A May Term Study Experience (MTSE) is a 4-credit course that is taught almost entirely off-campus, usually abroad, that fulfills the Engaging the World (WCore) experience for Westminster undergraduates. Proposals to teach an MTSE are due approximately 15 months in advance and must be reviewed by the International Council and approved by the academic deans and provost. The course must fulfill the global learning outcomes per the Engaging the World requirement. The Office for Global Engagement provides administrative support, training, and risk management oversight for MTSEs.
This chart explains the difference between a May Term Study Experience and an on-campus May Term class with a field trip component.
|May Term Study Experience||May Term Class with Field Trip|
|4 credits||2–4 credits|
|Must fulfill Engaging the World (WCore)||Does not fulfill Engaging the World (WCore) |
|International or domestic travel||Domestic travel only|
|Recommended by International Council, approved by deans and provost||Approved by individual school and academic dean|
|Administrative support provided by Office for Global Engagement||Supported by relevant school|
Who Can Teach/Lead
Because of the additional responsibilities that come with teaching a course with an educational travel component, these study experiences are team taught by full-time employees of Westminster College. Full-time faculty members are given priority as faculty leaders. In addition to full-time faculty, full-time salaried staff members with at least a master's degree and college-level teaching experience may teach study experience courses with permission of their supervisor and the dean of the related school. In most cases, staff are leaders because their expertise provides a special learning value to the course. In some cases, staff will be leaders if their presence is essential to ensuring that the program occurs. Administrators may teach or lead, but this will be only if their expertise or presence is essential for ensuring that the program occurs.
Team teaching possibilities include the following:
- 2 full-time faculty members (preferred)
- 1 full-time faculty member (leader) and 1 qualified salaried staff member
- 2 qualified salaried staff members, both of whom already have experience teaching at Westminster College
- 1 full-time faculty member and 1 associate faculty/adjunct
Faculty and Staff Compensation
Full-time faculty are paid as they would be paid for any May Term or summer semester course—either as part of their usual load or as overload. Staff will be paid overload at the adjunct instructor rate; their regular salary will not be altered during the study experience. Adjuncts are paid according to the scale that would be used if they taught a regular 4-credit course. Faculty and staff trip leaders’ expenses, including airfare, lodging, meal expenses, in-country transportation (taxi, bus, etc.), international health insurance, and program-related entrance fees and phone charges, are covered by the participant fee.
Impact of Faculty Leave on MTSE
Faculty who are scheduled to be on leave during part or all of the year preceding the MTSE should carefully consider the amount of time and work that must be completed on campus to recruit and prepare for a successful MTSE. Any faculty person who will be on leave should not be the lead planner and should partner with full-time faculty co-leader(s) who are willing to assume additional responsibilities for planning and recruitment. All faculty leaders will be required to attend mandatory training and/or meetings either in-person or remotely, even if they are on leave.
All May Term Study Experiences (MTSE) must have at least 15 undergraduate students enrolled for credit and no more than 30 people (guests and students) enrolled. As the number of enrolled students increases, so does the number of faculty/staff leaders required to teach the course.
- MTSEs need at least 15 students enrolled for credit and 2 faculty/staff leaders.
- When enrollment of students registered for credit reaches 23, a third faculty/staff leader could be added.
- When enrollment of students registered for credit is 26–30, a third faculty/staff leader must be added.
Faculty Leader Guests
Guests, including children of faculty/staff leaders, may participate in the Study Experience but must not disrupt the program. Faculty may occasionally wish to have family members (partners, children, etc.) accompany them on a study experience. While students often benefit from the personal dimensions of interactions with family members, Westminster College cannot financially support the participation of those family members in any way.
The faculty/staff member must cover travel costs and living expenses as well as additional expenses related to any program activities (e.g., tickets to cultural events, museums, films, theatre, meals, additional housing costs, public transportation, etc.).
While their occasional participation in cultural events is permitted, family members cannot represent Westminster College in any official capacity. They should also not participate in program activities orientations, class lectures, etc. if their participation might intrude in any way on the pedagogical outcomes of the program.
In addition, faculty must provide an adult caretaker for dependents under the age of 18. All family members must sign legal forms and obtain international health insurance prior to the start of the study experience.
Faculty/staff leaders must request approval from the Office for Global Engagement, their Academic Dean, and the Provost if they intend to bring along a guest or guests.
Students are not permitted to bring a minor under 18 on any Westminster College study experience.