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MTSU Signature Program Resources

The following information was created to assist MTSU faculty members who are developing an MTSU Signature (Faculty-Led) Program.  

Faculty should first read through the
MTSU Signature Program Handbook.  

Program Proposal Materials 
Faculty with new programs should select the New Program Proposal Materials button, below.  Those with repeating programs may select the Renewing Program Materials button, below.  

Consortia Led Programs 
MTSU Faculty may seek approval to teach on and/or direct a CCSA Consortia Led Program.  Please email Katherine Kovar for information. 

Questions about the MTSU Signature Program process, including information on third party providers that can assist you with logistics to accommodate your course, can be addressed to the Office of Education Abroad at any time.  Please reach out to the Director of the Office of Education Abroad, Katherine Kovar

Signature Program handbook New program proposal materials Renewing program materials

In this section 
What is an MTSU Signature Program?
How do I begin the process?
What are the options? 
Sample timeline

What is an MTSU Signature/Faculty-Led program?Short-term programs led by MTSU faculty member(s) who teach MTSU courses which are specifically designed for the overseas location. Each program provides students with an academically enriching experience in the host country while also providing culturally relevant excursions that support the academic experience. Programs are taught in English (with the exception of language credit programs) and are generally 3-6 credit hours. MTSU Faculty-Led Programs are typically led during the summer term and are usually 3-4 weeks in duration, although faculty can also choose to lead spring break and winter programs as well.

How do I begin the process?
First read through the Faculty Led Handbook and meet with Dr. David Schmidt, Vice Provost for International Affairs, and Katherine Kovar, Director of the Office of Education Abroad, if you have questions.  When you are ready, click on the correct Program Proposal materials button and find the documents which need to be submitted for an MTSU Faculty-Led, Consortia Led, or Non-Academic group program.  Keep track of deadlines!

What are the options available to MTSU faculty members who want to lead an education abroad program?
There are three options listed below.  All three, with supporting additional information, can be found in the Faculty Led Handbook under Section VI. Coordinating the Logistics on pages 9-10.

1. MTSU Signature Program
Faculty leaders can choose to arrange all logistics on their own which is simply called an MTSU Signature Program.  Faculty leaders who choose to go this route should set up an appointment with Dr. David Schmidt far in advance of the proposal deadline and consider using Go-Today Travel and/or StudentUniverse to help with the organization and budget. 

2. MTSU Signature Program, third-party customization
Facutly can consider working with an Office of Education Abroad approved affiliate third-party provider to organize the logistics of the program.  This type of program is still called an MTSU Signature Program, you are just choosing a third-party provider to customize the details.  Our affiliates will develop competitively-priced customized programs in which the MTSU Faculty Leader retains the academic control of the program, but receives a great deal of support with arrangements including housing, classroom space, excursions, group transportation and airport pick-up, or even service-learning projects.  The Student Program Fee may be slightly higher (not always), but the cost will be worth the time saved and the peace of mind having one organization and contact responsible, emergency support including 24/7 residential local staff, and one invoice to pay.

3. MTSU Consortia-Led Program
Faculty leaders may also choose to apply to teach on an affiliated consortia program.  Interested faculty should contact the consortia directly to understand their individual application process and timeline, keeping in mind the internal MTSU proposal deadlines as well.  MTSU faculty teaching on an affiliate consortia program must still submit a program proposal to MTSU.

Sample Timeline
A timeline for a new MTSU Signature Program for Summer 2018 or Winter 2018-19 terms is available in the Faculty Led Handbook in Section III. Timeline, pages 2-4. Faculty who want to teach on a consortia program will have a different timeline with much earlier deadlines.  

In this section 

Instructions for creating a TA cover letter 
Interactive Budget Spreadsheet 
Student Overall Cost Sheet, template 

Student Program Fee payment form, template 

Faculty leaders will find more details regarding the following documents in the Budget packet (Appendix A) and Faculty Timeline section (Appendix B) of the Faculty Led handbook.  Questions about MTSU Signature Program budget may be directed to the Director of the Office of Education Abroad, Katherine Kovar or the Vice Provost for International Affairs, Dr. David Schmidt.  

MTSU Signature Program budget and financial questions (how-to, including working with clearing accounts, questions about receipts and travel claims, etc...) can be directed to Katherine Kovar and/or the Director of Accounting Services, Ben Jones in the MTSU Business Department.  

Instructions for Creating a Travel Authorization Letter 
All out of country programs must have a cover page in addition to the travel authorization form.  

  • The cover page needs to be an explanation of why the faculty member is requesting permission to travel out of the country, showing benefits of the university and employee
  • There should be signature lines at the bottom for the Department Chair, College Dean, Office of International Affairs Vice Provost (David Schmidt), Provost, and the President (Sidney A. McPhee) to sign
  • The travel authorization and all supporting documents should be attached 
  • Missing documents will delay the processing of the request   
Interactive Budget Spreadsheet 
  • You MUST type in the number of student participants at the top or the spreadsheet will not automatically calculate. 
  • Only the yellow boxes in column B will automatically calculate. 
  • It is not necessary to use this specific spreadsheet for the program proposal.  Feel free to create your own in order to determine the five amounts requested in the proposal:  FOC, FE, SPF, SOC, OPC - as long as you include the details with the proposal which shows how you determined these amounts. 
  • FOC, FE, SPF, SOC, OPC: The definitions of these are in the budget section of the Faculty Handbook, Appendix A, pages 15-2
We have provided a non-interactive budget example and budget templates, below, for your convenience.