Monday, March 30

No events scheduled

Tuesday, March 31

11:30 - 11:50 AM - Reflections - Teresa Cabrera, '09
Ascension Chapel, 2nd Fl., Founders Hall

11:30 - 12:30 - Lunchbytes
Tredway LIbrary

8:00 PM - Student Recital
Larson Hall, Bergendoff Building of Fine Arts
Various student musicians

Wednesday, April 1

12:00 - 1:00 PM - Bible Study "Jesus and the
Kingdom of God"
Chicago Room, College Center
Led by Pastor Priggie, College Chaplain. Bring your lunch if you wish, and a Bible

3:45 - 5:15 PM - Teaching Circle for New Faculty: Integrating Active Learning in the Classroom
Wilson Center

8:00 PM - Augustana Composition Concert
Larson Hall, Bergendoff Building of Fine Arts
Faculty and Student Composers

9:30 PM - Evening Prayer & Holy Communion
Ascension Chapel, 2nd Fl., Founders Hall

Thursday, April 2

10:30 - 11:30 AM - Teaching Circle for New Faculty: Integrating Active Learning in the Classroom
Old Main 128

2:00 - 3:00 PM - Walk-in Hour with Jeff
116 Founders Hall

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Poetry Reading - Kevin Stein, Poet Laureate of Illinois
Thomas Tredway Library, 2nd Floor

Friday, April 3

4:00 PM - Friday Conversations - Sabbatical Reports
Dan Corts: "Please Don't Ask How the Book is Going"
Ian Harrington: "Loose Ends and New Directions"

3:30 PM - Refreshments
Wilson Center

4:30 PM - Deadline for Jaeke Award Nominations
116 Founders Hall

4:30 - 6:30 PM - Opening Reception, 33rd Annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition
Augustana College Art Museum
The exhibition continues through April 26

7:00 PM - French Film Festival - "Moliere"
Science Building Auditorium
Free of charge

Saturday, April 4

2:00 PM - Faculty Recital
Wallenberg Hall
Robert Elfline, piano

Sunday, April 5

10:30 AM - Sunday Morning Worship
Ascension Chapel, 2nd fl., Founders Hall

2:00 PM - Quad City Symphony Orchestra
Centennial Hall

5:00 PM - Sunday Catholic Mass
Ascension Chapel, 2nd fl., Founders Hall

Volume 6, Issue 24 - March 30, 2009

This Week's Message

Two Cheers for Short-Term Study Abroad Programs 

I am professionally hard-wired to view short-term study abroad programs skeptically.  If one defines them as four weeks in-country or less, it is pretty clear that they intuitively fall short in the areas of language acquisition and cultural immersion.  While there are in fact many variables that go into making a solid study abroad program (e.g. orientation, academic components, risk management, logistics, residentiality, etc....), program duration has always figured prominently.  Generally speaking, the longer the program, the more likely it is to be a successful educational enterprise.

But reality is intruding.  According to the Institute for International Education's Report on International Educational Exchange, the number of undergraduate students participating on long-term programs (defined as an academic year or more) has pretty much flat-lined in the last fifteen years at less than 20,000 per year.  Numbers in mid-length programs (one quarter or one semester) have grown substantially.  But the real growth has been in short-term programs (eight weeks or less).  Today, IIE reports:
"[t]he 'semester abroad' model now attracts 36% of those students studying abroad, while more than half (55%) of U.S. students elect short-term programs."

In an effort to address this new reality, The Forum on Education Abroad (of which Augustana College is now a member) has developed Standards of Good Practice for Short-Term Education Abroad Programs.  They are in broad terms:

A.     The program has well-defined academic and/or experiential objectives.

B.     The program is reviewed in the light of its stated educational purpose for fostering student learning and development.

C.     The institution maintains clearly stated and publicly available policies on academic matters related to education abroad.

D.     The institution maintains clearly stated policies on non-academic matters related to the educational experience abroad.

E.     The institution or program sponsor provides advising and orientation support that is consistent with the institution's mission and student needs.

F.     The program maintains and makes publically accessible, its commitment to fair and appropriate policies regarding student selection and content.

G.     The program has adequate financial and personnel resources.

H.     The program has established and continuously maintains effective health, safety, security and risk management policies, procedures and faculty/staff training.

I.      The program is organized in conformity with ethical principles with respect to student codes of conduct, cultural sensitivity and respect for differences between local cultural norms and those of the home culture.

It should strike the reader that the above guidelines are appropriate for all Augustana study abroad programs.  Do we meet these standards as thoroughly as we need to?  Frankly, not to the extent we need to.  Not yet. 

Augustana's need calendar affords many opportunities to think about developing short-term programs abroad.  The Office of International Programs invites faculty members interested in developing Augustana study programs to work with us in order to expand the menu of choice for our students.  As faculty work with the Office of International Programs developing these opportunities, it is useful to have this set of standards to embrace.

Kim Tunnicliff, Director
International Programs
Augustana College