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Academic Affairs / Provost

Administration 203
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4116

International & Domestic Study Tour Guidelines

Academic Policies and Procedures


International & Domestic Study Tour Guidelines

Date of Current Revision:  October 2016

Primary Responsible Officer: Vice Provost of Extended Campus


International & Domestic Study Tour Guidelines


 A study tour is a faculty-led course combined with group student and UCM faculty/staff travel designed to deepen and enrich student learning outcomes by embedding course content in the context of other countries and/or cultures for a compact period of time. In this way   study tours aim to bring to life in cross-cultural contexts what students are learning in the classroom. There are two kinds of study tours: international study tours (also called faculty-led study abroad) and domestic study tours. 


 A. Oversight and Coordination of Study Tours


All study tours (international and domestic) must be coordinated through the International Center. Each study tour must be directed by a UCM faculty or staff member who has been approved by his/her respective department chair and college dean. In most instances, academic credit is earned while on the study tour. If academic credit is associated with the study tour portion, then the study tour is a mandatory part of the course. If the tour is an extracurricular opportunity to a credit section, then the tour can be considered optional.


The International Center manages and/or provides guidance on important logistically study tour issues. Examples of logistic issues include: proposal development, advertising, enrollment, financing and compensation, health and liability insurance, use of a tour agency, safety, emergencies, as well as unique issues that may apply to a specific tour.


The International Center will assist the tour faculty or staff leader in completing the required approval process and provide fiscal oversight for the study tour. Tour leaders who are planning a study tour should contact the International Center at least 9 months in advance. One-on-one consultation and related forms are available through the International Center.


There must be no advertising of a study tour until the study tour proposal is completed and approved.


B. Academic Review of Course Content


The academic quality and integrity of the course must be maintained to ensure that the study tour component of the course is academically relevant and as rigorous as any traditional course.


As study tour courses bear academic credit, each course proposal must include a syllabus that contains standard information required for all university courses (e.g., course description, course dates, prerequisites, contact hours, student learning outcomes, evaluation methods, required textbooks, grading, graduate level coursework, etc.). Typically, academic departments use special projects/topics course numbers, which are reviewed through the university curriculum process. As part of the study tour approval process, the department chair and dean must acknowledge that they have reviewed and agreed to monitor the academic quality and relevance of the proposed study tour.


C. Enrollment


Depending on the type of course, study tour courses are posted for enrollment by either the academic department or Extended Studies. Typically, the academic department uses special projects/topics course numbers, and treats the offering as an entrepreneurial course.


Regarding accompanying family members and/or significant others: As individuals responsible for our students’ academic, programmatic, and personal needs, it is essential that tour leaders be available at all times to meet student needs and expectations. Consequently, though faculty study tour leaders may be accompanied by other family members and/or significant others, faculty study tour leaders’ first obligation is to serve those students under their direct supervision.


In the event that the study tour leader is accompanied by individuals not participating in the tour, those individuals must enroll as special credit students through Extended Studies, and their expenses remain solely their responsibility. The attribution of expenses for accompanying family members and/or significant others to students and/or departments involved in the tour is prohibited


D. Faculty Compensation


Faculty may be compensated for study tours in one of two ways:  through an entrepreneurial study tour option or as a faculty member’s load compensation.


Entrepreneurial study tour option: The Entrepreneurial Study Tour is a special topics or projects course with an embedded tour. Faculty or staff leaders who offer an entrepreneurial study tour are encouraged to contact Extended Studies to discuss compensation. Compensation will follow the formulas outlined in Entrepreneurial Offerings.


In-load or overload study courses with a study tour option: For study tours taught as part of an in-load or overload, course compensation is separate from the study tour. Student participation in the tour portion is optional; however, the student must be enrolled in the affiliated course to participate in the tour. In this case, study tour leader compensation will follow the formulas outlined in Faculty Compensations and Formulas. For all study tour courses offered, course and study tour revenue must cover expenses unless supplemented by the academic department and/or college.


E. Student Orientation


A mandatory in-depth, pre-departure orientation must be made available for participating students. This pre-departure orientation should address issues such as but not limited to: the political climate, cultural context, economic development, unique health risks, required insurance, liabilities, and any additional acculturation issues germane to the study tour destination.


Faculty members must consult with the International Center for advisories and information on specific countries and/or regions. All students participating in a faculty led study tour must sign a release of liability form and study abroad contract form prior to departure. This form must be kept on file with the academic department and stored electronically in the International Center.


 Revision History:

Approved 2000

Edited for web links, formatting and plain language. Approved December 2015.

Major revisions proposed by Vice Provost for Extended Studies and Dean of The Honors College and International Affairs to reflect current practice October 2016.

Previously annotated as VII.7. International & Domestic Study Tour Guidelines. Renamed International & Domestic Study Tour Guidelines for alphabetical listing, grammar and spell check, and transitioned into policy library April 2017