Guidelines for Developing Programs

Approved by IEAC on 3/15/2018

The following guidelines apply to all University of Arkansas (UA) faculty proposing to lead a credit bearing program outside of the United States. The policies and procedures below have been approved by the International Education Advisory Council (IEAC) and endorsed by the individual colleges/schools.

Faculty should first

  • Consider your area(s) of academic expertise and knowledge of intended country destination to be able to create and justify an engaging study abroad offering;
  • Consider potential program locations carefully, being sure to review all country information and travel advisories provide by the U.S. State Department.
  • Consult with the appropriate college dean or office responsible for approving study abroad programs. Be aware of your college’s strategic priorities for study abroad to determine if your background and experience qualifies you to be considered for a program.
  • Discuss plans to propose a study abroad program with your department curriculum committee to determine if the program fits the curriculum and needs of the department and its students.
  • Discuss plans to propose a study abroad program with your department head to determine if the investment of time and resources will be acknowledged and supported by the dept.;
  • Consider the personal commitment of time to be away from family for the duration of the study abroad program. (Refer to "Companion Policy.")
  • Consider what program model would be most appropriate for delivering the desirable academic and experiential content you envision;
  • Consider what year and term you would want to lead the program for the first time (need 18-24 months lead time); and which fits the curriculum and the audience of students you intend to serve
  • Review all guidelines for proposing a short-term faculty led program and follow up with your college IEAC representative and the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange to address any preliminary questions or concerns.

The selected term, intended program itinerary, and total contact hours awarded will determine the number of course credit hours that may be awarded for a study abroad program.

While the colleges have ultimate authority over approving the content and rigor of the proposed course(s), the IEAC has set standards for the overall study abroad program itinerary.

Study Abroad programs are expected to adhere to the same standards as any class taught on campus: (refer to ADHE guidelines in Academic Policy Series……):

  • 1 semester credit for each 12.5 class hours of lecture
  • 1 semester credit for 37.5 hours for experiential learning, internships or international service learning*

*Colleges may establish higher standards for the courses they approve to be offered in a study abroad program.

A study abroad program that intends to offer 3 credits must include a minimum of 10 days in country, excluding travel, and a minimum of 4 hrs. of on-campus pre-departure orientation.

An international travel program organized for less than 10 days in country should be developed either as a non-credit experience or as an embedded component of an on-campus semester course.

The program itinerary must include excursions, lectures and cultural activities that take full advantage of the host culture. Free time should be notated as such and does not count as part of the course contact hours.


  • A full 3 credit hr. intersession class may be taught on-campus in preparation for another 3 credit-hour class that would be delivered in-country in the adjacent term. The program could still be marketed as a 6 credit-hour study abroad program.
  • A 6 credit-hour summer session study abroad program could include a combination of on-campus and in-country delivery, provided that the time in country is more than 50% of the 75 classroom contact hours expected (see credit standards above).
  • A spring break trip will not qualify for academic credit on its own, but it can be included as an embedded part of the on-campus course. Proposals for embedded international travel programs are subject to the same guidelines as a credit bearing study abroad program and must be administered through the Office of Study Abroad.
Salary compensation is based on the courses taught and normally does not take into account the planning and preparation, student recruitment, nor the expectation that the faculty must be available 24 hours per day, every day for the duration of program travel.

For courses taught during intersessions or summer sessions, compensation will be provided by the college’s summer school salary and requires approval with the understanding that the minimum enrollment and projected tuition is intended to cover the anticipated salary, unless otherwise pre-negotiated with the college dean’s office.

  • For every 3 credit-hour course taught during the intersession or summer sessions, the named instructor of record, assuming a 9-month appointment, is provided 7.5% of his/her annual salary + benefits during the term when the study abroad program is offered, and assuming the course meets the pre-determined minimum enrollment.
  • A secondary instructor of record either will not be compensated or the two instructors will each receive 3.75% during the term when the student abroad program is offered, unless otherwise negotiated with the faculty’s department chair and dean’s office.
  • A maximum of 15% of the annual salary will be paid if the instructor of record teaches 6 credit hours and each course meets minimum enrollment.
  • Faculty or staff on 12-month appointments do not receive additional compensation for teaching on a study abroad program.

Faculty teaching abroad for a program longer than 5 weeks and teaching more than 6 hrs. must negotiate appropriate compensation with their dept. chair and college dean well in advance of program confirmation. If the pre-determined minimum enrollment is not met by an established deadline, the program either will be cancelled, or the faculty may be offered the option to take a reduced salary as negotiated with the department chair and the dean’s office.

For risk management purposes, it is generally expected that the study abroad program will budget for one primary faculty leader and a second faculty or staff member who may or may not have teaching responsibilities.

Faculty who offer programs and travel with students but will not actually serve as instructor of record for any courses typically do not receive salary compensation. However, in the absence of any projected tuition (i.e. when credit is awarded by a partner institution,) faculty who stay in country with students as full-time support for 4 weeks or more are eligible to request compensation up to 7.5% to be paid directly out of program fees, but only with the approval of the departmental chair and dean’s office.

Direct travel costs and living expenses for approved faculty (and staff) co-leaders will be prorated into student program fees for the program.

  • Costs to be covered include round trip airfare; visa; lodging (single accommodation); meals (standardized meal allowance provided); study abroad insurance; in-country transportation and excursions included in the program itinerary; and a pre-approved international cell phone/data plan to be added to faculty’s current cell phone. Hotel internet fees may be included in the cost of faculty lodging, provided these fees are included in the confirmed program fee.
  • Faculty leaders are responsible for passport; vaccinations/medications required or recommended; any additional transportation and parking; and any personal expenses not required to meet expectations of the program.

A course/program proposal must be approved through regular departmental and college procedures, and the course proposal should be reviewed by departmental/program curriculum committee and must be approved by the department/unit chair and dean’s office prior to submission.

The Proposal to Offer a Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program to be submitted into the Hogs Abroad portal and reviewed by the International Education Advisory Council (IEAC) will require the faculty leaders to submit course syllabi and program outline, and to articulate overall program learning objectives and outcomes that relate both to the content of the course and to the location where the course(s) will be taught.

For guidelines on developing a course syllabus, please refer to the Teaching and Faculty Support Center Syllabus Workshops. Course syllabi should follow any additional departmental or college guidelines.

The learning outcomes must incorporate the full program itinerary, specifically connecting the lectures, excursions, cultural activities, and involvement with locals to those outcomes.

The faculty leader’s sponsoring college may have additional criteria for evaluating the appropriateness of the courses and overall program proposal in meeting the college’s priorities.

Faculty must justify any intentions to offer Honors credit as part of the college course approval and program Proposal that is reviewed by the IEAC. Honors courses or Honors sections should go through standard departmental and college honors course evaluation and approvals.

Interdisciplinary programs are encouraged but they ideally would be sponsored by a "lead" college. Courses with cross-college credit, and/or with faculty/instructors from one or more colleges must be approved by the faculty co-leader’s departments and dean’s offices. The program’s lead college must be willing to assume responsibility for any unintended/unplanned surpluses or deficits at the end of a program, even though the cost centers will reside in the Graduate School and International Education (GSIE)., faculty are encouraged to invite co-leaders from other departments or colleges who could contribute to a successful academic experience and attract students from other majors.

Proposals for jointly sponsored colleges should include a supporting letter of cooperation articulating the roles, responsibilities and fiscal commitments of each college.

In the case that faculty co-leaders are from different colleges, each must secure the support of their dean and meet all deadlines and requirements developed by their college for study abroad program approval; approval letters from both units are required.

Programs that are developed in order to rotate faculty among a variety of disciplines across colleges (i.e. international service learning programs) may be sponsored under the Graduate School and International Education. In these cases, GSIE will assume responsibility for any unintended/unplanned surpluses or deficits at the end of the program.

The University of Arkansas Rome Center provides opportunities for faculty to teach and/or conduct research throughout the year. UARC courses catalogs are decided up to 2 years in advance in order to attract students who need to know how credit will apply to their degree. Refer to "Guidelines for Teaching Opportunities at the University of Arkansas Rome Center."

Any new faculty led study abroad programs must be run in cooperation with a partner institution or program provider that meets the expectations for good fiscal and risk management as recognized by the IEAC. 24 hour emergency response must be available in-country for the duration of the program.

Faculty interested in developing a study abroad program should consult with the Office of Study Abroad early on to identify potential program providers who may already have an established relationship with the UA and would therefore require less review.

All contracts for travel arrangements and services must be negotiated through the Office of Study Abroad and approved by the UA Business Affairs Office. This process can take several months.

All program fees charged to UA students must be approved by the Board of Trustees are expected to be cost neutral. In the case of study abroad programs, the Board has designated the UA System Office to review and approve all related proposed fees.

Program fees must be submitted to central administration 6 months prior to intended program start date. Therefore, program budgets must be developed far in advance.

Some colleges may allow faculty to conduct a planning trip ahead of the program. With the approval of the dean, the program budget may include a line item for "planning trip" or the college may provide another source of funding in order to keep the proposed student program fee as low as possible.

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