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Faculty-Led Programs

Proposals for 2024 are now closed.
Meet with Andria Morse to begin discussing 2025 proposal ideas.
A new proposal process will be rolled out for 2025. Further details will be provided at a later date. 


Faculty-led programs are credit-bearing academic offerings that are initiated, organized, and conducted off-campus by UW-Stout faculty, staff, or Professor Emeriti. These programs help achieve an array of education abroad opportunities that encompass experiential, innovative, and career-focused learning for the UW-Stout community. Customized educational opportunities allow for rigorous, program-specific academic offerings to be conducted in supportive off-campus environments for students. A strong set of faculty-led program offerings allows for a larger variety of students to take part in global education experiences that advance their intercultural competencies, team-building, leadership, and soft skills. Data indicate that these skills are highly desirable to employers and increases students' career success.


The Office of International Education (OIE) has established a proposal process and compiled both resources and guidelines for those who are interested in initiating a faculty-led program. These have been prepared with consideration of UW-System and UW-Stout policies, as well as the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad and Standards of Good Practice for Short Term Education Abroad created by the FORUM on Education Abroad. The goals of the proposal and guidelines are to help faculty develop high-quality education abroad programs. It is imperative that academic programs offered off-campus maintain the standards established by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). OIE expects that individuals who initiate leading a faculty-led program will review, understand and adhere to these policies and procedures.


You should start the planning early (1.5 years in advance) by sharing your ideas through informal conversations with stakeholders, such as your Department Chair, College Dean, and OIE. This dialogue will give you the opportunity to receive feedback while solidifying a strong and sustainable program foundation. 

Consider a variety of factors such as the following:
  • Is the program unique?
  • Are courses applicable to a variety of majors?
  • Do courses fulfill Stout Core requirements?
  • Is the program cross-disciplinary?
  • Is the destination country/region of interest to UW-Stout students?
  • Are there any factors that would prevent the program from occurring (political instability, war, disease, terrorist activity, etc.)?
  • Are there any U.S. Department of State travel warnings for the destination?
  • Is the program affordable? (Consider travel, room and board costs, etc.)

Faculty-Led Proposal Timeline

WinTerm & Spring 2025
Faculty proposal deadline: 12/1/2023 
Open application cycle for student applicants: 1/22/2024
Student application priority deadline: 5/1/2024
Student application final deadline: 10/1/2024 (if program does not fill in May)
Program purchases: May through August (or as soon as the program has enough students accepted to run the program)

Summer 2025
Faculty proposal deadline: 5/1/2024
Open application cycle for student applicants: 8/1/2024 
Student application priority deadline: 12/15/2024
Student application final deadline: 3/1/2025
Program purchases: December through March (or as soon as the program has enough students accepted to run the program)

Planning Resources

When planning your program, you will want to consider if you will use a third-party provider, plan all of the logistics on your own, or use an in-country vendor or international partner institution. Please keep in mind that if a UW System approved vendor is not used and the cost for a single purchase is over $5,000, the three-bid process will need to be completed.

Three-bid Process
Any purchase over $5,000 will need to go through the three-bid process unless a UW System approved vendor is used. The faculty leader (with guidance from OIE) will need to obtain and submit three bids to OIE. The OIE will complete the Simplified Bid form and submit it in Shops UW+ for approval to the Purchasing Office. Using a UW System approved vendor/third-party provider will allow you to bypass the three-bid process.

Third-Party Providers
Third-party providers are able to provide many options from full design and coordination of a program to arrangement of logistics and travel coordination. They can provide 24/7 on-the-ground assistance as well as emergency support which allows the faculty member to continue focusing on teaching responsibilities. The cost of using a third-party provider is not significantly more as they can work within a preferred budget. Additionally, the benefit of using a provider often outweighs the cost of the faculty leader having to organize all of the logistics on their own.

The UW System has approved a list of vendors, which can be found here. The OIE already has relationships with several providers on the list and can help facilitate communication; please see the providers below. Faculty leaders can reach out to any of the providers for a quote to get an idea of what type of services the provider can provide. Using one of these providers will exempt you from the bidding process.

AIFS - American Institute for Foreign Studies
API - Academic Programs International
CIEE - Council on International Educational Exchange
CEA - Cultural Experiences Abroad

Additional providers, such as AEA, that are not yet included in the UW list of approved vendors can also be good options; however, you would need to go through the bidding process if working with one of these providers.

Faculty Planned Programs
With these programs, the faculty leader is responsible for all academic and logistical planning including travel, housing, meals, classroom space, and emergency procedures. This program type is made easier if it will be located in a city or region in which the faculty leader has experience, or an on-site contact. If faculty or staff are choosing a location which they have limited familiarity or have not visited for many years and do not plan on visiting before bringing students, then a program provider or partner is advisable. If the faculty leader will be using an in-country vendor or company in which the invoice will be over $5000, the faculty leader will need to go through the bidding process.

International Partner Institutions
A hybrid model is also available, in which the faculty leader works with a current international partner institution to provide a faculty-led program. Similar to a Third Party Provider, the international host institution takes some of the responsibility and liability off the UW-Stout faculty leader as they may be able to assist with reserving accommodations, classroom space, and local transport. The primary benefit of working with a partner institution is that it allows academic collaboration. Your students may be able to listen to guest lectures from international faculty members and perhaps collaborate with local students on a project. The host institution may not provide all of the services a Third Party Provider may be able to, but they can still prove very helpful in setting up local tours and providing in-country assistance. The level of cooperation may vary from institution to institution.