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[Major revision–posted 6/5/18 (replaces 12/12/13 edition)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 34.26: Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs

DATE: June 5, 2018

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to enable more students to participate in TTU faculty-led study abroad programs by ensuring that those programs are:

1.    Student-centered;

2.    In conformity with standards of safety and responsibility in study abroad as established by recognized international education professional organizations (e.g., NAFSA: Association for International Educators and the Forum on Education Abroad), the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Administrative Code, and TTU operating policies and procedures; and

3.    Operated by all TTU academic units in a manner that meets certain operation and program standards.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in December of odd-numbered years by the Office of International Affairs (OIA) with coordination by the Vice Provost for International Affairs (VPIA), Office of the General Counsel, and the International Affairs Council.

POLICY/PROCEDURE

This OP is an outline of procedures for faculty-led programs at TTU. There is an accompanying Handbook which contains the details of these procedures on the Study Abroad website.

1.  Establishment of Departmental Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs

a.    Faculty interested in establishing a new program must review the Study Abroad website and meet with the Faculty-led Program Administrator no later than the deadline established in the Handbook for Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs (Handbook). Faculty in the Rawls College of Business should meet with the appropriate person in the Center for Global Engagement. Faculty in the Whitacre College of Engineering should meet with the appropriate person in the International Engineering Program Office. All other faculty should meet with the Faculty-led Program Administrator in the TTU Study Abroad Office after ascertaining the internal process, if any, in their respective college(s). Responsibilities, including submission of the program proposal, are further defined in the Handbook

b.    Continuation of programs that have existed in previous years should be confirmed for the current year by the faculty member, along with the department chair, and the College Dean. Proposed programs must meet Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board standards. Details on how to confirm the continuation of an existing program are provided in the Handbook.

c.    It is recommended that faculty use a third-party provider to organize the logistics of the program. Faculty with no experience in the host country are required to use a third-party provider. See the Handbook for details

d.    According to OP 32.01, Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures, leading students on studies abroad may be considered a contribution to teaching.

e.    TTU Study Abroad and the OIA responsibilities are defined in the Handbook and include, but are not limited to, meeting with faculty to ensure compliance with all procedures required by Texas Tech University and the State of Texas.

2.  Responsibilities Prior to Departure

a.    Faculty responsibilities prior to departure include, but are not limited to, working with the appropriate international office (RCOBA, WCOE, or TTU Study Abroad) to establish a budget; submitting forms; attending seminars and workshops; preparing for emergency situations; providing a site-specific orientation; and recruiting and maintaining an appropriate student/faculty ratio as prescribed in the Handbook.

b.    TTU Study Abroad and the OIA responsibilities prior to departure include, but are not limited to, establishing accounts and managing funds for all faculty-led programs; facilitating the application process; providing students with information on emergency and liability forms and insurance; conducting pre-departure orientation sessions; billing students for the deposits and program fees; and notifying on-campus offices of students' intent to study abroad.

 3.  Responsibilities During the Program

a.    Faculty responsibilities during the program include, but are not limited to, arriving with students or being on location in advance of their arrival, remaining on location for the duration of the program, and behaving in a manner that conforms to TTU policies (see OP 32.04, Conduct of University Faculty) and is consistent with local law and custom.

b.    All TTU faculty taking students abroad must have a cell phone with which to communicate with the OIA during the program or have an alternate method of communication in locations where cell phone coverage is not available.

c.    Faculty are responsible for establishing acceptable behavioral norms for students participating in their programs that are consistent with the TTU Code of Student Conduct and local law and custom. Faculty responsibilities are further defined in the Handbook.

d.    TTU Study Abroad and the OIA responsibilities include, but are not limited to, responding to emergency situations and supporting faculty with advice and resources to address non-emergency issues that may arise. TTU Study Abroad is the point of initial contact for any emergency that occurs during a program. TTU Study Abroad, the OIA, and faculty responsibilities regarding emergencies are defined in the Handbook

4.  Upon Return

a.    Faculty are responsible for reconciling their account according to OP 79.07, Travel Advances, and as defined in the Handbook and for meeting with the appropriate international office to evaluate their program. They are also responsible for reporting any incidents which need to be included in the TTU reporting regarding the Clery Act.

b.    Responsibilities of TTU Study Abroad and the OIA are defined in the Handbook.

c.    If excess funds accumulate in the program account, the excess will be returned to the student participants depending on the amount of funds available after the accounts have been reconciled annually. If the excess is $50 per student or higher, the monies will be returned to the students. Any amount below $50 per student will be retained by the OIA for use and support of faculty-led program administration. Faculty leaders should strive to create a program budget which is reflective of anticipated expenses while keeping affordability in mind.

5.  Faculty Accompanied by Spouse/Family

Faculty wishing to have family members accompany them on a program must comply with the guidelines established in the Handbook.

6.  Visitors to Faculty-Led Programs

Due to the intensive nature of a faculty-led program, faculty and students should not have visitors. Exceptions to this policy would be Texas Tech University administration (chair, dean, provost, etc.) who may wish to observe the program. Other visitors should not expect to be accommodated during the program.

7.  Insurance

a.    Faculty taking programs to the TTU Center in Sevilla are covered by a Spanish insurance policy. Faculty in all other faculty-led programs are covered by a comprehensive group insurance policy while leading TTU students on a faculty-led program. See the Handbook for current information regarding these policies. Additionally, faculty at the TTU Center in Sevilla are required to purchase the International Teacher ID Card (ITIC).

b.    All student participants will have health and accident and emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance coverage. Students at the TTU Center in Sevilla are covered by a Spanish policy; the cost for the insurance is included in the programs' fees. All other students participating in TTU faculty led programs are covered by a comprehensive group insurance policy. Study Abroad staff will enroll the students and bill the students' Student Business Services accounts for the charge. This coverage will be for the duration of the faculty-led program. See the Handbook for current information regarding these policies.

c.    Additionally, students at the TTU Center Seville are required to purchase the International Student ID Card (ISIC); students on other faculty-led programs are encouraged but not required to purchase the ISIC card.

8.  Alcohol

In accordance with Texas Tech policy, TTU funds may not be used to purchase alcohol. Faculty and students of legal age in the study abroad location may purchase and consume alcohol with their own funds. Faculty may not purchase alcohol for students.

9.  Per Diem

Per diem for meals and incidental expenses for faculty taking students abroad is based on the U.S. Department of State Meals and Incidental Expenses Allowance. Details about the per diem rate may be found in the Handbook

10.  Safety and Security

a.    The decision to cancel a TTU program for any period of time can have serious consequences, and should be considered carefully in view of how the cancellation will affect other TTU international programs. The Director of Study Abroad and the VPIA must be consulted in the decision to cancel a program. See OP 34.20, Study Abroad Programs, for procedures.

b.    Faculty leaders must notify TTU Study Abroad immediately when any type of emergency occurs, as TTU Study Abroad and the OIA are responsible for coordinating the response to emergency situations.

11.  Evaluations

a.    To better serve Texas Tech students, each program should provide an opportunity for students to evaluate the program in terms of content, location, excursions, value for money spent, etc. The Study Abroad Office will provide a voluntary evaluation within the online student application system. The results of the voluntary student evaluation will be shared with the faculty leader(s) following the completion of the program. Despite the Study Abroad Office's inclusion of an evaluation, the faculty leader(s) should also consider implementing an evaluation process to gather feedback which should be used to inform future programmatic decisions.

b.    Faculty will be given the opportunity to evaluate the program itself, the support provided by TTU Study Abroad, and the OIA, third-party providers, or the TTU Center in Sevilla and offer suggestions for future changes

Operating Policies & Procedures