Global Learning

Resources for Faculty and Staff

Westminster faculty and staff are invited to contact the staff of the International Center with questions, concerns, and comments related to the comprehensive internationalization of the College.

Types of Study Experiences
May Term Study Experience (MTSE)

A May Term Study Experience is a 4-credit course that is taught almost entirely off-campus, usually abroad that fulfills the Engaging the World experience for Westminster undergraduates. Proposals to teach and lean a MTSE are due 15 months in advance and must be approved by the International Council, Academic Deans, and Provost, and the course must fulfill the global learning outcomes per the Engaging the World requirement. The International Center 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 credits
Must fulfill Engaging the World Does not fulfill Engaging the World
International or domestic travel Domestic travel only
Approved by International Council, Deans, Provost Approved by individual school and academic dean
Administrative support provided by International Center Supported by relevant school
Summer International Service Learning (SISL)

Summer International Service Learning (SISL) experiences are based on strategic partnerships or initiatives necessitating a long-term commitment on behalf of the College. SISL is a credit-bearing class taught during the summer that includes a minimum ten hours of service per week of international travel (i.e. a 13 day trip would include 20 hours of service). To be designated as SISL, there must be demonstrated reciprocity between the community served and that of the university or college, and their relationship is built on mutual respect and esteem. The service must be truly useful to the community or agency (level of usefulness as determined by the agency or community.)

There should be a clear connection between the disciplinary program and the service. Emphasis of the College-wide Learning Goals should be a part of the course, and there must be opportunity for personal reflection on the meaning of the experience in relation to the student’s values and life decisions is built into the course in a structured way.

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 international study experience courses. 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.

  • Two full-time faculty members (preferred).
  • One full-time faculty member (leader) and one qualified staff member.
  • Two qualified staff members, both of whom already have experience teaching at Westminster College.
  • One full-time faculty member and one associate faculty/adjunct.
Faculty and Staff Compensation

Full-time faculty are paid as they would be paid for any May Term or Summer Term 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. All 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 (or should be) included in the participant fee.

Enrollment Requirements

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.

All Summer International Service Learning (SISL) must have at least 10 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.

  • All SISLs need at least 10 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.
Family Members or Children Guests

Guests, including children of faculty/staff leaders, may participate in the Study Experience but must not disrupt the program. Faculty occasionally may 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—for instance, the difference between a one and two bedroom, 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 the international health insurance prior to the start of the study experience. Faculty/staff leaders must notify the International Center and your Academic Dean if you intend to or are contemplating bringing along a guest or guests. No students may bring a minor under 18 on any Westminster College Study Experience.

Travel Window

2017 MTSE group flights may depart the U.S. no earlier than Sunday, May 14, 2017 and must return no later than Sunday, June 11, 2017. Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

A SISL can be scheduled anytime during May Term and/or the Summer Term as long as the international component does not conflict with Commencement. If the travel is scheduled in Summer Term, the group flight needs to return no later Wednesday, August 17, 2017.

Instructions for Submitting a 2018 MTSE Proposal

Anyone who is considering submitting a proposal is strongly encouraged to attend an MTSE Proposal Workshop.  Those will be listed here when available.

If you are considering travel to a destination subject to a current U.S. Department of State Travel Warning, you must submit a Travel Warning Petition to Sara Demko by Friday, February 17, 2017.  A committee will review the information for health and safety concerns and decide whether the proposal can move forward.

Review Current Travel Warnings

2018 MTSE Proposal Guidelines & Instructions
2018 MTSE Proposal Form
2018 MTSE Engaging the World Form
2018 MTSE Signature Page (faculty leaders) 
2018 MTSE Signature Page (staff leaders) 

As part of Westminster College's commitment to global learning, the College seeks to maintain a small number of high quality strategic partnerships with international universities and organizations.

Institutional Priorities

All potential partnerships will be evaluated by the International Council in collaboration with the Provost based on the following criteria.

  • International partnerships should align with the mission, including the academic, scholarly/creative activities, and service priorities of Westminster College.
  • Partnerships should demonstrate the potential to engage students, faculty, and staff in initiatives that advance global learning, internationalization of the curriculum, collaborative scholarly/creative activities, and/or outreach and service that addresses global issues and needs.
  • There should be evidence of institutional quality, including, for example, reputation, international ranking, and accreditation status.
  • Cost, feasibility, and sustainability of proposed activities.
  • Possible risks to students, faculty members, the College, and university stakeholders including, but not limited to, legal and financial risks, threats to safety and security, reputation, etc.
  • There should be significant and sustainable mutual benefit. This does not necessarily need to be reciprocal (as with student exchanges), but all parties must derive benefits in the partnership.
Types of International Agreements
Letter of Intent
  • A non-binding statement that acknowledges the intent to explore the possibility of collaboration
  • Letters of Intent are appropriate when a new project is being initiated, upon first meeting new international partners, or in connection with a one-time project.
Non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
  • A general statement that lists areas of possible join activities to acknowledge a formal, ongoing and strategic relationship between institutions that is intended to be long-term without creating financial obligations or committing resources.
  • Should be explicitly non-binding and does not allow for commitment of College funds, staff, facilities, or other college resources.
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)
  • A formal contract that details the terms and conditions of specific forms of collaboration and are both legal and binding on both parties.
  • Necessary whenever there is a commitment of College funds, staff, facilities, or other college resources.
  • This could include: International student and faculty exchange, joint research, collaborative degree programs.
Proposal and Approval Process

Follow this process when initiating new agreements to ensure appropriate support for the planned activity.

  1. Discuss the initiative with your Academic Dean to learn about any internal departmental or college policies for international collaborations and confirm departmental/college support for the initiative. In consultation with the Academic Deans, explore areas outside of your discipline to determine if there is potential for institution-wide collaboration.

  2. Submit the proposal to the Assistant Provost for Global Learning using the International Partnership Proposal form. This should include a justification statement that outlines the program and ensures the program meets the goals of the College. Include as attachments any relevant drafts or documents.

  3. The Assistant Provost for Global Learning will bring the proposal to the next International Council meeting for review. The International Council in collaboration with the Provost will vote on whether to move forward with the process, request more information, or determine the potential partnership is not a good match.

  4. The Assistant Provost for Global Learning and Westminster College General Counsel will provide a draft agreement.

  5. Agreement terms are negotiated. The sponsoring individual shares the draft with the collaborating institution, which may propose edits. Changes should be clearly marked in the draft and must be approved by Assistant Provost for Global Learning and General Counsel before signing.

  6. Following approval of the draft, the institutional authorities named in the agreement print and sign two original copies of the agreement. The President of Westminster College should be the designated signatory on any Memorandums of Agreement. The Provost and Academic Dean can sign Letters of Intent or Memorandums of Understanding (MOU). One copy of the fully executed agreement remains with the partner institution; the original is held by the Office of the President. An electronic copy will be maintained by Assistant Provost for Global Learning in the shared folder.

The Engaging the World (EWorld) experience prepares students to be better global citizens. It builds on the knowledge from the general education courses students take during their first and second years and applies what they have learned by focusing on ways to advance social justice, equity, and parity within our local and global communities. This experience challenges their biases and prejudices and instead emphasizes the knowledge that we live in an integrated, complex and interdependent society.

Students may fulfill this experience by participating in an on-campus 3-4 credit EWorld course or an education abroad program. On-Campus EWorld courses integrate 4 of the 6 Global Learning domains listed below through curricular and/or co-curricular approaches. Education abroad programs include May Term and Summer Study Experiences, Summer International Service Learning programs, and other study abroad programs approved by the International Center.

The following information includes the learning outcomes for the on-campus Engaging the World courses.

Engaging the World Course Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of an Engaging the World course, students will be able to demonstrate 4 out of the 6 learning outcomes.*

  • Global Self-Awareness. Analyze ways that human actions influence the natural and human world.
  • Perspective Taking. Identify and explain multiple perspectives (such as cultural, disciplinary, and ethical) when exploring subjects within natural and human systems.
  • Cultural Diversity. Explain and connect two or more cultures historically or in contemporary contexts with some acknowledgment of power structures, demonstrating respectful interaction with varied cultures and worldviews.
  • Personal and Social Responsibility. Explain the ethical, social, and environmental consequences of local and national decisions on global systems.
  • Understanding Global Systems. Examine the historical and contemporary roles, interconnections, and differential effects of human organizations and actions on global systems within the human and the natural worlds.
  • Applying Knowledge to Contemporary Global Contexts. Formulate practical yet elementary solutions to global challenges that use at least two disciplinary perspectives (such as cultural, historical, and scientific).

Engaging the World courses may meet these learning outcomes through several learning experiences, including course content with a substantial global focus, a civic engagement component, and/or immersion in natural and social environments outside of the classroom.

*Milestone 2 from the Global Learning VALUE Rubric from AAC&U

Engaging the World Course Proposal Materials

The International Council works in conjunction with the staff of the International Center to instill a focus on internationalization and global learning into the College's planning, programs, and consciousness. Specifically the council focuses on

  • Encouraging internationalization of faculty, students, and staff (e.g., recruiting and retaining students, staff, and faculty with international backgrounds).
  • Promoting integration of global and international issues into the curriculum, including internships.
  • Advocating for a supportive learning and social environment for international students and faculty.
  • Vetting potential study abroad providers.
  • Exploring the possibility of creating new programs and requirements that have a significant global or study abroad perspective.
  • Exploring and developing professional development opportunities for faculty and staff interested (a) in study abroad, (b) teaching opportunities at college partner schools, (c) academic exchange, and (d) internationalization of curriculum.
  • Exploring and developing potential funding sources, including grants and scholarships, for all students interested in study abroad.
  • Collaborating as appropriate and building on synergies with the Diversity Council to help further the College’s goals related to Diversity & Internationalization.
  • Supporting and contributing to the development of assessment measures related to the above.
2016–17 International Council Members

• Sara Demko, Assistant Provost for Global Learning (Co-Chair) 
• Jennifer Ritter, Associate Professor of English (Co-Chair) 
• Ranjan Adiga, Assistant Professor of English 
• Deyanira Ariza-Velasco, Associate Professor of Spanish 
• Leanna Kowallis, Director of International Recruitment 
• Frances Peacock, Academic Advisor, START Center 
• Alison Vásquez, Director of International Student Services & Study Abroad 
• Sheng Xiao, Assistant Professor of Economics 
• Sharon Talboys, Assistant Professor of Public Health 
• Frank Black, Associate Professor of Chemistry 
• Gary Marquardt, Associate Professor of History 
• Baptiste Prévot, Director, MBA & Graduate Business Operations 
• Melanie Agnew, Dean, School of Education 
• Peter Ingle, Associate Professor, Education

Pre-Approving Study Abroad Courses

The goal of Westminster’s International Center is to provide study abroad opportunities to students that meet the College-wide Learning Goals and prepare them to be global citizens. When choosing a study abroad program, students are encouraged to search for programs that provide academic coursework that fits within their major, minor, or liberal education requirements.

To support students who study abroad, the International Center needs assistance from faculty advisors to approve courses for transfer credit. As part of the Westminster study abroad application, students will complete a credit pre-approval.

Program Credit Assessment
  1. Review the course description or syllabus provided for each course for the major or minor you advise. For some programs and countries, syllabi can be difficult to find and credit pre-approval will occur once a student arrives in-country. In this case, the International Center will assist the student in communicating with the faculty advisor and Registrar.

  2. List the Westminster course the study abroad course will replace on the credit pre-approval. If the study abroad course will replace a specific Westminster course, list the course subject and number (i.e. ACCT*213). If the study abroad course will fulfill a general requirement like an elective, list the requirement (i.e. Public Health elective).

  3. Sign next to the courses you pre-approve.

  4. Courses that fulfill liberal education requirements or general elective credit must be approved by the Registrar.

  5. When a student returns from study abroad and their transcript has been reviewed by the Registrar, the faculty advisor will need to make a course substitution in the degree audit for any study abroad course pre-approved.