Study Abroad Program Proposal Process
The Study Abroad Office & Principia Abroad Advisory Committee (PAAC) invite full-time, continuing Principia faculty to submit a study abroad or domestic field program pre-proposal for Academic Year (AY) 2025-2026 programs.
See below for additional resources.
Due Dates - AY 2023-24
- Tuesday, November 28, 2023 by 12:00 p.m. – Pre-Proposals are due the Tuesday after Thanksgiving break. You will receive feedback on your proposal prior to Christmas.
- Wednesday, January 31, 2024 by 12:00 p.m. – Final Proposals are due Wednesday of Week 2.
Principia Study Abroad and Field Programs provide transformational learning opportunities, through international and domestic off-campus study programs, which foster the development of interculturally competent, outward-looking, inspired learners in order to prepare students to engage in and contribute to a diverse world.
Selection criteria for off-campus programs can be envisioned in three layers: the institutional context, the program context, and the two-year planning context. Members of the Principia Abroad Advisory Committee (PAAC) will endeavor to evaluate each proposal and make recommendations for approval based on these criteria.
Principia’s Study Abroad program is anchored in our institutional vision statement, which proclaims, “Through transformative opportunities, a challenging curriculum, and character education based on the teachings of Christian Science, we examine, test, and strengthen our faith while developing the skills and understanding requisite for excellence. As global, outward-looking, inspired learners, we serve and better the world.” This statement supports the study abroad and field programs’ emphasis on cultivating an international perspective and developing intercultural competence and multicultural professionalism. Our programming also intentionally supports Principia’s aim to “nurture success beyond Principia.” Building on these foundational elements, study abroad and field programs are designed and approved to support a liberal arts education, with the following in mind: intercultural competence, multicultural professional development, global citizenship, spiritual growth, character education, and contextual learning.
A. Principia Study Abroad and Field Programs: Departmental Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate Intercultural Competence
Students who participate in a study abroad or field program should exhibit intercultural competence characterized by understanding, appreciating, and respecting another culture. Sensitivity to the cultural context will develop as students 1) learn about another culture, 2) make reflective comparisons with their own culture, 3) develop an ability to navigate within the new culture, and 4) return with a desire to enrich their own culture. In this process, students will break down stereotypes, become more open-minded, and develop intercultural communication skills and perspectives.
- Demonstrate Multicultural Professional Development
Students who participate in a study abroad or field program will formulate ideas and exhibit behaviors that cultivate teamwork, critical thought, and communication skills needed to function in a diverse workforce and global community. Students will demonstrate techniques and utilize tools to appropriately articulate and leverage their study abroad experience in a professional context, for the benefit of professional pursuits.
In addition to the Departmental Learning Outcomes, the Study Abroad and Field Programs focus on four program components, which should be intentionally acknowledged and integrated into each program. These program components are not assessed.
B. Principia Study Abroad and Field Program: Integrated Program Components:
- Global Citizenship
Students who participate in a study abroad or field program should gain a better understanding of the global context as 1) exhibited in a broader worldview, an awareness of world conditions, and global trends; 2) knowledge of global interdependence and their place in it; and 3) an understanding of how they and their own society might be viewed from other vantage points.
Students will develop global citizenship in understanding of their individual relationship and responsibility to something bigger than him/herself, whether that is the program group of students and staff, the local host country, and/or the world.
- Spiritual Focus
Students who participate in a study abroad or field program should experience opportunities for spiritual engagement, characterized by applying a productive spiritual practice to issues that arise on the program and throughout the study abroad experience. Spiritual engagement opportunities should be accessible to all faith practices. Students should also recognize their role as global citizens and strive to actively and humbly engage with local and global communities to bring love and healing.
- Character Development
Students who participate in a study abroad or field program should experience opportunity for character growth by developing confidence and self-reliance; tolerance for ambiguity and growth in appreciation of diversity; independence and flexibility; self-knowledge, reflection, and a re-evaluation of personal views; compassion, empathy, humility, moral courage, and the ability to support and nurture the needs of a group.
- Contextual Learning
Students who participate in a study abroad or field program should develop an ability to learn and study outside of the traditional classroom setting. This contextual learning includes field studies, primary research, internships, and experiential learning. It should also include sufficient opportunities to reflect, process, and make connections between experiences. Students also engage in contextual learning by studying the local host country through an interdisciplinary lens—geography, language, religion, social issues, politics, economics, literature, etc.
PAAC endeavors to select and provide a menu of programs with a diversity of geographical locations, cultural contexts, academic disciplines, and program faculty. The Committee’s review and recommendation process includes looking at these elements holistically within each proposal cycle, as well as considering surrounding years’ program offerings. In recommending program selections, PAAC is also responsible for considering and addressing the Study Abroad department’s annual budget parameters.
For full program proposal requirements, please see the Study Abroad & Field Program Final Proposal application. Below are some questions that PAAC considers when reviewing proposals:
- Is the proposed program well designed?
- Does the program articulate why the study abroad location(s) is relevant and necessary to accomplish the learning goals of this program?
- Does the program reflect an interdisciplinary curricular balance?
- Does the program balance academic rigor, experiential learning, group development, and individual growth?
- Does the program’s design speak to the best practices of off-campus learning, particularly the need for reflection and processing time?
- Is the program sensible in terms of staffing, timing, duration, and costs?
- Will the program appeal to enough students?
- Does the program, even if rooted in a specific discipline, realistically appeal to and allow for qualified students from any academic discipline?
Based on these themes, programs that move students from being passive tourists to active travelers and global thinkers—from a superficial exposure to a culture to a deeper understanding of and engagement with that culture, including its history, geography, and cultural issues—are decidedly preferred. A final point involves the willingness and readiness of the proposed program staff to embrace the complete scope of responsibilities associated with off-campus programming, including academics, social and personal development, group dynamics, and spiritual engagement.
PAAC considers proposals from full-time, continuing faculty within a minimum two-year cycle. The two-year cycle supports Study Abroad Office staffing and resources faculty’s on-campus Division and Department responsibilities and obligations.
PAAC prioritizes selection of full-semester program proposals, with the College Administration’s parameter that only one (1) full-semester program may be selected per academic term (fall and spring semesters).
This document is also located on the Academic Dean’s website: Faculty Resources/Abroads
Support from PAAC and Study Abroad Office
Please feel free to be in contact with the Study Abroad Office or your PAAC Division representative if you have any questions.
PAAC Committee Membership
- Stephanie Lovseth (Study Abroad Director) (CHAIR)
- Sarah Andrews (SSCI)
- Chrissy McAllister (MNS)
- Annabelle Marquez (At-Large, International Focus)
- Sara Borja (CAC)
- Kim Davis (HUM)
- Allison Terry, Study Abroad Program Manager
- Mary Jane Hoff, Study Abroad Program Manager
- Erin Rainwater, Student Life