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IDEAS Capacity Building Initiatives

IDEAS Workshops

The IDEAS Program offers a variety of in-person and virtual trainings for faculty and staff at U.S. colleges and universities with the goal of helping to increase their institutions’ capacity to administer study abroad programs. As the field continues to adapt and evolve in response to the global pandemic, the IDEAS Program is committed to offering initiatives and activities that address the most pressing needs of our country’s diverse higher education institutions and key U.S. foreign policy goals.

Objectives of the IDEAS workshops are to:

  • Share best practices on study abroad capacity building topics as identified by the U.S. study abroad community;
  • Share USA Study Abroad information and other U.S. Department of State and U.S. Government resources; and
  • Build and strengthen the U.S. study abroad community networks for future sharing of resources and best practices.

IDEAS Workshops 2022-2023

The IDEAS Program is pleased to announce its series of free IDEAS Workshops for U.S. college and university representatives in the upcoming year. The IDEAS Workshops are open to study abroad stakeholders from accredited U.S. colleges and universities, including but not limited to study abroad advisors, faculty, and other staff involved with or interested in creating, expanding, and/or diversifying study abroad for U.S. students at their institution. Workshops will take place either virtually or in-person on Fridays. Registration will open one to two months before each event. See below for more information on workshop topics and registration details.

Workshop Descriptions and Schedule

Developing More Impactful Experiential Learning: Best Practices for Faculty-led Study Abroad 
Registration is closed

Host: University of Wyoming
Format: In-person, Full Day
Date: October 7th, 2022 from 8:00am-5:00pm MST
Location: Laramie, WY

This critical and engaging day-long in-person workshop, co-hosted by the IDEAS Program and the University of Wyoming (UW), will focus on developing and sharing best practices in designing, leading, and administering diverse and impactful Faculty-led Study Abroad (FLSA) programs.  The workshop will include concurrent interactive sessions led by UW faculty and staff and speakers from other regional institutions on topics such as expanding and diversifying FLSA programs for first-year students, STEM students, and other traditionally underrepresented student populations, intentional program design and increasing cultural competencies for diverse student populations in FLSA; and mental health resourcing strategies for FLSA students and program leaders, among other topics.

8:00-8:30 AM Check-in and Breakfast

8:30-9:00 AM Welcome Session with Department of State, IDEAS Program, and UW Representatives

  • Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, USA Study Abroad
  • IDEAS Program Staff, World Learning
  • Dr. Isa Helfgott (AVP for Global Engagement, UW)
  • Dr. Nevin Aiken (SPPAIS, UW)
  • Shelley Jewell (Director of Education Abroad, UW)

Description: Opening remarks and welcome by IDEAS/State Department staff and UW facilitators will be followed by an overview of the workshop schedule and goals and participant introductions through an interactive icebreaker.

9:00-10:30 AM Keynote Address and Group Activity

  • Dr. Daniel Wehrenfennig (Executive Director, CIEL)
  • Dr. Nevin Aiken (Associate Professor, UW)

Description: Dr. Wehrenfennig will speak to “Getting Comfortable with Discomfort: Lessons Learned from a Decade of Leading FLSA Programs to Conflict-Affected Regions” in his keynote address followed by a knowledge sharing activity (co-lead by Dr. Aiken) around experiences leading FLSA.

10:30-11:00 AM Coffee & Networking Break

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Concurrent Session 1

Session A: Expanding and Diversifying FLSA to First-Year Student

  • Dr. Anne Alexander (VP for Strategic Planning, UW)
  • Sara Robinson (Assistant Director of Education Abroad, UW)

Description: Building on their experience team-teaching their innovative ‘Viking Economics’ FLSA course for incoming freshmen students in Iceland, the facilitators will lead participants in an interactive discussion of the benefits, challenges, and best practices in expanding FLSA programs to first-year students.

Session B: Creating and Supporting Collaborative Transdisciplinary FLSA

  • Dr. Peter Parolin (Honors College Dean, UW)
  • Dr. Caroline McCracken-Flesher (Director of Center for Global Studies, UW)

Description: This interactive session will engage participants in peer-to-peer knowledge sharing on best practices in designing and supporting collaborative transdisciplinary programs at U.S. higher education institutions.

12:30-1:30 PM Lunch

1:30-2:45 PM Concurrent Session 2

Session A: Designing Effective FLSA for Underrepresented STEM Students

  • Mary Cook (Director of Education Abroad, Colorado School of Mines)
  • Dr. Wendy Fisher (Teaching Associate Professor and Associate Department Head in the Computer Science Department at Colorado School of Mines)
  • Dr. Shannon Mancus (Associate Teaching Professor and Associate Department Head in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Science Department at Colorado School of Mines)

Description: This interactive session will demonstrate how “city as text” pedagogy can engage students from STEM fields by coupling deep explorations of other cultures with the subjects they are most passionate about. During the session, techniques for designing immersive and engaging FLSA for underrepresented STEM student from any discipline will be discussed and demonstrated.

Session B: Resourcing Mental Health for Faculty and Students in FLSA Programs

  • Dr. Aaron Cohen (University of California, Berkley)

Description: Participants will engage in a highly participatory workshop where they will lean how to support the mental health needs of students in FLSA programs, including recognizing signs of distress, communication techniques, and pre-travel and on-travel actions and resources they can incorporate into their FLSA programs to support student wellness and well-being.

2:45 – 3:15 PM Coffee & Networking Break

3:15 – 4:30 PM Concurrent Session 3

Session A: Leading FLSA that Respect Diversity, Communities and Culture

  • Monica Hanna (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Dr. Neely Mahapatra (Division of Social Work, UW)
  • Dr. Carolyn Haney (University of Nebraska)

Description: This interactive session will focus on how faculty and staff can better design FLSA programs to prepare students from diverse backgrounds for an immersive cultural experience by developing cultural respect and competencies. Participants will also be provided with tools, skills and best practices to better recruit, support and engage BIPOC students and other diverse students in FLSA.

Session B: Leveraging Resources and Institutional Partnerships to Support FLSA

  • Shelley Jewel (Director of Education Abroad, UW)
  • Aimee Jones (Director of Education Abroad, CSU)

Description: This interactive panel will engage participants in collaborative knowledge sharing around how to harness internal resources and institutional partnerships to better support faculty program leaders and the expansion and diversification of FLSA.

4:30-5:00 PM Closing Remarks

Fighting Climate Change Through Connection Between Study Abroad and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Host: Prairie View A&M University
Format: In-person, Full Day
Dates: A Friday in February 2023
Location: Prairie View, Texas

Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), in collaboration with The Forum on Education Abroad, will host a full day in-person workshop in early 2023, focused on integrating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) into the development and delivery of faculty-led education abroad programs. This workshop will bring together a diverse team of facilitators to share their knowledge and expertise on the importance of educating students about climate change and how to mitigate its negative impact on the planet. The Forum will highlight their 2021 Guidelines on Advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals through Education Abroad. PVAMU staff and faculty will share how they have implemented strategies to infuse global content into courses as part of their curriculum internationalization. Through hands-on activities and peer knowledge-sharing, participants will explore ways to incorporate issues of climate change, natural resources, conservation, and environmental sustainability into their study abroad programs.

Registration will open in December 2022. A limited number of travel stipends will be available to participants to offset the costs of traveling to this in-person workshop.

IDEAS Webinars

No upcoming events. Check back in the November.

Past Initiatives

See below to explore past IDEAS Initiatives and recordings. Check out the Library of Resources for resources from these events.

  • (Re)creating a Campus Culture of Study Abroad After a Global Programming Pause
  • Jumpstarting Education Abroad at Community Colleges in a COVID-19 World (Resource Hyperdoc)
  • Expanding Access and Inclusion: Developing Holistic Strategies for Recruiting and Supporting Students from Underrepresented Groups (Part I, II, III, IV)
  • What do institutions need to know about the updated U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories? (Recording)
  • Priorities for a Return to Student Mobility: IDEAS Resources for Supporting Underrepresented Students (Recording)
  • Incubator Session: When One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Analyzing Data for Diverse Student Populations (Recording)
  • When One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Analyzing Data for Diverse Student Populations (Recording)
  • Priorities for a Return to Student Mobility: Financial Strategies to Maximize Your Office’s Budget (Recording)
  • Assessing Student Growth and Development Abroad (Recording)
  • Theory of Change: Translating Study Abroad Program Goals and Priorities into Assessments (Recording)
  • Priorities for a Return to Student Mobility: Working with Partners to Assess and Manage Risk (Recording)
  • Building Diverse Programs to Support Diverse Students: Best Practices from St. Cloud State’s Cultural Heritage Programs (Part I, Part II)
  • Workshop: Best Practices in Study Abroad Program Assessment and Evaluation – A 2-part workshop with Mount Holyoke College
  • What the State Department and U.S. embassies can and can’t do in a crisis (Recording)
  • Virtually Abroad: Expanding our idea of what study abroad looks like (Recording)
  • What do institutions need to know about U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories? (Recording)
  • The Future of Study Abroad: Risk mitigation in a COVID world (Recording)
  • The Future of Study Abroad: How to decide when it is safe and ethical to begin again (Recording)
  • Maximizing your study abroad resources: Faculty-led best practices for program flexibility (Recording)
  • Maximizing your study abroad resources: Supporting underrepresented students in study abroad (Recording)
  • Faculty-led Study Abroad Best Practices: Addressing Grand Challenges in Faculty-led Study Abroad at UGA
  • Faculty-led Study Abroad Best Practices at UNC, Charlotte
  • Study Abroad Campus Outreach and Recruitment at CSU, Bakersfield

If you have questions about any of these IDEAS Initiatives, please email [email protected]worldlearning.org

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