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Faculty-Led Program Proposal Guidelines

One of International Programs and Services' (IPS) academic support functions is to assist faculty in the development and delivery of courses overseas.  The office therefore maintains resources and expertise necessary to aid in the planning, marketing, recruiting, and orientating of such opportunities.  In an effort to ensure the integrity of and consistency across faculty-led offerings, IPS has developed the following guidelines, processes, and forms.

Section I: Program Proposal Submission

All faculty-led programs must go through the below approval process in order to be offered as a Pacific-sponsored program. The International Programs and Services Committee (IPSC) is responsible for reviewing faculty-led course proposals and rendering a recommendation to the director of International Programs and Services who ultimately makes the decision on whether or not to authorize a program.

  • All course proposals must first be approved by the responsible academic department chair and school dean.  The faculty leader can then apply for vetting through the IPSC.  A proposal packet is included in this document. If the course is taught as a special topics course, after it is taught two times, it must be formally approved by the Academic Affairs committee.
  • Provided that the program does not change significantly from year-to-year (e.g., a major change in content, credit hours, or location) subsequent approvals are not required. 
  • Proposals to countries to which the U.S. Department of State has issued a travel warning ( are generally discouraged and typically not permitted; however, faculty may request a waiver if proposed travel is in an area of the country demonstrably more secure than indicated by the national travel warning.
  • It is recommended that faculty begin this process 8 to 12 months prior to the intended departure date.  Once submitted, it may take weeks (e.g., 4 to 6) for the IPSC to meet and reach a decision.
  • Once approved, new faculty leaders are required to attend a faculty orientation.
  • Faculty are not allowed to promote their program or its cost until it has been formally approved and a budget authorized.
  • Non-approved programs are prohibited from advertising and recruiting on the Pacific campus.

Section II: Course Guidelines

The course has a solid academic framework

  • Academic rigor equal to a minimum of two units on campus that integrates lectures, seminar discussions, reading and written assignments with on-site activities including lectures, tours, service learning opportunities, etc.
  • Evidence that the course will facilitate the creation of a learning community that enhances individual and group learning.

The course includes activities that engage the host community

  • Opportunities for students to dialog with a range of viewpoints and voices in the host community(ies).
  • Evidence of effort to include cultural programming, such as attending local events or a dinner/home stay with a host family, with special attention to cultural sensitivity.
  • Assignments that engage students with community and local perspectives, such as exchanges with on-site partners, service learning projects and other experiential learning opportunities.

The course includes basic language and intercultural training when appropriate and possible

  • Language acquisition of basic phrases, vocabulary building and listening skills.
  • Basic intercultural training that includes site-specific cultural norms and customs, gender dynamics, ideas of space and time, etc. 
  • Use of disciplinary appropriate pedagogical tools and reflection to develop cultural self- and other-awareness across differences such as: journaling, creative writing, comparative analysis, descriptive field notes, visual representations, research projects.

If a homestay experience is part of the program, consideration of the following:

  • Type of accommodation for student (e.g. private bedroom or private or shared bath).
  • Meal arrangements and access to kitchen/laundry facilities.
  • Number, gender and age of current occupants.
  • Distance of home from classroom or academic meeting space and transportation issues (if relevant).
  • Orientation for host families and formal "meet and greet" session between host families and students.
  • Payment of host families.

Section III: Management and Application

  • All faculty-led programs are managed by IPS and the faculty leader.
  • All students are required to apply online through the IPS's web-based platform ( and submit all requisite forms, preferably in an electronic format.
  • A general pre-departure orientation, co-conducted by IPS, is required for all participants. Faculty are encouraged to conduct additional program-specific pre-departure sessions as needed.

Section IV: Enrollment

  • All program participants, except for faculty and chaperones, must be enrolled in the course(s) taught during the program. When a program offers multiple courses, students must be enrolled in at least one of the courses but not necessarily in all courses offered. 
  • All participants must enroll in the appropriate shell course identified by IPS.
  • All non-Pacific students must apply for admission as a non-degree seeking student prior to applying as a study abroad participant.

Section V: Budget and Cost

  • Programs cannot operate in deficit.  A sufficient number of students must enroll to ensure that the program results in a net gain or breaks even.  The number of students enrolled directly impacts the per participant cost of the program.
  • All faculty expenses must be accounted for in the budget.
  • IPS works with faculty and/or unit budget officers to create a program budget.  This is a shared responsibility and must be developed carefully as items not included in the budget are not reimbursed. Budget adjustments after the budget has been approved are only allowed when accounting for currency fluctuations or other volatile expenses (e.g., gas prices).
  • IPS may calculate emergency funds in program budgets in order to cover emergency situations. These are not for operating expenses rather emergencies.
  • IPS may include a currency fluctuation fee in the budget depending on the location and currency strength of the host country.
  • Should the program operate in a budget deficit, the responsible school is responsible for the deficit amount.

Section VI: Compensation

  • Salaries for courses taught on faculty-led programs are determined by the sponsoring School.  IPS is not involved in faculty remuneration.  
  • Faculty or staff members assisting in the program but not teaching a course are considered "support staff" for the purposes of the program. Support staff assist with program leadership in-country by serving in a supporting capacity.
  • Stipends for support staff are determined by the faculty in conjunction with IPS.
  • Speaker honorariums are determined by the faculty in conjunction with IPS.

Section VII: Risk Management 

  • All participants must complete the requisite forms (e.g., assumption of risk, medical history form, participation forms, etc.).
  • Enrollment in Pacific's international health insurance plan is mandatory for all program participants unless an external sponsor/partner provides better insurance coverage as a mandatory component of its package. The cost of insurance, including that of the faculty leader and support staff, is built into the program budget and included in the total program cost to be paid by student participants.
  • The program budget includes monies for program-related communications (e.g., mobile phones and internet access).  Expenses in excess of the budget are only reimbursed in case of emergency.
  • Faculty are to ensure that program participants understand conduct-related expectations and any country-specific risks.
  • A copy of Pacific's Safety and Emergency Protocols are given to faculty.  Faculty are responsible for becoming familiar with and retaining a copy of this document while abroad.

Section VIII: Advertising and Promotion

  • IPS will promote all programs via the Education Abroad website, informational sessions, classroom presentations, one-on-one advising, and, if requested, a nationwide education abroad list-serve.
  • Faculty are responsible for promoting the program within their department/school,
    other schools/departments, and, if sought, colleges and universities outside of Pacific.

Section IX: Reconciliation 

  • Upon program completion or within 45 days of returning to the U.S., faculty or their unit budget officers are required to meet with the IPS assistant director to review all receipts and travel documents necessary to reconcile the budget.

Section X: Refunds 

  • Tuition refunds for faculty programs follow established policy set by the Business Office[lm1] .

Section XI: Cancellation 

  • IPS and the Provost's Office reserve the right to cancel any program due to, but not limited to, low enrollment numbers, inability to meet revenue expectations (based on a break-even point), political instability, and disasters (natural or other).

SectionXII: Exceptions 

  • While great efforts have been taken to ensure flexibility with program proposals, some exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis in order to accommodate certain program needs.  Exceptions must be approved by both the IPSC and the IPS director.


Faculty-Led Program Proposal Outline


Address each of the following sections as thoroughly as possible on a separate sheet of paper.  Once completed, please return all required documentation to the assistant director of International Programs and Services at the Bechtel International Center.  If you have any questions regarding this process, please call (209) 946-2592 or e-mail 

Section I: Overview

Please provide the following:

  1. Program name* 
  2. Program location(s)  
  3. Program dates**
  4. Sponsoring department(s)  
  5. Faculty leader
  6. Support staff (if applicable)

* Refer to your time abroad as a "program" not a "trip" (e.g. "Education Abroad Program in Italy, Summer 2015"). 

** Provide a comprehensive list of cities and countries to be visited including (tentative) dates.  Begin with departure date and conclude with return date.

Section II: Faculty Information and Experience

Please answer/complete the following:

  • Have you lead a study abroad course before?
    • If not, do you plan to conduct a site visit prior to the program departure date?
      • If yes, when?
      • How will this be funded?
  • What experience do you (and your support staff) have leading students off campus, teaching overseas, and speaking the host language?

Section III: Course Information

  • Students are expected to maintain the same academic rigor in courses abroad as they do in courses at Pacific. Therefore, inform students (e.g., in the course syllabus) that expectations are high in terms of contact hours and assessment.  Participation in course-related activities should be required.
  • Courses must be listed in the Academic Catalog  or be taught as special topics.  For information on course proposals see Forms, Procedures and Policies
  • Please note that faculty are only allowed to teach courses for which they are approved.

Please provide the following:

  1. Course number(s)
  2. Course title
  3. Credit hours
  4. Identify whether the course is approved for on-campus instruction or going to be taught off-campus for the first time.  If the course has been taught off campus previously, is it to be taught in the same or a different location?
  5. Specify which degree requirement(s) the course fulfills (e.g., general education, department, diversity, elective, etc.)
  6. Optimal number of students
  1. Course description (no more than 100 words)
  2. (Tentative) course schedule/itinerary
  3. (Preliminary) course syllabus that includes the required course syllabus elements

Section IV: Program Affiliations

  • Provide a brief description of any institutions/agents/organizations with which the program may be affiliated (e.g., third-party program providers, research centers, schools or non-governmental organizations).  Include a summary of the affiliate program (a website address if possible) including relevant background information, accreditations, and academic programs.  Identify counterparts/staff associated with the program that serve as points of contact.

Section V: Risk Management

  • Travel information: Outline travel arrangements and provide contact information for any and all transportation agencies.
  • Living arrangements: Identify where the group will be housed and meal arrangements made, including provisions for food and water safety and accommodations for students with specific dietary needs.  If host families are used, please describe the screening and selection process.
  • Safety: Specify any known health (e.g., communicable diseases) and safety (e.g., high crime rates, kidnappings, etc.) risks present in the area and identify any measures planned to minimize these risks.  The sites maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State located at and respectively may prove helpful.

Section VI: Projected Enrollment

  • Identify the minimum and maximum number of participants.  Although Pacific does not enforce a minimum enrollment policy for faculty-led programs, remember that the number of enrolled students determines the cost born by each program participant.

Section VII : Program Budget

  • Faculty leaders and/or department budget officers must meet with the IPS assistant director to present a detailed program budget accompanied by any supporting documentation.
    • Account for all faculty and support staff expenses in the budget.
    • Include faculty and support staff compensation information.

Note: Should the program run into a budget deficit, the Department and/or School will be responsible for any deficits.

Section VIII: Re-Entry Programming

  • Faculty are encouraged to share their program experiences with the Pacific community.  Examples include photo galleries, displays, exhibits, colloquia, presentations, or even films.  Projects should highlight the program and provide students an opportunity to share their experiences with the campus community.  IPS can provide support and, if available, funding for such events.

Section IX: Application Deadlines

  • Faculty are highly encouraged to submit proposals 8 to 12 months in advance of their planned departure date.  The earlier a program proposal is submitted and approved, the more time can be dedicated to promoting the program.
  • Student applications are submitted through IPS' education abroad website at

Section X: Departmental and Dean Approval Form

  • Print "Appendix A" and obtain the required signature(s).  Should the course will be cross-listed, obtain the signature(s) of the Department Chair and Dean for the school in which the cross-listed course is housed.  

Please submit all application materials to:

Education Abroad

International Programs and Services

(209) 946-2592

Guidelines for Accompanying Adults on Faculty-Led Programs

An adult may accompany the faculty leader of an education abroad program for the duration or significant portion of the program so long as it does not interfere with the leader's duties to students and the program.

Section I: Procedures

When planning to travel with non-essential adults, faculty are to provide written notification to the assistant director of International Programs and Services at  The notification must include the following:

  • Name(s), age(s), relationship(s), and travel dates of the accompanying adult(s);
  • Steps to be taken in order to ensure accompanying adults do not disrupt students' academic and intercultural experience; and a
  • Plan of action should the accompanying adult require emergency medical attention.

IPS, in consultation with relevant University stakeholders, will review the request and render a decision.

Section II: Financial Obligations and Other Arrangements

Accompanying adults are

  1. Responsible for all travel, meal, and onsite expenses;
  2. Not allowed to access program funds;
  3. Allowed to share faculty accommodation, unless there is a per-person cost;
  4. Prohibited from sharing students' accommodations;
  5. Not to affect decisions regarding travel arrangements;
  6. Required to produce evidence of adequate insurance (including medical expenses, evacuation and repatriation for example);
  7. Required to sign Pacific's release form;
  8. Not to assume any program-related responsibilities; and,
  9. Prohibited from participating in medical tourism during the program dates.

About This Policy
Last Updated
Original Issue Date

Responsible Department
Academic Affairs