Minutes from meeting on faculty-led study abroad programs

Daniel Diaz convened a meeting of faculty involved in faculty-led Guilford study abroad programs on November 18th. Here are the recorded notes from that meeting:


Future of Faculty-led Programs

Meeting Date/time:       11/18/2015, 2:30pm – 3:30pm, Dean’s Conference room

Participants: Anne Glenn, Don Smith, Maia Dery, Melanie Lee-Brown, Theresa Hammond, Eva Lawrence, Dave Dobson, Erin Dell, Frank Keegan, Beth Rushing, Marlene McCauley, Jim Hood, Michelle Malotky, Nancy Daukas, Vance Ricks, Roy Nydorf, Kyle Dell, Gail Webster, Hiroko Hirakawa, Robert G. Williams, Dave Limburg, Caroline McAlister, Alfonso Mancheno, Eric Mortensen, Heather Hayton (in absentia)

Notes: First gathering at the college of former/current study abroad faculty-leaders to discuss their experiences leading international programs with Guilford College students. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss their experiences and to begin a conversation about what the future of faculty-led study abroad programming will look like at the college.

Overarching questions (note – not all of the following questions were addressed in the meeting, rather these questions are intended to help shape the scope and depth of the topic):

  • What is the future of faculty-led, semester-long, study abroad programs?
  • What is the future of the Jan-Term, and short-term faculty-led, programs?
    • How are Jan-Term, faculty-led programs, different than semester-long programs?
  • How will the general education revision impact study abroad at Guilford College, and therein, faculty-led programming?
  • What are the learning outcomes for study abroad?
    • What impact will the Gen-Ed revision have on the learning outcomes for study abroad?
  • What do faculty need as study abroad leaders?
  • How does Guilford College mitigate, and prepare for, potential risks in faculty-led study abroad programming?


  • Minutes from the meeting:
    • Moment of silence
    • Welcome and thank you for participation
    • Explanation of data handout that details a 10 year snap-shot of study abroad participation and expenses (see letter from Interim Assistant Director, Robert Van Pelt)
    • Opening query (2:10pm – 3:10pm) – “What has been the faculty experience with teaching Guilford students abroad, and what are the intended learning outcomes?”
      • Faculty responses:
        • Expansion of the Guilford vision – experiences open the minds, hearts, and hands of both the faculty leader and the students
        • Help students learn about the “real world” and how to handle “real life situations”
        • Exposure to new ideas, cross-cultural learning experience
        • Pivotal for faculty relationships with students
        • Helps to build on-campus community
        • Faculty involvement can improve the experience, makes it a true “Guilford experience”
        • Faculty may not need to be there the entire time, good to help the students get started, but perhaps stops them from immersion
        • The impact on enrollment (on-campus and departmental numbers are impacted when faculty and students are gone for a semester)
        • Concerns with the current student body and the needs of varying student types (e.g learning styles, physical and emotional needs, etc.)
        • Question/concern about “is this the best use of faculty time and funds in the current environment at GC…?”
        • Question/concern about the rigor of all international programming – opinion voiced that Guilford faculty-led programs can hold up better to our standards of rigor than compared with outside programs


  • Second query (3:10pm – 3:30pm) – “What do faculty need to be successful international faculty leaders”
    • Faculty responses:
      • Help recruiting (both at Guilford College and outside the college)
      • Help with department in the absence of the faculty leader
      • Help with planning the program
        • Suggested – have a 4/5 year calendar with faculty commitments to help plan
        • Suggested – include study abroad with faculty meetings
      • Question about risk management and emergency preparedness


  • Thank you and closing remarks of appreciation
  • Moment of silence