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Factors to Consider Before Developing a Program Proposal
Faculty-led programs are as rewarding as they are involved. A faculty leader wears many hats: instructor, logistical coordinator, counselor (both academic and personal), and, at times, disciplinarian. Is the position of faculty leader one you will be comfortable filling?
Faculty leaders should have:
- First-hand, specifically relevant experience in the country/ies involved to achieve the goals of the program and ensure the health and safety of participants.
- Academic expertise in the content areas covered by courses for which credit will be awarded.
- Organizing and planning skills, and the ability to keep track of a number of details simultaneously.
- Recruitment techniques and enthusiasm--you must be willing to spend time speaking with students to promote the program.
- Good health, to handle the physical and emotional demands of the program overseas.
- Leadership qualities and willingness to take charge in any situation where students need to be directed, rather than consulted.
- Appreciation for the increased contact with students that is inevitable in an overseas setting.
Running a faculty-led program is a full-time commitment for the duration of the program. It is very different from, and much more demanding than, teaching on campus, as leaders are relatively isolated from UWM and are often forced to function without many permanent on-site facilities. In short, faculty leaders must have the talents and skills necessary to cope with the diverse responsibilities their program demands. Faculty leaders are also expected to set a good example for participants and are required to follow UWM's policies, procedures and code of conduct, host institution policy (if applicable), U.S. law and host country law This is definitely not an experience for the faint of heart. That said, however, it can be very rewarding professionally and, for most students, will be the most memorable part of their collegiate educational experience.