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Directing a Short-term Program

EDLD 869 Intl Leadership RSA

Directing a Short-term Program

University of St. Thomas faculty members from all academic departments are encouraged to design and propose short-term domestic or international programs. They may either adapt existing courses to take advantage of the unique opportunities of the off-campus locations, or design new experiential courses that integrate intercultural learning as part of their objectives.

Quality short-term off-campus programs are as rigorous as any courses on campus and have clear learning objectives and meaningful assessments. Owing to their experiential nature emphasizing cultural engagement, these programs are often transformative, challenging students personally, socially, physically, and spiritually. Due to their length, they are also very intense. They require Program Directors who are not only enthusiastic about guiding student learning in the inter-cultural context in alignment with the university’s curriculum integration plan, but who are also prepared to spend much more time with students on a daily basis than in most other on- or off-campus teaching scenarios, and to provide them some of the support that typically comes from other campus units, institutions, or individuals, in addition to taking on a number of administrative duties.

Despite the challenges that exist, however, faculty members often find directing short-term off-campus programs to be very rewarding. Benefits to them include opportunities to share their academic expertise with students within engaging and impactful experiences, to develop their teaching while being able to utilize methods of instruction typically not allowed in a traditional classroom setting, and to establish contacts in other parts of the world to utilize in their future research and other professional endeavors.

A typical short-term off-campus program is led by two Program Directors. At least one Program Director who is a faculty member is responsible for the program’s academic content, and may co-teach with a second faculty Program Director. Faculty or staff member Program Directors who do not teach but provide support to the rest of the group are called Assistant Directors.

Proposing a January term program
Proposing a spring semester-embedded or summer program
Developing a program after approval