy: The Office of Education Abroad expenditures and reporting must comply with university policy. For example, expenditures such as alcohol and personal expenses are not permitted.
- Support for Budgeted Costs: In developing the Proposed Budget, the program director should obtain as much documentation as possible for support of costs. Separate types of costs should generally not be reported in one sum. For example, if a hotel will provide tours, airport transfers, or site visits, these should be separately identified within the hotel’s proposed costs as much as possible. The lodging should be identified as single, double or otherwise.
What policies and resources are available?
What if I have questions?
Frequently asked questions:
What is the Office of Education Abroad?
The Office of Education Abroad facilitates high quality academic programs to increase the cultural competence of the Missouri State community, while developing the global leaders of tomorrow. The Office of Education Abroad is part of International Programs at Missouri State University. The office negotiates exchange agreements with international institutions, facilitates semester and year-long education abroad opportunities for students, and supports faculty with the development of short-term faculty-directed education abroad programs. The Office of Education Abroad office is located in the Plaster Student Union.
How do faculty within my department get started?
First, faculty may visit the Office of Education Abroad Program Faculty Program Directors Resources page. This site provides policy information including step-by-step guidelines for developing a short-term program, policies for short-term faculty-directed programs, calculating faculty pay and minimum number of students, information on holding airline seats, and proposal templates.
Additionally, faculty may contact the director of the Office of Education Abroad. The director can provide advice on topics related to your specific country, length of time, and proposed dates. Faculty may attend the Office of Education Abroad Fair, the Office of Education Abroad Faculty Luncheon and/or the Office of Education Abroad Faculty Workshop for additional resources.
When should faculty get started?
Short-term faculty-directed programs’ proposal deadlines are posted on the Office of Education Abroad website. The Office of Education Abroad recommends planning well in advance of the deadline to ensure that proposals are complete, and costs are justified.
How is an Office of Education Abroad program approved?
The program director’s department head and dean must first approve the short-term faculty-directed program. These academic administrators focus on the academic portion of the program. Final approval is made by the Director of the Office of Education Abroad Programs.
Who is responsible for program logistics?
The faculty member is responsible for program logistics, such as transportation, lodging and meals. The Office of Education Abroad recommends that faculty work with an affiliate provider for assistance with complex travel arrangements.
The Office of Education Abroad is responsible for building the online application, student billing, building short-term program courses, communicating course information to students, purchasing international health insurance (for international programs) and the online health and safety pre-departure orientation.
The division of labor list is found on the Office of Education Abroad website under Faculty Resources.
From which office are Office of Education Abroad program directors paid?
The Office of Education Abroad pays an Education Abroad program director’s salary from the funds generated from the tuition paid by students enrolled in the program director’s program, i.e., the salary does not come from the department or college budget. However, the department receives credit hour production for courses offered through that department.
What if the minimum number of students does not enroll for the course?
If the minimum number of students does not enroll in the course, the Office of Education Abroad may still approve the travel. However, the program director’s salary will be prorated and some of the program director’s expenses may not be covered.
What if program directors need a cash advance for the program?
Cash advances are obtained through the SET card, which is managed by Procurement Services. Cash advances are not available until immediately before travel is scheduled to commence.
How are program directors reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses?
The Office of Education Abroad reconciles all short-term faculty-directed programs. Expenses will be reimbursed if those expenses are directly related to the learning objectives of the programs. Personal expenses, such as vaccinations, or department expenses, such as materials for course projects, will not be reimbursed on the education abroad budget for the program.
When will program directors be paid?
A Personnel Action Form (PAF) is submitted to payroll after the program director submits their travel expense report and all receipts for the program.
What if I go on a domestic program?
Unless your dean takes responsibility for managing your program finances, the health and safety of all participants, and liability waiver protocol, the Office of Education Abroad will manage your program in the same manner as an international program.
Where can faculty find examples of successful proposals?
Examples of successful Missouri State University proposals on the Office of Education Abroad’s website.
Who is responsible for marketing short-term faculty-directed programs to students?
The primary marketing responsibility rests with the program director. However, the Office of Education Abroad develops a brochure for the program. The Office of Education Abroad will include each program in the Education Abroad Fair, on the Office of Education Abroad website and in class presentations.
What if a student withdraws from the program after the application deadline?
If a student withdraws from the program after the program deadline, they are charged the International Programs Academic Fee, 15% of the program cost, and any non-refundable costs.
Do you have a basic checklist for faculty to follow when developing a short-term faculty-directed program?
A program director’s checklist is provided on the Office of Education Abroad’s website.