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Education Abroad

The Faculty Leader

As a land-grant institution, Kansas State University’s mission includes preparing its students for personal and professional life in a global context. For many students, the most feasible way to study abroad, whether financially, psychologically, or academically, is with an instructor they know and trust.

For leaders, faculty-led programs can be very rewarding, in part because of the heavy amount of work involved. The faculty leader is the instructor of record, as with any course on campus. That said, he or she is also the logistical coordinator and primary line of student support while abroad. As a result, teaching a faculty-led program can be very different from teaching inside the average K-State classroom.

We expect faculty leaders will:

  • View instruction with a student-centered focus, maintaining both student enthusiasm and an active, rigorous pedagogical approach;
  • Offer expertise in the course content areas for which a course will award credit;
  • Have first-hand, relevant experience in the country of interest;
  • Communicate clearly, frequently, and collaboratively with Education Abroad and other campus stakeholders;
  • Take seriously the safety and security all program participants; and
  • Commit to and uphold the policies, procedures, and laws of Kansas State University, the State of Kansas, the United States, host institutions and organizations, and the host country.

Given the extraordinary level of effort and maturity required of faculty leaders, Education Abroad, departments, and colleges may not approve programs from prospective leaders, or reapprove them from repeat leaders, who do not illustrate their willingness or ability to serve these ends. All faculty led programs should also have a replacement leader identified in the event the primary leader is no longer able to lead the program. The expectations above apply to the replacement leader as well. 

On a program abroad, the faculty leader should always consider student safety in planning group activities and be responsive to student needs. That said, students are legal adults and agree to take responsibility for their actions when they apply for a program. Faculty leaders should not, and are not expected to, behave as parental monitors or to anticipate all possible challenges.

The faculty leader should have relevant experience in the host country or countries abroad. This includes recent travel experience to the host country, such as for a site visit, prior professional experience in the host locations, and sufficient familiarity with the culture of the host country or countries. Faculty who do not have relevant and sufficient experience in the host country would be expected to utilize on-site resources, such as partner universities or educational provider organizations to facilitate programmatic and risk management support. 

While most programs run smoothly, emergencies occasionally do arise. Students may experience minor or serious medical emergencies or become victims of crime. For more information about preparing for and dealing with an emergency, go to the Emergencies section of our Policies and Procedures.