Policies for Off-Campus Teaching

General Policies

State Department Travel Warnings

International courses shall only be initiated in countries with official United States relations. Students will be allowed to study in a country under a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning only in rare exceptions (and additional application procedures apply). Exceptions must be approved by the Director of CICE, in consultation with the IDPC and the Provost’s office. If a Travel Warning is issued for a country during the time a Gustavus Adolphus student or faculty is in that country, the CICE will work with the appropriate sources to determine the best course of action to reduce risk.

Academic Rigor

Off-campus study, whether undertaken abroad or in a United States setting other than the Gustavus campus, shall be characterized by the same academic rigor and high expectation for student work as on-campus study.

Off-campus courses shall reflect the academic importance of offering the course at the chosen site and shall integrate the subject being studied with site visits, guest lecturers, and assignments.

Course Contact Hours

Courses offered off-campus shall have at least as much contact time as courses offered on campus (40 or more contact hours per course per term). Normally they will have considerably more than this minimum. Contact times include class meetings, lectures by the instructor or guest lecturers and supervised course-related activities. Although the nature of out-of-class work undertaken in off-campus courses may differ considerably from out-of-class work undertaken in an on-campus course, the time students are expected to devote to out-of-class work (such as reading, research and preparation of assignments) shall be approximately the same off-campus as on-campus.

Evaluation of Students

Evaluation shall be conducted in a manner consistent with overall college policies and practices and shall reflect special circumstances of an off-campus experience. Criteria for evaluation in off-campus study programs and courses shall be made clear to students at the beginning of the term.

Evaluation of Course(s)

Each off-campus study course or program shall be evaluated by means of an on-line questionnaire distributed to returning students by the Center. Results of this assessment will be shared with the faculty leader of the course. The results of these questionnaires will be used by CICE, IDPC and program leaders to review and assess courses and programs.

Who May Participate

Faculty wishing to take persons who are not immediate family members on off-campus travel programs shall inform the Director of CICE (a statement to this effect should be included with the course proposal). Minors who are not members of the immediate family of faculty leading an off-campus course or program are prohibited from participating in it unless the Director of CICE gives prior written approval. The Director may deny participation in an off-campus course or program to persons who are not immediate family members of course instructors, whether they are minors or adults. The Director of CICE will determine fees payable to Gustavus Adolphus College for all individuals accompanying an off-campus program who are neither registered students, nor registered at Gustavus Adolphus through any other office.


Gustavus faculty who lead student study-abroad programs are covered under the College's liability insurance if they are in compliance with the policies and procedures described in this document and with general college policies. 

Alcohol Policy

The following guidelines apply to any groups of students who are traveling off-campus as part of a credit-bearing off-campus course. Faculty or staff members who accompany these programs off-campus are expected to follow the same guidelines as the group.

  1. Students and their faculty/staff program leaders should be aware of College policies and federal, state, local, and foreign laws related to alcohol and other drug use. Country-specific information for study abroad programs should be ascertained prior to program departure. Assistance with this will be provided by the Center for International and Cultural Education on request.
  2. Underage drinking and illicit drug use are illegal and will not be tolerated. Anyone who provides alcohol to an underage person or is found in possession of illegal drugs will be subject to disciplinary action either before or after return to campus.
  3. Program leaders are expected to clarify the standards and expectations regarding the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs, and the consequences of noncompliance to the program guidelines.
  4. The following are minimum standards to be followed by students and program leaders who travel off-campus:
    1. No alcohol use in vans, buses, or any other means of transporting students as part of their off-campus program, whether in the U.S. or abroad, including airplanes.
    2. Program leaders are expected to help students understand the cultural attitudes toward alcohol use in the country of destination and incorporate this education as part of the cultural immersion component of the off-campus course. Assistance with methods to do this will be provided by the Center for International and Cultural Education on request.
    3. Students of legal drinking age in the country of destination are expected to use responsible judgment at all times if they choose to consume alcohol.
    4. When a group spends the night in a hotel or other lodging, it is incumbent upon each member to behave responsibly as representatives of the College. No abusive, illegal, or irresponsible use of alcohol or drugs will be tolerated. Hotel management will be encouraged to deal with disruptive or illegal activities just as they would with other hotel guests. This may include involvement of local police authorities.
    5. Group members are expected to support one another in complying with this policy. Members who are in recovery or have an alcohol or drug abuse problem are encouraged to discuss this confidentially with the faculty leader(s).

Violations of Gustavus College policy regarding alcohol or illegal drugs, or of the policy established by the program leader of the off-campus course, will be addressed in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Restricted or supervised involvement in subsequent activities during the travel period.
  2. Dismissal from the program (the violator will travel home at his/her expense). Underage or illegal use of alcohol or other drugs are grounds for such dismissal.
  3. Financial restitution for damaged property.
  4. College judicial proceedings upon return to campus.

January Interim Experience Policies

Modifications of Approved Course

The January Interim Experience Instructor may teach only the approved course during the program. He/she may not modify the focus or level of the approved course. Because of the intensive nature of January Interim Experience off-campus study courses, faculty members teaching these courses must obtain approval from the Director of the Center for International and Cultural Education to supervise independent study/independent research or internship/career exploration projects during the January Interim Experience term.

Student Selection Criteria

Each course instructor shall establish selection criteria for his/her own off-campus January Interim Experience course and describe them in application materials. Applications and acceptance deadlines will be provided by CICE by early April and instructors are asked to make every effort to comply with them. Applicants for off-campus study programs should be in good academic standing at Gustavus. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required for participation in off-campus study.

Who May Participate

  • Regular students must register to take the Off-Campus January Interim Experience course for credit. No student may participate in an off-campus January Interim Experience course who is not registered for the course.
  • Persons who are not registered for the January Interim Experience course are prohibited from participating unless approval is obtained from the Director of CICE. Faculty spouses are permitted to accompany the faculty member but will pay their own expenses unless they are serving as a back-up for the course. These arrangements must be discussed with the Director of CICE at the time of the faculty application for the program. 
  • Faculty members wishing to include dependent children on Gustavus-led programs are required to include this information in their application to lead the program. Approval for dependent children to accompany the program must be made by the Director of CICE. Faculty leaders must pay the travel expenses for dependent children. Special attention should be given to addressing the issues of child-care during the program and the cost of accompanying family members.

Back-up Policy

On all Gustavus Adolphus College faculty-led off-campus January Interim Experience, the Center for International and Cultural Education will guarantee the presence of support personnel.  The backup person is necessary in the event that an emergency situation often requires the faculty member to attend to the emergency and at the same time provide supervision for those in the group not affected by the emergency.  The choice of personnel will be made by the Director of CICE in consultation with the IDPC. The variables involved in determining appropriate support for an individual January Interim Experience program include but are not limited to the following:

  • Presence of on-site support personnel, usually a provider at the host site.
  • Possibility of a faculty mentee assigned to a particular January Interim Experience.
  • Possibility of an accompanying person (spouse, retired faculty member, colleague).
  • Potential impact on the program fee.
  • Expertise of proposed back-up person with location or content of course.

The CICE reserves the right to make all final decisions concerning appointments of off-campus January Interim Experience support personnel, and will do so after appropriate consultation with the faculty leader, IDPC, and the Provost's Office.

In each case, the costs for support personnel will be covered by CICE program development funds, increased program fee, or other funding sources. Responsibilities for support personnel will be articulated in a written statement at the time of the appointment. The following expenses will be covered for approved back up persons:

  • Transportation
  • Two meals/day
  • Accommodation
  • Admissions

Several policies govern students' involvement in off-campus study. For a complete list of student policies, please see the Student Off-Campus Study Policies page.


Material on the Information for Faculty pages is from the IDPC Program Manual originally approved by the faculty on May 5, 2008. Revisions approved April 30, 2010.