$60,000 over 12 months. The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), Associated Colleges of the South (ACS), and Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) have received a planning grant from the Teagle Foundation to develop a project to assess varying models of study abroad programs for students at liberal arts colleges and to measure the learning outcomes that result from such programs. Two questions frame the consortia's joint efforts: 1) What are the goals of study abroad experiences, especially as part of the overall experience of acquiring a liberal arts education? and 2) How do we evaluate the effectiveness and the learning outcomes of these experiences?
ACM will develop a framework to analyze the goals of study abroad in the context of the stated educational goals of liberal education. This will include surveying the professional literature, collecting statements from catalogues and academic departments, and assessing goals articulated by students themselves. The parallel and complimentary focus of ACS and GLCA will be to collect information about the types of study abroad programs students use, to determine the varied aims of these programs, and to survey assessment tools currently in use to ascertain which ones are most appropriate for study abroad programs and liberal education. Results of this work will be disseminated to the 42 member colleges of the three consortia and to the broader higher education community and will support more comprehensive future assessment efforts in the study abroad context.