Faculty and Staff Study Abroad Opportunities

Guidance on Leading Trips

Faculty members are invited to propose leading short-term study trips and service learning trips abroad and in the United States. WVC Study Abroad Program is committed to supporting each chosen proposal, and to providing scholarships to a limited number of the students who participate in the trip.

Information to Consider when Composing a Proposal

Organizing and leading a trip for colleagues or students, abroad or in the States, is an opportuntiy to practice experiential learning activities, to broaden social responsibility, and to engage in global issues across disciplines. Study Abroad helps faculty members to better understand how to explore local and global concerns, how to engage students with real-world problems and solutions, and how to advance ethical integrative thinking, teamwork, and service.

Educational trips and service learning projects provide professional development opportunities and motivation for faculty members who want to stay current with their disciplines, to collaborate with one another, and to learn to weave important concepts rooted in global citizenship, social justice, equity, and cultural competency.

Following are reminders and guidelines for composing proposals to lead successful trips:

  1. Successful educational trips and service learning projects are characterized by these core principles:
      1. They are safe and structured so that all students can focus on learning and expanding their experiences.
      2. They are affordable and accessible to a broad range of students.
      3. They are enriching and challenging opportunities for all participants in the trip.
      4. They prompt deep understanding of the content of the course/s linked with the trip, of the specific destinations, and of the people and cultures in those destinations.
  2. Faculty members are encouraged to lead trips that include teaching transferable general education courses (since that way faculty members are loaded and remunerated).
      1. But trips may be scheduled without them being linked to a course/s (such as in the case of concert tours), and courses don't always have to be GE transferable.
      2. If a faculty member wants to organize a trip without being loaded/without teaching a class and wants Study Abroad Program to provide scholarships for participating students, clarify that in the proposal.
  3. Faculty members are advised to follow established procedures for scheduling courses, and to work with their Department and Division Chairs, as well as seek the support of colleagues in their departments.
  4. Faculty members scheduled to teach a course as Study Abroad may consider that course as part of their contractual load or as an overload (in which case it is important to review the union contract).
  5. Faculty members have the option to schedule the class as strictly Study Abroad (in which case enrollment has to be discussed with the faculty member’s Department Chair, Division Chair, the Office of Instruction, and sometimes PGC; Study Abroad Program offers guidance in this process), or online with its regular enrollment minimum and cap (in which case alternative assignments must be included for students who do not participate in the trip).
  6. Courses need to be listed in the schedule of classes and a basic description of the Study Abroad component must be included (for example: specific dates and times for pre-departure and post-return meetings on campus, emphases of the courses, if any, dates of travel, price of trip, and contact information). For further guidance on composing the specific notation for the schedule of classes, contact SAP.
      1. Faculty members may “front-load” the contact hours during the pre-departure meetings scheduled face-to-face or online. And you may dedicate contact hours for post-return meetings.
      2. Contact hours cannot be awarded for a visit or a tour unless those activities include a lecture, discussion, and instructional activity.
      3. The total number of contact hours awarded per course must meet the minimum number of hours of the course of record. Typically, 1 credit requires at least 18 hours of classroom or other supervised instruction.
  7. Faculty members are expected to follow the COR just as if they were teaching on campus or online. This includes meeting contact hours, delivering all instruction, homework, evaluating work, and issuing grades.
      1. However, while leading a trip, faculty members are also expected to participate in all scheduled activities for the duration of the trip, to provide leadership and mentorship to students, and to guide them in making sure that all WVC policies are followed.
  8. Faculty members are reminded that students are expected to adhere to all established WVMCCD policies, procedures, and codes of behavior.
      1. Students are required to sign a contract detailing those policies, procedures and codes of behavior.
  9. Faculty members are encouraged to collaborate and to create interdisciplinary learning communities. Teams of two or three faculty members, each teaching one course, are ideal. That lowers the cost of the trip for everyone.
      1. Faculty members are also encouraged to collaborate with colleagues in other community colleges and universities.
  10. Faculty members are highly encouraged to work with long-established providers/organizations such as EF College Study Tours, GEEO, CIEE, and other WVC approved vendors, because they set up the scaffold (the logistics and international travel medical insurance) for the trip, which then allows the faculty members to focus on teaching and enjoying the trip.
  11. Organizing a trip without the support of a provider is onerous, more expensive, and presents problems with liability. But, if the faculty member wants to organize a trip without the support of a provider, it is certainly possible. Study Abroad Program can provide support and guidance.
      1. If the faculty member wants to organize a trip without a provider and wants Study Abroad Program to provide scholarships for participating students, clarify that in the proposal.
      2. In such a case, faculty members and students still have to complete and sign medical and other release forms.
  12. All faculty member/s and students participating in trips are asked to complete medical and other release forms. Study Abroad Program will work with the faculty members in tailoring these forms to the specific needs of their particular trips.
  13. At this time, all faculty members are responsible for securing and paying the fees for their own passports and other documents required to travel, personal expenses, and immunizations.
  14. Faculty members may consult their doctors and/or seek information about immunizations at the WVC Health Center, health resources in Santa Clara County, and the Center for Disease Control.
  15. The completed proposal to lead a trip must be submitted to study.abroad@westvalley.edu.
  16. Once the proposal is reviewed by the Study Abroad Advisory Council, the faculty member/s will be contacted and follow-up/guidance will be provided by Study Abroad Program.

Proposal Form

Study Abroad Program Faculty Proposal to Lead a Trip

Download the fillable PDF proposal form  (144 KB)

Please submit your proposals ASAP but by 5:00 PM on 1 August 2017.

last published: 5/10/17