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Faculty-Led Programs

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 Gen Ed 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 2023
Faculty proposal deadline: 12/1/2021 
Open application cycle for student applicants: 1/15/2022
Student application priority deadline: 5/1/2022
Student application final deadline: 10/15/2022
Program purchases: May through August (or as soon as the program has enough students accepted to run the program)

Summer 2023
Faculty proposal deadline: 4/1/2022 - Extended to 5/1/2022
Open application cycle for student applicants: 6/1/2022
Student application priority deadline: 12/15/2022
Student application final deadline: 3/1/2023
Program purchases: December through March (or as soon as the program has enough students accepted to run the program)

WinTerm & Spring 2024
Faculty proposal deadline: 12/1/2022 
Open application cycle for student applicants: 1/15/2023
Student application priority deadline: 5/1/2023
Student application final deadline: 10/15/2023
Program purchases: May through August (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. 

Third-Party Provider Planned Programs
A third-party provider program is one planned either partially, or entirely, by a third-party organization. These organizations can provide many options from full design and coordination of a program to arrangement of logistics and travel coordination. The UW System has approved a list of vendors, which can be found here. The UW-Stout Office of International Education already has relationships with several providers on that 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
World Endeavors

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.
Bid Process: If the faculty leader would like to work with a non-approved provider (a provider not approved through the UW System) in which the invoice will be more than $5000, they will have to obtain and submit three bids to the Office of International Education and receive approval from the Purchasing Office. To avoid this option, you may use a UW System approved vendor/third-party provider.

Faculty Planned Programs
Faculty-planned programs are the most popular type of short term faculty-led 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 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 Institution Planned Programs
A hybrid model is also available, in which the faculty leader works with a current international partner institution to provide a short-term 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 can assist with reserving accommodations and local transport. The primary benefit of working with a partner institution is that it allows academic collaboration. Your students will be able to get 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.