Types of Study Experiences
May Term Study Experience (MTSE)
A May Term Study Experience is a 4-credit course that is taught almost entirely off-campus, usually abroad that fulfills the Engaging the World experience for Westminster undergraduates. Proposals to teach and learn an MTSE are due 15 months in advance and must be approved by the International Council, Academic Deans, and Provost, and the course must fulfill the global learning outcomes per the Engaging the World requirement. The International Center provides administrative support, training, and risk management oversight for MTSEs.
This chart explains the difference between a May Term Study Experience and an on-campus May Term class with a field trip component.
|May Term Study Experience||May Term Class with Field Trip|
|4 credits||2 credits|
|Must fulfill Engaging the World||Does not fulfill Engaging the World|
|International or domestic travel||Domestic travel only|
|Approved by International Council, Deans, Provost||Approved by individual school and academic dean|
|Administrative support provided by International Center||Supported by relevant school|
Summer International Service Learning (SISL)
Summer International Service Learning (SISL) experiences are based on strategic partnerships or initiatives necessitating a long-term commitment on behalf of the College. SISL is a credit-bearing class taught during the summer that includes a minimum ten hours of service per week of international travel (i.e. a 13-day trip would include 20 hours of service). To be designated as SISL, there must be demonstrated reciprocity between the community served and that of the university or college, and their relationship is built on mutual respect and esteem. The service must be truly useful to the community or agency (level of usefulness as determined by the agency or community.)
There should be a clear connection between the disciplinary program and the service. Emphasis of the College-wide Learning Goals should be a part of the course, and there must be an opportunity for personal reflection on the meaning of the experience in relation to the student's values and life decisions is built into the course in a structured way.
Who Can Teach/Lead
Because of the additional responsibilities that come with teaching a course with an educational travel component, these study experiences are team taught by full-time employees of Westminster College. Full-time faculty members are given priority as faculty leaders. In addition to full-time faculty, full-time salaried staff members with at least a master's degree and college-level teaching experience may teach study experience courses with permission of their supervisor and the Dean of the related school. In most cases staff are leaders because their expertise provides a special learning value to the course. In some cases, staff will be leaders if their presence is essential to ensuring that the program occurs. Administrators may teach or lead, but this will be only if their expertise or presence is essential for ensuring that the program occurs.
Team teaching possibilities include the following:
- Two full-time faculty members (preferred).
- One full-time faculty member (leader) and one qualified salaried staff member.
- Two qualified salaried staff members, both of whom already have experience teaching at Westminster College.
- One full-time faculty member and one associate faculty/adjunct.
Faculty and Staff Compensation
Full-time faculty is paid as they would be paid for any May Term or Summer Term course—either as part of their usual load or as overload. Staff will be paid overload at the adjunct instructor rate; their regular salary will not be altered during the study experience. Adjuncts are paid according to the scale that would be used if they taught a regular 4-credit course. All faculty and staff trip leaders’ expenses, including airfare, lodging, meal expenses, in-country transportation (taxi, bus, etc.), international health insurance, and program-related entrance fees and phone charges, are (or should be) included in the participant fee.
All May Term Study Experiences (MTSE) must have at least 15 undergraduate students enrolled for credit and no more than 30 people (guests and students) enrolled. As the number of enrolled students increases, so does the number of faculty/staff leaders required to teach the course.
MTSEs need at least 15 students enrolled for credit and 2 faculty/staff leaders.
When enrollment of students registered for credit reaches 23, a third faculty/staff leader could be added.
When enrollment of students registered for credit is 26–30, a third faculty/staff leader must be added.
All Summer International Service Learning (SISL) must have at least 10 students enrolled for credit and no more than 30 people (guests and students) enrolled. As the number of enrolled students increases, so does the number of faculty/staff leaders required to teach the course.
- All SISLs need at least 10 students enrolled for credit and 2 faculty/staff leaders.
- When enrollment of students registered for credit reaches 23, a third faculty/staff leader could be added.
- When enrollment of students registered for credit is 26–30, a third faculty/staff leader must be added.
Family Members or Children Guests
Guests, including children of faculty/staff leaders, may participate in the Study Experience but must not disrupt the program. Faculty occasionally may wish to have family members (partners, children, etc.) accompany them on a study experience. While students often benefit from the personal dimensions of interactions with family members, Westminster College cannot financially support the participation of those family members in any way. The faculty/staff member must cover travel costs and living expenses as well as additional expenses related to any program activities (e.g., tickets to cultural events, museums, films, theatre, meals, additional housing costs—for instance, the difference between a one and two bedroom, public transportation etc.) While their occasional participation in cultural events is permitted—family members cannot represent Westminster College in any official capacity. They should also not participate in program activities orientations, class lectures, etc. if their participation might intrude in any way on the pedagogical outcomes of the program. In addition, faculty must provide an adult caretaker for dependents under the age of 18. All family members must sign legal forms and obtain the international health insurance prior to the start of the study experience. Faculty/staff leaders must notify the International Center and your Academic Dean if you intend to or are contemplating bringing along a guest or guests. No students may bring a minor under 18 on any Westminster College Study Experience.
2017 MTSE group flights may depart the U.S. no earlier than Sunday, May 14, 2017 and must return no later than Sunday, June 11, 2017. Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017.
An SISL can be scheduled anytime during May Term and/or the Summer Term as long as the international component does not conflict with Commencement. If the travel is scheduled in Summer Term, the group flight needs to return no later Wednesday, August 17, 2017.