ARCIE Process Explained

ARCIE Process for approving short-term off-campus courses 

For faculty members who are in the process of writing a proposal for a short-term off-campus program, the following is intended to help you better understand the Academic Review Committee for International Education (ARCIE) processes for approving UST and UMAIE sponsored courses.

ARCIE approves courses to be sent off campus.  Please note that ARCIE approval does not mean that a course will actually be sent, because this decision is made by the department and college.  We strongly encourage that applicants discuss with the department and college about if and how proposed courses fit with the department and college’s overall plans.  To be most effective the discussion ought to happen before submitting a proposal to ARCIE.

Please contact ARCIE@stthomas.edu to obtain an updated course proposal form. 

Once we have received your proposal, all committee members will carefully review the proposal and discuss whether it will be approved by ARCIE.  According to current ARCIE policies and procedures, the main focus of this review is to ensure your course has sufficient rational for going to the proposed location(s), and integrated intercultural and experiential learning.  While ARCIE’s purpose is not to assess the academic content of the course (this is the responsibility of the academic chair, dean and curriculum committee), a successful and high quality off-campus program fully integrates traditional academic content, experiential teaching methods, intercultural learning and sound logistics. Thus, in order for a proposal to be approved by ARCIE, members of the committee read the proposals and discuss the following: 

  • Does the course proposal justify why the course needs to be taught off-campus?  How are learning objectives and student learning enhanced by the location(s)? 
  • How does the course integrate intercultural learning and experiential learning with academic content?  What are the course’s intercultural learning goals and objectives (i.e. How will students learn about the intercultural context)?  How is intercultural learning assessed?  ARCIE knows there are different ways to achieve the goal of intercultural learning. The committee’s intent is to see the extent to which each course or program includes intercultural learning objectives, how the instructors plan to achieve your objectives, and the degree to which the objectives are met.
  • ARCIE reviews the integrated syllabus for: contact hours, number of days, and if evaluation methods are clear. ARCIE will also consider the proposal’s learning objectives and consider whether they are clear and attainable within the time and logistical constraints identified in the proposal. 
  • Is the proposal complete?  A common mistake is the lack of a detailed integrated syllabus.  Syllabi with just dates and locations with little attempt to demonstration how the location enhances learning objectives are difficult for ARCIE to evaluate for intercultural learning and justification for the course to be off-campus.     
  • If the course has gone before, ARCIE will also review student responses to IEC surveys to better understand from a student perspective how the location enhances the learning objectives of the course.

To help you with this review process, ARCIE recommends that proposals which are new or have significant changes take advantage of our pre-review process.  To take advantage of this pre-review process, please submit your proposals to ARCIE@stthomas.edu at least four weeks prior to the final deadline.  In this pre-review process, ARCIE members will read your proposal and provide you with detailed feedback before the final proposal deadline. 

If your course has gone in the past, please do not assume that just because it was approved in the past, it will automatically be approved in the future. 

ARCIE, December 2014