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Faculty FAQs

Currently, any faculty member at a TBR institution can apply to teach in a TnCIS program. Each TBR institution may decide on additional criteria. For example, some of the TBR institutions only allow full time faculty to apply to teach for TnCIS. Non-TBR faculty should contact the TnCIS office to inquire about teaching eligibility.
Typically, faculty applications open in November with a deadline in the following February for the succeeding calendar year. For example, applications for 2024 programs will open in November of 2022, with a deadline in February 2023.
Faculty application deadlines are generally a year and a half ahead of the actual program dates for several reasons. First, the approval process typically takes approximately four months to complete. This includes approval by TnCIS Executive Director, TnCIS Advisory Council, TBR Academic Affairs and each TBR institution. Secondly, once courses are approved, TnCIS and faculty need about one year to market and recruit students for the actual program.
Faculty can only apply to teach a course for which they are SACS qualified to teach. Any faculty who apply to teach a course for which they are not currently SACS qualified will not be considered.
Faculty are encouraged to apply to teach in any of the regular TnCIS programs. While some programs may have a particular academic focus, courses are not necessarily excluded if not part of that focus. One of the most important factors taken into consideration is the linkage/connection between the program location and the course being proposed. Courses without any demonstrated academic relationship to the program location will not be considered. Faculty are encouraged to read the program descriptions for prospective faculty under the faculty webpages of the TnCIS website to have a better idea of which programs have a specific academic focus. Click here to see program descriptions.
Partnership Programs are designed to offer a customized study abroad experience to students at one or a limited number of institutions. These custom programs are often designed as a capstone experience for a regular spring or summer course taught at the home institution and typically have a very specific student focus (i.e., honors program, workforce development, choir program). Faculty should consult with their TnCIS Institutional Rep and the TnCIS Executive Director for more guidance on the process before applying for this type of program. Additional information can be found on the TnCIS Partnership Programs webpage.
It is not required that faculty have traveled previously to the country(s) in a TnCIS Program for which they are applying. However, faculty need to demonstrate in the application that they have researched and investigated the location(s) and will be prepared and familiar as possible. Likewise, for those faculty who have traveled previously to the locations(s), a demonstrated knowledge should be conveyed.
Applicants should keep in mind that all components of the application are taken into consideration during the approval process. A competitive application would indicate the academic need and integrity of the course proposed, appropriateness of the course in the program location, as well as a demonstrated understanding of study abroad on the applicant’s part.
Upon completion of the online application, faculty should download the appropriate approval form. These include the Consortium Model Institutional Approval Form or the Partnership Program Institutional Approval Form. After using Adobe Acrobat Reader's fill & sign option to add their program, name, and institution information, faculty should send the email confirmation from, their curriculum vitae (CV), and their course syllabus to their immediate supervisor. This application email is then sent through your chain of command for electronic signatures. Once the Institutional Approval Form is complete with all signatures of approval, it is emailed to the TnCIS office. Faculty applications without electronic signatures on the approval form will not be considered. There is a video tutorial for the faculty steps and for how to complete the electronic signatures available to share with anyone needing help with the process.
All TBR institutions are independently accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Since students who participate in TnCIS programs receive academic credit directly from their home institution, each TBR institution must be able to ensure that TnCIS faculty meet the minimum SACS requirements. Faculty transcripts are kept on file so any of the TBR institutions can access them should they be required for SACS purposes.

Once a faculty member submits a transcript, TnCIS will keep it on file and faculty will not need to resubmit another should they apply to teach for TnCIS in subsequent years.
All faculty applicants are notified of approval or denial by April following the February deadline.
Once approved, faculty are required to attend two faculty orientations. There is a fall orientation in mid to late September and a spring orientation in April. Dates are announced as soon as the TnCIS calendar is set for the upcoming year. All faculty orientations are held virtually or in the middle Tennessee area on a Saturday. Partnership program orientations may be held on campus.

Faculty are required to sign a participation contract at the fall orientation and a teaching contract at the spring orientation.

Approved faculty are also required to assist TnCIS and the Program Director (lead faculty for a TnCIS program) with information about their course for marketing purposes (website, brochures, etc…) and budget development. This generally takes place in late summer.

Faculty are also encouraged to attend the Annual TnCIS Conference on International Education. The conference covers a great deal of information about study abroad and international education in general.

Most importantly faculty need to recruit students. TnCIS does recruit state-wide, but faculty recruiting is the most effective way to populate a TnCIS course.
Once TnCIS courses are approved, a complete course list is sent to each of the TBR institutions for their approval. Not all TnCIS courses are offered at all of the TBR institutions. Each institution reviews and makes a final determination of which (if any) TnCIS courses are available to their own students. Courses may not be offered for a variety of reasons, such as course level (upper level courses are not offered at the two-year institutions) course offering (not all TBR institutions have an equivalency) or similarity with an ‘in-house’ study abroad course/program.

Institutional course lists are available on the TnCIS website by institution under the Members Section.

Partnership Program courses are approved by TnCIS and the home institution during the application process.
It has been the experience of the TnCIS staff that recruiting students for study abroad must fall heavily on the shoulders of the faculty involved. Internal evaluations and national statistics show that most students who study abroad do so because of direct contact with a faculty member involved in study abroad programs. TnCIS provides all faculty and member institutions with posters and handouts to be used as recruiting materials each year. TnCIS also maintains the website with the most up to date information about programs and courses. However, all teaching faculty must make it a priority to recruit for programs by talking with as many students as possible throughout the academic year. In talking with students, it has been our experience that “selling” them on the idea of study abroad in general works better than trying to “sell” students on a specific course. While the students you interact with may or may not take your course, encouraging them to study abroad will help all TnCIS programs gain participants. Making sure you know how scholarships, financial aid, and the payment systems work at your institution is also very important. It is very discouraging for students who are excited about study abroad to encounter road blocks along the way, especially ones that you could help them navigate.
All program budgets are typically based on eight student participants for each faculty member. So, generally speaking, TnCIS plans for each course to have a minimum of eight participants. However, it is possible that you can have more or less than eight students and still have your course “make”. For example, there may be a total of 16 participants in a program with two teaching faculty. One course may have 10 students while the other course has six students. Because the budget is still being met by 16 students, both faculty will go abroad to teach his/her course. It may also be possible that your course has as many as 20 students. TnCIS does not limit the number of students in a course unless there is a cap on the total number of participants as deemed necessary by the Program Director and TnCIS Executive Director.

Enrollment minimums for Partnership Program courses are set and agreed upon by TnCIS and home institution in advance.
A TnCIS Program Director is the lead faculty/administrator contracted by TnCIS to design, organize, and manage a TnCIS program while on location. Program Directors work with the TnCIS Executive Director to design a budget for all costs associated with the program (i.e. lodging, meals, ground transportation, excursions, etc.). During the academic year, Program Directors work on recruiting, communicate with program students and faculty, and manage ongoing aspects of program planning related to the budget. Program Directors lead the country specific pre-departure orientation in April for all student participants. Beginning on the day of departure, the Program Director is on the job 24/7 and must coordinate all logistics of the program for students and faculty. The Program Director is in communication with the TnCIS office throughout the duration of the program and is the person responsible for the wellbeing of all participants on the program. In addition, this person is responsible for the integrity of the academics of the program and acts in an official capacity on behalf of the Consortium in matters related to academic, safety and security, and disciplinary issues that happen during the time abroad.
It is very likely that you will NOT be teaching in a traditional classroom. In fact, an important part of the study abroad experience is to get out of a traditional classroom. Most programs utilize space in the lodging facilities (conference room, restaurant/café, outdoor seating, etc.) for lecture style classes. Many opportunities exist for you to actually take your students “out of the classroom” and see what you are lecturing about. You may do this by visiting museums, landmarks, places of historical/cultural importance, etc. As a study abroad faculty, you must connect your students to the subject matter using the location as a supplemental teaching tool.
While many lodging facilities utilized in TnCIS programs have wi-fi availability, it is not always dependable and may only be available for a fee. TnCIS cannot guarantee access to wi-fi during the program. Faculty must consult with the program director to find out what internet options exist in a program.
All faculty are required to submit the following forms before traveling on a TnCIS program:
  1. Travel Authorization from his/her home institution
  2. Passport Copy
  3. Medical History form (completed online through the faculty portal in late February or March)
  4. Medical Surrogacy form 
No family or companion(s) may accompany faculty during a regular TnCIS study abroad program per TBR guideline.
As a faculty member on the program, you are responsible for assisting the Program Director with the day to day management of students (especially those in your course). Talking with the Program Director whenever issues come up with a student (late to class, depressed, unusual behavior) is an extremely important part of managing the overall wellbeing of students and the program in general. If for any reason the Program Director is not able to complete his/her responsibilities (i.e., illness, injury, emergency), the program faculty must be ready to take on the operational responsibilities of the program in conjunction with the guidance of the TnCIS staff. All faculty are fully trained at TnCIS orientations in the fall and spring prior to the program. Appropriate training and ample opportunity for questions regarding the nature of study abroad program management are provided at orientations, statewide conferences, and by talking with the TnCIS staff directly.
Faculty in consortium model programs are paid a $2,200 honorarium which is taxable and applied towards the faculty members’ benefits plan. All TnCIS faculty sign a dual-service contract with Pellissippi State (TnCIS’ fiscal agent) and are paid through the faculty’s home institution. This payment is made after completion of the teaching responsibilities and is at the discretion of the faculty’s home institution.
Faculty must submit student final grades for their course(s) through their TnCIS faculty portal. Instructions are given at the spring faculty orientation. You must also complete a faculty course reporting form questionnaire in the faculty portal which gives detailed information regarding course excursions, lectures, and contact hours. Additionally, information must be provided on how the course met academic requirements compared to a semester course and the objectives as stated on the course syllabus.

Faculty must keep student graded material and any resources used to determine the student’s grade for at least six months.
Yes. All faculty (including Program Directors) interested in teaching for TnCIS must reapply and complete the process each year.