Purpose:  Recognizing that faculty, staff, and students must possess cultural and global competence, South Central College (SCC) is dedicated to providing academic and experiential international opportunities. International experiences introduce the historical and cultural significance of global countries; expand understanding of global approaches to learning and living; and may develop skills in another language. These experiences may include tours, field trips, and exchange programs for students, faculty, and staff; classes taught abroad; service learning/civic engagement projects; or other international experiences through education.

A. Definitions:

  • Education Abroad – An international education option designed to increase global and cultural competence that may result in academic credit. This experience may include faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members.
  • Faculty-Led Programs – A credit-based education abroad program, in which a SCC faculty member arranges travel, develops itinerary, organizes tours, and may lead service projects in addition to course instruction.
  • Third Party Provider – The college contracts a vendor that arranges travel, develops itinerary, organizes tours, and leads service projects. The vendor may be another college or university, a nonprofit organization, a for-profit business, or a consortium that offers education abroad services.
  • Cultural Exchange – A faculty or staff led cultural experience to/from an international partner institution with whom SCC has signed a reciprocal agreement (Memorandum of Understanding).  Typically, students are integrated with host country students.
  • Student Exchange – Designed to be a reciprocal exchange of students from one institution to another, with a signed reciprocal agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) between the institutions. Typically, students are integrated with host country students.
  • Other International Experiences – A non-SCC sponsored, student-initiated international opportunity such as participation in a credit-bearing course that SCC may accept in transfer.

B. Guiding Principles:

  • Student Learning and Development: All SCC education abroad programs will provide opportunity for student learning and development.
  • Prepare for the Education Abroad Environment: SCC , the faculty or staff, and program providers ensure that students are appropriately prepared for their education abroad experience and that students can identify and articulate appropriate and inappropriate activities while participating in Education Abroad.
  • Organizational and Program Resources: Education Abroad programs have adequate financial, human, and facility resources to provide a positive learning environment for students.
  • Health, Safety, and Security: SCC will prioritize health, safety, and security in program development, implementation, and management of education abroad. SCC, the faculty, and program providers will establish and confirm clear expectations regarding the health, safety, and security of program participants.
  • Conflicts of Interest: A potential conflict of interest exists when personal or institutional interests, whether financial or non-financial, may be seen as competing with the best interests of SCC degree-seeking students or inconsistent with best professional practices.
  • Transparency: SCC will disclose all aspects of program development; partnership agreements; criteria for program approval and recommendation; eligibility and permission for education abroad; physical demands of the trip; applications; admission; student selection; fees; financial aid; refund policies, academic requirements, grading, and credit policies; applicable codes of conduct; petition and appeals processes; and grievance procedures.

C. Standards:

  • Specific learning outcomes will be clearly stated for each SCC Education Abroad Program.
  • An evaluation will be conducted upon completion of each Education Abroad program to assess participant learning and personal development and to provide feedback on the overall experience.
  • Education Abroad program recruitment and selection processes will be fair, ethical, and transparent.
  • Students will be prepared for Education Abroad experiences, with pre-departure and on-site orientations that equip them to responsibly manage their own health, safety, and security.
  • Each Education Abroad program will provide clear expectations for student conduct and the resulting consequences for violations. Participants will comply with all federal, state, and local laws applicable in the host country.
  • SCC will annually report to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education all required education abroad information pursuant to Minnesota Statutes § 5.41.
  • To ensure participant health, safety, and security, SCC will conduct appropriate risk assessments prior to and during the travel period with consideration to the U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings. Written emergency plans and protocols will be maintained. 
  • Only SCC employees who have been granted the appropriate delegation of authority will approve Education Abroad programs. All Education Abroad program participants must be pre-approved for international travel.
  • SCC will have a process for approval, evaluation, and quality improvement of the Education Abroad programs.

D. Procedures and Practices:

  • Procedures and practices pursuant to this policy shall be developed, maintained, and publicized and be consistent with this policy and Minnesota State Board Policy 3.41 and Procedure 3.41.1 Education Abroad Programs.
  • SCC shall submit education abroad student data in compliance with Minnesota Statutes § 5.41 Study Abroad Programs.
  • SCC will retain sufficient documentation to demonstrate that: faculty or staff participated in training for leading education abroad programs; students participated in pre-departure and on-site orientations; students purchased required international accident and illness travel insurance; and program evaluations have been completed.
  • SCC will provide accessible and timely information to prospective and admitted students regarding Education Abroad opportunities.
  • Personnel involved in Education Abroad will receive training on the college’s Education Abroad Policies and Procedures.
  • This policy will be reviewed and modified as appropriate through the Academic Affairs and Standards Council process.

E. Criteria:

  • All participants must be at least 18 years of age before the Education Abroad experience begins.
  • Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) students are ineligible for Education Abroad travel experiences.
  • For Education Abroad experiences that may result in SCC academic credit, all participants must be enrolled in the identified course.

List related policies, procedures or plans here (if any)
Related Policies and Procedures:

Date and subject of revisions:   January 12, 2018