Investing in People: UC Third Century Awards Support Faculty Leadership in Study Abroad
Applications are still open for the Faculty Study Abroad Program Development Grant.
Date: 9/22/2014 8:30:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Provided by Jason Blackard
New University of Cincinnati Third Century funding will provide $100,000 annually to support two faculty grant programs coordinated by UC International. The funding ultimately aids goals of increasing UC’s number of students participating in global study. This new Third Century investment is part of more than $6.5 million in permanent funding for initiatives ranging from faculty development and research; undergraduate and graduate research and student success; development for staff; diversity initiatives and excellence in e-learning.
|Jason Blackard, a UC associate professor of internal medicine and dir. of the Office of Global Health in the UC College of Medicine, was one of the faculty members awarded in the Faculty Study Abroad Program Development Grant pilot program last year.|
Recipients of the new Faculty-Led Study Abroad Mentoring Grant will shadow a study abroad-experienced faculty leader who is offering a faculty-led study abroad program trip on the December break, 2015 spring break, 2015 May break or the 2015 summer semester.
The Faculty Study Abroad Program Development Grant will provide for recipients to plan new study abroad opportunities by supporting an exploratory trip to their destination of interest previous to developing the course. The grants are meant to support faculty who want to offer a faculty-led study-abroad course during the 2015-16 academic year.
Jason Blackard, a UC associate professor of internal medicine and director of the Office of Global Health in the UC College of Medicine, was one of the faculty members awarded in the Faculty Study Abroad Program Development Grant pilot program last year. He received the grant to travel to Chongqing, China, to plan for a study abroad trip in May 2015.
Fifteen graduate-and undergraduate-level students representing a variety of majors and colleges will be selected for a spring semester course developed by Blackard to explore various aspects of medicine and public health in China. They’ll depart Cincinnati for Chongqing Medical University immediately after spring semester for a two-week trip to gain real-world experience on their studies. They’ll also take a trip to Beijing to see popular tourist attractions.
Blackard says the Faculty Study Abroad Program Development Grant was instrumental in planning the course and study-abroad experience. “You can’t just do this by email and phone calls when you’re working with a country that’s on a 12-hour time difference,” says Blackard. “You need to see the accommodations and actually stay there as you check into whether the area is safe – are there language barriers, is the plumbing going to work, are there Internet connections, is the weather going to be very hot or very cold, how expensive is it, how far is the travel to places we want to visit, how hard is it to get transportation, are there places to eat? I met with every collaborator at Chongqing Medical University that I want my students to meet when we travel there next spring, and I did all the activities that I expect my students to achieve once they get to China.
“The grant helped establish a solid foundation for the creation of unique experiential learning opportunities targeting undergraduate-and graduate-level students,” says Blackard.Applications are still open for the Faculty Study Abroad Program Development Grant and are due Nov. 14.
Selection of recipients for both grant programs should be completed by December.
UC International is promoting more than 90 faculty-led study abroad programs for the upcoming academic year, compared with 60 faculty-led programs in 2013-14. “We’re hoping to recruit an additional 15 faculty members into each of the two grant programs,” says Anne Sheridan Fugard, executive director, UC International Programs. Fugard says the pilot program last year explored the concepts behind the grants with one-time funding.
UC emphasizes international study in preparing graduates for the global workplace. As part UC’s commitment to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Generation Study Abroad initiative, the university launched a stretch goal for 1,700 of its American undergraduates to study abroad by 2019, increasing from the 1,500 target goal previously set in the Academic Master Plan.
UC International reports that in 2013-14, 1,349 students took part in a study abroad experience such as faculty-led trips, internships, semester-exchange programs, service-learning experiences and cooperative education. The most popular destination was the United Kingdom, followed by France.
Findings from the 2013 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) supported how high-impact learning experiences such as study abroad are taking learning beyond the classroom at UC. The 2013 survey results showed that 71 percent of UC’s seniors reported participating in two or more high-impact learning experiences, such as cooperative education, a service-learning experience or global study, compared with 61 percent of UC’s peer group, 62 percent Carnegie Class comparisons and 66 percent of the state’s 4-year public institution comparison group.