Friday, June 19, 2009

Call for Proposals for Forum on Education Abroad Standards of Good Practice Institute

The Forum on Education Abroad has announced on their website a call for session proposals for their inaugural Standards of Good Practice Institute, "Beyond the Basics of Health, Safety and Security," to be held March 24, 2010 in conjunction with their annual conference. The deadline for submitting proposals is July 31, 2009.

A detailed description from the Forum’s website follows:

The primary purpose of the Standards Institutes is to offer participants the opportunity to broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Forum Standards of Good Practice and hone their skills in implementing them. The first Institute, Beyond the Basics of Health, Safety and Security, will be dedicated to the education abroad risk management issues with which organizations and institutions struggle. The practical, hands-on focus for this day will include multiple concurrent and plenary sessions that will assist participants to improve their institutional and organizational strategies for risk mitigation, incident prevention and response. The goals of the Institute are to:

- Deepen knowledge and understanding of Standard 7, Health, Safety and Security;
- Enhance the knowledge and skills necessary to meet this Standard by analyzing what the Standard requires and sharing examples of best practices;
- Discuss and make suggestions for improvement of the Health, Safety and Security Standard;

- Explore approaches to and implementation of risk management best practices for education abroad;
- Discuss the outcomes of and suggest improvements to the Forum’s incident reporting pilot database;
- Enhance the overall safety and security of participants’ education abroad programs for the benefit of the students who participate in them.

The Institute will be designed to address the needs of experienced practitioners in the area of risk management in education abroad. Institute participants will be expected to have more than a basic knowledge of the topics involved and therefore proposals should not be geared to entry-level concerns. While a number of sessions will be led by invited experts both from within and from outside the education abroad field, some sessions will be chosen through a competitive selection process. Questions of interest to the Institute include:

- What are the best practices in emergency planning, training, and the development and testing of crisis management plans?
- How do organizations establish and implement successful risk management communications protocols?
- What are the legal and liability concerns that are most serious for education abroad and how should they be understood?
- What is acceptable risk in an education abroad context?
- What critical incidents should the field be reporting and how should it best compile the information?
- How do organizations and institutions best prepare for and deal with the death of a student?
- What are the cross-cultural dimensions of health care that are essential to understand?
- What can education abroad learn from the experience and knowledge of travel medicine?
- What reasonable accommodations should programs make under the Americans with Disabilities Act?
- What factors need to be considered, and what decision-making processes need to be put in place, for deciding when to close (and re-open) a program due to safety concerns?
- How can organizations best assess and determine adequate insurance coverage for all areas of education abroad programming?
- What are strategies for providing access to effective medical care?
- How does the psychological development of late adolescents and their cognitive abilities impact students’ ability to understand risk?

Session Format and Proposals
The majority of sessions are expected to follow the Forum’s distinctive roundtable format; however, the Institute Planning Committee will consider session proposals that utilize other formats, including panel presentations. Successful proposals will describe in detail how the proposed session will broaden and deepen participants’ knowledge and understanding of the Forum Standard on "Health, Safety, and Security” and hone their skills in implementing it. Those submitting a successful proposal may be invited to submit a white paper for a post-Institute publication.

You can learn more about the Standards of Good Practice Institute and access the Standards Institute Proposal Form here.

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