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RSCC Policy AA-26-01; Development & Operation of Off-Campus International Educational Programs

Roane State Community College
Policy Number: AA-26-01
Subject: Development & Operation of Off-Campus International Educational Programs
  1. Purpose
    Roane State Community College (RSCC) will provide students with opportunities to earn postsecondary credit and non-credit service and internship experiences at off-campus international sites.
  2. Policy
    RSCC and the Tennessee Board of Regents System (TBR) support off-campus international educational programs, service, internship, or courses as a valid and valuable part of undergraduate education. Roane State supports engagement in international opportunities that meet the legitimate academic needs of our students. RSCC will provide in-house programs as well as programs in cooperation with consortia both internal to the TBR system and those external to the system.
  3. Procedures
    1. Introduction
      1. All international education programs or courses operated, sponsored or approved by RSCC for academic credit are expected to maintain standards of quality in the delivery of instruction, support services, and administration which are consistent with educational excellence.
      2. In general, program or courses operated or sponsored by RSCC or in combination with a consortium shall be:
        1. Within the scope of the mission of the institution;
        2. Integrated into the undergraduate curricula;
        3. Feasible and sustainable;
        4. Subject to regular, periodic evaluation and assessment according to RSCC’s normal review procedures for academic programs; and
        5. In compliance with all applicable and federal and state laws and regulations.
    2. RSCC has established guidelines for operation of international programs
      1. Policies or guidelines for RSCC have been established and are submitted annually to the TBR Office of Student Success.
      2. Policies and procedures for RSCC have been vetted through the appropriate institutional channels including TBR Office of General Counsel, as applicable.
    3. RSCC has developed structures for international education programs or courses to be approved by the college. Memorandum of Understanding or Agreement related to international studies requires approval of the institutional Chief Academic Officer, President or the President’s Designee.
    4. All approvals are forwarded to the TBR Vice Chancellor of Student Success upon completion.
  4. Types of Programs
    RSCC sponsors and administers in-house international programs and/or courses and participates in partnerships with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (TnCIS) to offer opportunities for global study to students.
    1. RSCC has established policies/procedures regarding enrolling students and awarding credit in a timely fashion to students for international education programs or courses.
    2. RSCC will evaluate international education credit earned at TBR or non-TBR institutions according to the credit transfer procedures detailed in the RSCC catalogue.
    3. The transfer procedures in the RSCC catalogue will guide the enrollment, awarding and transfer of credit for students matriculating in another TBR or non-TBR affiliated institution or consortia. These procedures also cover non-TBR students matriculating in institutional courses or TBR related consortia.
    4. Non-institutional faculty must meet SACSCOC standards.
  5. Defining Roles
    1. Participants
      1. Students currently enrolled at RSCC.
        1. In keeping with best practices, only individuals enrolled at RSCC may participate in study abroad programs.
        2. Students enrolled at RSCC must be registered in a study-abroad specific course in order to participate in RSCC’s study abroad programs or for the equivalent of a course offered by TnCIS.
        3. RSCC has established guidelines to determine the required preparation necessary for a student to participate in the desired international experience (e.g., GPA, tenure in academic program, academic preparedness, and contributions to the program of study).
        4. Individuals who are not students at RSCC must enroll under “Non-Degree” or “Continuing Education” or “Transient” or “Transfer” student status for the duration of the international education experience. Enrolling in one of these classifications requires that these individuals meet all qualifications, prerequisites, and requirements for selection as a participant in an international education program, participate in all class meetings as well as any orientation meetings, and pay all tuition and fees to RSCC.
      2. Faculty or staff employed by RSCC serving in an advisory or coordinating capacity to the student or student group while abroad.
      3. Community partnering organization members who serve a coordinating or mentoring role to students engaged in the experience. In such instances, the community partner members must be registered as a volunteer with RSCC.
    2. Program Directors and Group Leaders
      1. These are primarily RSCC employees who administratively lead and/or teach international education experiences. These can also include TBR employees who are employed at another higher education institution who serve as faculty directing/teaching in a TnCIS program. Their roles are defined and documented by RSCC and are on file with the TBR Vice Chancellor of Student Success.
      2. For non-credit bearing service and internship experiences, a group leader may consist of:
        1. Student leaders for a RSCC recognized student organization coordinating the experience for a group of students.
        2. Faculty or staff employed by RSCC serving in an advisory or coordinating capacity to the student or student group.
      3. Program directors serve as institutional representatives and as such must maintain current certification as a Study Abroad Leader through the TBR Office of Student Success, RSCC training, or TnCIS study abroad training programs. Individual faculty are responsible for providing documentation of qualifications at the time of application to offer a study abroad program at RSCC or through TnCIS.
      4. All program directors of RSCC sponsored trips must create a campus-appropriate training structure and implement RSCC assessment guidelines for the completion of such training prior to faculty leading a trip.
    3. Faculty Instructors
      Faculty who are teaching an international course, but may not be the designated program director, will have their roles defined and documented.
    4. Non-credit Experience Program Sponsors
      For non-credit bearing service and internship experience, program sponsors may be:
      1. Faculty
      2. RSCC recognized student organizations
      3. Student support services office or academic department
      4. Sponsoring entity – organization where the student will be placed to do internship or service experience. This would include any non-profit organizations, business or associations located abroad who agree to host the student(s).
    5. Accompanying Spouses and Minors
      1. In cases where a program director or faculty instructor will be traveling abroad for an extended period of time (more than 30 days), RSCC has the discretion as to whether to allow spouses and minors to travel with the employee.
      2. Spouses and minor children, if allowed to participate, cannot impair the operation or administration of the program, or otherwise infringe on the participants, or incorporate any of their expenses into the program budget.
      3. Spouses and minor children, if allowed to participate, must complete an Assumption of Risk form for RSCC and consortia (if relevant) prior to departure.
  6. Best Practices
    RSCC is committed to identifying and adopting relevant practices which assist the college in enhancing and improving education abroad activities and processes including:
    1. undertaking reasonable steps to be informed of and comply with applicable laws both at home and in the host country;
    2. avoiding arrangements which might violate those laws or accepted business practices of the U.S. or host country;
    3. establishing and maintaining reasonably safe and non-discriminatory, work, study and living conditions for employees and students;
    4. communicating clearly with students the anticipated environmental conditions of the location abroad;
    5. making available current policies, procedures, and job descriptions;
    6. exercising due diligence in cost control and adopting clear and reasonable billing procedures for participants;
    7. establishing transparent protocols for data collected;
    8. maintaining sufficient financial resources to meet obligations and exigencies for unanticipated obligations;
    9. enforcing research including human subject research protocols and those of the host country in accordance with standards outlined by the Department of Health and Human Services and National Institutes of Health;
    10. engaging in continuous improvement;
    11. emphasizing academic integrity within the international education experience;
    12. managing all provider arrangements for oversight and evaluation; and
    13. following the established U.S. Import/Export Guidelines.
  7. Types of Programs & Program Documentation
    1. Courses for academic credit, hosted abroad, provide academic learning opportunities appropriate to the mission of the program and that align to courses in a student’s area of study or which meet general education requirements.
    2. RSCC administered programs led by RSCC faculty including:
      1. Course-embedded study abroad;
      2. Course-embedded internships;
      3. Course-embedded service learning.
        1. Service learning abroad or community-engaged learning combines structured participation in a community-based project to achieve specified learning outcomes as part of the study abroad program.
        2. Service learning is not the equivalent of civic engagement.
        3. Determination of service learning activities should be mindful of the culture and politics of the location in which the program is offered.
    3. Programs where a TBR institution or consortia maintains a central office or facility in another country which is staffed by a resident director and is under close supervision by the TBR institution or consortia which awards credit.
    4. Programs at international branch campuses.
    5. Reciprocal exchange programs which are bilateral or multilateral exchanges require either a MOA or MOU.
      1. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a document signifying the mutual interest in the development of collaborative educational activities related to instruction, research, and extension between units at cooperating institutions. No financial or legal obligations are incurred with an MOU. It is often the preliminary step to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
      2. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is a contract between units at cooperating institutions to develop collaborative activities related to instruction, research, and/or extension and thus, establishes the parameters for student exchanges between two institutions.
      3. All collaborations involving either a MOU or MOA through which RSCC agrees to work with a non-TBR institution, whether domestic or international, must be vetted through the TBR General Counsel’s Office.
      4. Partner institutions may be proposed by anyone at RSCC but the decision to pursue a formal agreement with any institution abroad must be supported by the Chief Academic Officer, President of RSCC, or the president’s designee.
      5. RSCC must have an official, written agreement with institutions abroad or consortia prior to commencing an international studies program and such agreement must be reviewed by legal counsel prior to its execution.
    6. Programs requiring direct enrollment in institutions outside the United States.
    7. Consortia sponsored programs including programs sponsored through TnCIS.
    8. Programs sponsored by American universities and college overseas.
    9. Hybrid or mixed programs which combine two or more of the program types to a significant degree, or
    10. Programs contracted with a third party vendor or independent program provider.
      1. RSCC may use the services of third party or independent program providers which offer education abroad program services to students. With the exception of approved consortia, RSCC does not participate in third party programs that offer services to students from multiple institutions either within TBR or outside TBR.
      2. RSCC maintains liability for the welfare of students enrolled at RSCC while they are engaged in study abroad provided through any third party provider.
    11. Non-credit-bearing experiences abroad
      1. Volunteer or service programs – placements abroad in which the primary emphasis is for students to engage with the local community in a structured, unpaid capacity, but with a cultural focus. The activity of a volunteer or service program is designed to fill needs present in the on-site community and should be developed based on an analysis of host/sponsoring entity’s community needs.
      2. Internship programs abroad – provide professional experience with a primary emphasis that is educational, but with a cultural focus. Internships provide students opportunities to gain skills and content area knowledge while immersed in a professional or work context. The practical learning enhances, but may not be necessary to, the student’s academic degree or future career or educational goals. The experience may be paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time.
  8. Safety, Welfare, and Student Conduct
    1. RSCC does not permit travel to countries or portions of countries where the U.S. Department of State currently advises against travel or tourism by Americans.
    2. RSCC may further restrict travel where, in their opinion, the U.S. Department of State or other credible authority has identified safety risks.
    3. RSCC has a policy for terminating an existing program if the situation arises where students and/or faculty are in danger. Program participants including faculty, staff, and students must be informed that any program may end in such an event.
    4. Faculty and staff directing and teaching in study abroad programs are trained in the liabilities and the responsibilities accompanying their role when not on U.S. soil.
    5. RSCC has operational policies and procedures in place for faculty leading international education experiences to refer to as needed which include:
      1. Health and safety, insurance, payments of health care expenses when abroad, contract information for medical assistance in the area(s) in which the program is in operation;
      2. Crisis management and response;
      3. Disciplinary actions ranging from reporting to expulsion; and
      4. Student appeals.
    6. In case of medical emergency, RSCC program directors should take reasonable action on behalf of the student participant.
    7. Crisis Response Plans
      1. RSCC has a detailed critical response protocol in place to address emergencies.
        RSCC, as well as the TnCIS based programs, ensures that all program directors, faculty and students receive clear training on how any crisis is to be handled.
      2. RSCC has established a clear, written reporting chain with identified contact person(s) on campus to which all incidents and potential actions to take within a crisis situation are reported.
        1. All incidents should be reported at the earliest possible time.
        2. Program directors for international study courses have clear guidelines with relevant contact information for airlines, insurance and medical personnel in the event of a crisis including the need to evacuate.
      3. A copy of RSCC’s crisis response plan is filed with the TBR Office of Student Success by April 1 of each year.
      4. RSCC complies with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act).
        1. RSCC has a policy for compliance with the Clery Act regarding all international programs.
        2. RSCC has a policy that designates an individual responsible for complying with the Clery Act.
    8. Student Rights
      1. Study Abroad programs are expected to comply with the American Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act when possible. Qualified students with disabilities will be provided with reasonable and necessary accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services office staff. Prior to granting disability accommodations in the course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student’s eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services office staff. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate contact with the disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.
        1. Issues related to accessibility should be resolved after a student is accepted into an international educational experience, but before the student departs on the trip.
        2. Appropriate institutional offices including those responsible for international programs and disability services should be contacted to assist in the determination of reasonable accommodation.
      2. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
        1. RSCC and their respective faculty members must have written and signed permission from a student in order to release information from a student’s educational record or personally identifiable information to only those persons designated by the student on the permission form.
        2. FERPA consent includes the type of record to be disclosed, to whom the record will be released and the student’s signature.
        3. When a student turns 18 years old or enrolls in an institution of higher education at any age, the rights under the FERPA transfer from the parents to the student with some exceptions which include: when a student is claimed by either parent as a dependent for tax purposes; for school officials with legitimate educational interest, and; appropriate officials in the case of health and safety emergencies.
    9. Travel Alerts
      1. Within six weeks prior to travel for an international program or course, RSCC will disclose to participants U.S. State Department Consular Information Sheets and Public Announcements or Travel Alerts and crime and safety reports from the Overseas Security Advisement Council as well as essential health and safety considerations, including the Center for Disease Control Travel Information Health Recommendations.
      2. During the overseas program or course offering, RSCC will monitor and evaluate any new information and report to the Program Director, as appropriate.
    10. Information to be Provided to Students
      RSCC has policies and procedures to inform participants who enroll in international opportunities that the institution:
      1. Cannot guarantee or assure the safety of participants or eliminate all risks from the international education environments.
      2. Cannot monitor or control all of the daily personal decisions, choices, and activities of individual participants.
      3. Cannot assure that U.S. standards of due process apply in overseas legal proceedings and cannot provide or pay for legal representation for participants.
      4. Cannot assume responsibility for the actions of persons not employed or otherwise engaged by the college or in-country program provider for events that are not part of the program or that are beyond the control of the in-country provider, or for situations that may arise due to the failure of a participant to disclose pertinent information.
      5. Cannot assure that home-country cultural values and norms will apply in the host country.
      6. Cannot assure that U.S. standards of hygiene, medical practice, food and product safety will apply in the host country.
    11. Insurance Coverage
      1. RSCC purchases (on behalf of the students) accident and health insurance and medical evacuation and repatriation insurance prior to departure for any international education program. Program directors will also inform students of additional travel insurance that they may choose to purchase.
      2. RSCC provides information on available medical care in the host country; if available medical care is a cause for concern, participants must be informed.
    12. Conduct and Discipline Issues
      1. RSCC’s policies regarding student conduct apply to students registered for credit while participating in international opportunities.
      2. All participants, whether enrolled for credit or not, must attend a program pre-departure and on-site orientation, including emergency contact information and repatriation information including issues relevant to the culture, social and health conditions of the host country, in addition to information about registration, fee payment and re-enrollment, as appropriate.
      3. All international education programs must brief program participants regarding student conduct expectations including but not limited to alcohol and drug use, visitation, prohibited locations, and abuse of laws and customs of the country to be visited.
      4. A student’s removal from an international program may be conducted in accordance with TBR policy General Regulations on Student Conduct and Disciplinary Sanctions (access the complete detailed TBR policy at and/or RSCC’s Policy SA-06-01 Student Discipline (access the complete detailed RSCC policy SA-06-01 at
      5. Students should become familiarized with RSCC’s policies governing student conduct, and a discussion of such policies should be a part of the student’s orientation session.
      6. RSCC policy PA-02-01 Harassment-Sexual, Racial, Other addresses complaints of discrimination and harassment arising during the course of a program. Access the complete detailed RSCC policy PA-02-01 at
      7. This policy and TBR’s policies,, and apply to study abroad programs. Access the complete detailed TBR policies at
        1. Faculty and staff involved in study abroad activities who receive complaints of harassment whether student-to-student, staff-to-student, student-to-staff or any other individuals for which harassment is alleged during an international education experience, must report the incident to RSCC immediately.
        2. The procedure provides for due process for any student accused of misconduct.
      8. Students from other institutions who participate in RSCC’s international study programs regardless of their classification must adhere to RSCC’s student conduct rules and regulations and all rules of the international program in which they are enrolled.
      9. RSCC does not tolerate harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age (as applicable), status as a covered veteran, genetic information, and any other category protected by deferral or state civil rights law.
      10. RSCC has the right to take disciplinary action including expulsion of students during an international educational experience using the same guidelines and processes of action and appeal as those in place on the home campus.
      11. Due Process
        1. RSCC has established minimum due process procedures for students who are participating in international study courses.
        2. Due process must be enacted consistent with TBR Policy, General Regulations on Student Conduct & Disciplinary Sanctions. Access the complete detailed TBR policy at
        3. Due process procedures are clearly outlined in international study course materials and provided to students in pre-trip trainings.
      12. Authority
        Administrative leaders of international study courses have the authority to establish more stringent guidelines than those set either by TBR or RSCC policies regarding student conduct which might be disruptive to the program or individual participants. These may include guidelines regarding the use and abuse of drugs, alcohol, engaging in behaviors which may be culturally inappropriate in the host country, or actions that may put the student or others at risk. Students should be advised that standards of personal conduct differ from those in the United States and what is expected in a host country before traveling abroad.
    13. Media Inquiries
      1. RSCC has established procedures for media inquiries regarding any incident involving RSCC faculty, staff or student involved in any TBR-endorsed international education experience.
      2. Administrators should consult the Chief Student Affairs Officer and/or legal counsel regarding the release of student information on student records in accordance with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  9. Student Outreach, Placement, Training, and Supervision for Non-Credit Service and Internship Experiences Abroad
    1. Prior to recruiting students to participate, RSCC will review and approve the following information submitted by the International Education Department during planning stages:
      1. Name and description of the program and/or sponsoring entity, and its context (cultural, economic, community);
      2. Scope and nature of the assigned responsibilities;
      3. Responsibilities of RSCC or host organization, the sponsoring entity, and the student;
      4. Primary contact on-site;
      5. Required time commitment (hours per day, number of weeks);
      6. Requirements and competencies that will impact the student’s success in the experience;
      7. Expectations of professionalism and appropriate conduct;
      8. Expectations of the student’s obligation to act within the limits of their knowledge and competencies, and within the role prescribed for them;
      9. Learning objectives for internship and job experiences; and
      10. Any other institutional policies and procedures that govern travel abroad or student travel.
    2. Prior to signing up to participate in the experience, students should receive communication with the following information:
      1. Accurate description of the program, housing options and any associated costs;
      2. Accurate description of the distance between the location where volunteer, internship, or work experiences will take place and student housing and available transportation and cost;
      3. Deadlines and timetables for placement, application, interviews, confirmation of placement, start and end dates; and
      4. Learning objectives and requirements for student participation.
    3. Prior to advising or supervising students who travel abroad in non-credit bearing experiences, RSCC will ensure that:
      1. Faculty/staff working with the program are effectively trained to oversee, monitor, and maintain ongoing communication with the student(s);
      2. RSCC will maintain open channels of communication throughout the experience with the program director and faculty, in-country provider, and the student(s);
      3. There is a mechanism for filing grievances or complaints;
      4. There is an emergency plan in place for the student(s) while abroad, including appropriate emergency contact information for the student(s) and in-country provider, secondary contact information, and emergency contact information that can be shared with the student’s designated family members;
      5. There is clear distinction between the learning role and the work or service role of the student(s), and that the program director or the in-country provider are prepared to anticipate or navigate any conflicts that might arise between these roles;
      6. The overseas environment of the RSCC study abroad program is safe and non-threatening. The International Education Department and the program leaders are responsible for assuring that all State Department Travel and Health Advisories have been shared with participants. If the State Department advisory includes language stating “avoid travel”, then RSCC study abroad programs should not travel to that location; and
      7. The student(s) are adequately supervised and supported.
    4. Health, Safety, Security, and Risk Management for Non-Credit Trips Abroad
      1. All student organization travel must adhere to TBR policy Access the complete detailed TBR policy at
      2. Program sponsors should provide clear information on any potential health and safety risks specific to the context in which students will be working, including, but not limited to CDC travel notices.
      3. Program sponsors should review relevant individual health information prior to the arrival on site, to identify any special considerations or accommodations that might need to be taken into account.
      4. Program sponsors should clearly articulate policies and practices that protect the health and safety of student participants in the event of an outbreak of diseases or other health/safety risks.
      5. Program sponsors should educate student participants on their personal responsibility for their own physical and mental health and safety while abroad, on available resources to support their health and safety, and on their right to decline when asked to perform activities outside their scope of training or their abilities.
      6. It is required that each participant have their own medical, travel, and accident insurance. Any costs not covered by insurance will be the responsibility of the traveler.
      7. Student participation in activities which are non-credit bearing and off-campus require student acknowledgement of inherent risk and waivers of liability. Program sponsors are responsible for collecting these documents and maintaining the files in a central location in accordance with TBR Policy (formerly Guideline G-070). Access the complete detailed TBR policy at
      8. Dual-enrolled students are not eligible to participate. Students under the age of 18 must have a liability waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian.
      9. Students are subject to enforcement of RSCC’s student code of conduct and local, state, and federal laws at all times while traveling. Disciplinary issues must be reported by the group leaders to the appropriate RSCC official upon return to campus.
  10. Recruitment, Admission, Orientation, Participation, Program Evaluation and Re-entry
    RSCC will notify TBR Office of Student Success of any international education programs offered so they can be included on the TBR system office website.
    1. RSCC will notify the Vice Chancellor for Student Success of all international education courses when schedules are confirmed regardless of the direction of the course or program to be offered.
    2. RSCC will create program recruitment/advising materials and/or advising and recruitment efforts which accurately represent the program and include selection criteria based on appropriate academic standards, cultural and educational objectives, estimated cost, financial aid, health insurance requirements, services provided, vaccinations, visa responsibilities and legal proceedings. Students should be informed of these issues at the time of admission.
  11. Admission/Educational Standards
    1. RSCC has established educational standards for all students who elect to study in an international setting.

      RSCC has determined a minimum GPA requirement, selection criteria, and enrollment status for students studying internationally either independently or in international education programs.
    2. Credit is offered for individual courses within international education programs with the full measure of demand and academic rigor, not merely for the purpose of travel or touring in a foreign location. RSCC has a comprehensive policy on the transfer of credit and transcript evaluation from international institutions.
    3. RSCC, in consultation with faculty and departments, will grant appropriate academic credit for coursework successfully completed on educational programs abroad which it operates or sponsors.
    4. RSCC will inform participants as completely and accurately as possible as to the process that it follows in awarding credit for international education and provide academic advising to facilitate integration of coursework abroad with a participant’s major field and degree requirements.
    5. RSCC has policies as to the acceptability of academic courses completed in an international setting to the major field requirements.
    6. RSSS has grade appeal procedures in place to assist students wishing to appeal an unsatisfactory grade or removal from an academic course taught in an international setting.
    7. All RSCC international study offerings including study-abroad programs awarding academic credit to students enrolled at RSCC on in a TnCIS program must comply with regional accreditation and/or TBR standards.
    8. RSCC ensures that global study opportunities equate in contact hours with those expected of students matriculating at RSCC per TBR instructional hour policy.
    9. RSCC will establish an equivalency (if necessary) for international study courses offered by TnCIS in order to offer credit at RSCC.
    10. Financial Aid
      1. Due to the complexity of offering classes or programs internationally, timelines will be developed each year that allow for the student to apply for financial aid.
      2. Students who are receiving financial aid are not allowed to change from credit to audit once funds have been disbursed.
      3. Proof of Acceptance
        Students must provide documentation of acceptance into international education programs to the student’s financial aid office as requested and establish payment schedules for tuition and program fees which take in consideration both the disbursement schedule of financial aid monies and the departure dates for international education programs.
    11. Orientation and Participation
      1. Students with Disabilities
        1. RSCC will attempt to work with institutions abroad to provide reasonable access for students with disabilities in their study abroad programs.
        2. RSCC will inform students that it cannot, however, guarantee any particular access.
      2. RSCC may, at its discretion, require students, faculty or staff to provide signed documentation of having received pre-travel advice and counseling, as well as relevant vaccinations, anti-malarial prophylaxis, and other medical interventions consistent with appropriate medical practice.
      3. RSCC may restrict participation in an international program for participants, program directors and group leaders, and faculty instructors to be at excessive medical risk.
      4. All students and faculty, whether program directors or instructional faculty, are required to have documentable medical insurance with covered medical treatment outside of U.S. borders at a minimum of $100,000 per accident or sickness as well as evacuation and repatriation insurance combined minimum of $50,000 in order to participate in study abroad. RSCC currently purchases group insurance to cover evacuation and repatriation on behalf of students and faculty. (Currently TnCIS also purchases group insurance on behalf of students and faculty engaging in TnCIS programs.)
    12. Evaluations
      1. All participants and international program leaders are expected to complete post-program evaluation forms to gather data on the effectiveness of recruitment, admissions, pre-departure orientation, the educational and personal value of program components while abroad, re-entry, and recommendations for continuation or termination of the trip in the future.
      2. RSCC conducts its own evaluations for inclusion in campus planning of internationalization activities.
  12. Host Country Consideration
    To promote the free exchange of ideas and knowledge, no restrictions shall be placed on the establishment or maintenance of programs in other countries based on the political, religious, racial, ethnic, or ideological characteristics of a host country or its government.
  13. Fiscal Management and Educational Standards
    1. RSCC has fiscal, risk management and educational standards for international education programs whether offered by RSCC or through a consortia or other arrangement.
      1. RSCC is responsible for determining if there are additional demands for international education programs in any specific location or for any specific field unmet by any other TBR institution or affiliate program.
      2. RSCC considers affordability including startup costs, convenience and stability of a site when developing an international education program.
      3. RSCC has established policies which allow students to register for classes, earn credit, obtain financial aid, pay tuition and international education fees, and to obtain refund and or withdraw for all international education programs.
      4. RSCC has established policies including deadlines for the collection of tuition and fees from students for international education and, if applicable, the transfer to TnCIS.
      5. RSCC utilizes existing accounting and reporting procedures for all international travel for program directors or group leaders.
    2. Program Audits and Course Evaluations
      1. RSCC evaluates individual courses in its in-house programs and for TnCIS programs to determine the continued academic value and financial viability of each program.
      2. Course evaluation procedures and measures are the same or equivalent for RSCC in-house programs and for TnCIS programs.
      3. Program evaluations include perceived strengths and weaknesses, the projected and actual costs of the program, both in terms of financial cost and in-kind costs contributed by the program director and program staff, program enhancements or improvements needed, strategies for improvement and lessons learned that can be a good tool for future program directors or group leaders.
      4. Evaluations include student assessments, as appropriate, as well as a full evaluation completed by the program director or group leader.
  14. Financial Management
    1. RSCC has established financial policies specific to international education programs using approved state accounts, with appropriate management and auditing procedures.
    2. Financial procedures for RSCC in-house study abroad programs
      1. Budgeting
        1. Each study abroad program is expected to be financially self-sustaining over time and be accountable for good financial management practices.
        2. A projected budget must be completed by the Study Abroad Program director and submitted to the RSCC Chief Business Officer or their designee.
      2. The budgeting process for study abroad programs is based on a reasonable projection of operating costs in the host country, including consideration of projected currency exchange rates.
        1. The budget should clearly identify which expenses are to be paid from tuition and mandatory courses fees and which expenses are to be paid from student-specific program fee revenue.
        2. The budget should specify if the expense is for the employee or students.
        3. Program fee revenue should only be used for student expenses.
      3. Budgeting for instructional costs paid from the unrestricted educational and general fund may consider both tuition revenues and state appropriations generated by student enrollments in study abroad programs, consistent with budgeting for other academic programs.
      4. The college as a whole maintains sufficient unrestricted fund balances to ensure that the institution can meet reasonable contingencies that may arise during the operation of the program.
    3. Registration and Fee Payment
      1. RSCC is responsible for the charging of tuition (maintenance fees and/or out-of-state tuition) and fees, receipt of student payments, administering financial aid, registering students and reporting of grades in the same manner as domestic programs.
      2. RSCC’s Study Abroad Office (in consultation with RSCC’s in-house program directors) will provide information about each student and his/her appropriate program charges no later than three weeks prior to travel, so that these can be entered into RSCC’s (or TnCIS if applicable) student information system.
      3. Study abroad fees generally consist of two components:
        1. Tuition and mandatory student fees related to the actual registration for classes.
          1. All study abroad students (with the exception of TnCIS students – see 3.a.(iii.)) pay a minimum of tuition and applicable mandatory fees. However, this does not prohibit the use of scholarships from any source of funding to pay for the tuition and applicable mandatory fees.
          2. Tuition and mandatory fees should be assessed by the regular student information system when registration occurs.
          3. RSCC will not collect tuition for students enrolled in TnCIS study abroad programs. Regular tuition and any regular mandatory fees will be assessed and charged to a RSCC scholarship expense account. However, TnCIS students will be assessed a TnCIS program fee that will be paid to RSCC and then transferred to Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC), the fiscal agent for TnCIS.
        2. Program specific fees (for travel, lodging, meals, exchange rate variance, etc.)
          1. These program fees will be assessed in the student information system whenever possible.
          2. Payment deadlines and refund schedules for these fees will vary from program to program.
      4. Accounting
        1. Financial activity attributable to RSCC study abroad programs is recorded as follows:
          1. Student tuition and applicable mandatory fee revenue is assessed and recorded in general funds (E&G) as unrestricted revenue.
          2. Salaries and benefits of program instructional faculty should be paid from applicable departmental unrestricted E&G funds unless there is an applicable restricted grant for the faculty salary and benefits.
          3. Program fee revenue and related expenses are recorded in a restricted E&G account specific to the responsible program or office. Only student-specific expenses should be paid from the restricted E&G account. Typical student-specific costs include travel, lodging, tours, meals, event fees, and student supplies.
          4. If an account has been inactive for eighteen months, with no deposits or expenditures, any excess funds remaining in the account must be transferred to another study abroad program fund or to a contingency fund.
        2. The activity’s restricted program funds should be monitored and regularly reconciled by the RSCC Business Office or Study Abroad office.
          1. It should also be verified that only student activity-related expenses are charged to the restricted self-supporting funds.
          2. RSCC may choose to refund residual balances in the restricted program fund among activity participants, within 60 days of completion of the trip, or use this money to establish and maintain a contingency account.
          3. The use of contingency funds must have the prior approval of the Study Abroad Office, the Vice President for Student Learning and the Vice President of Business and Finance.
        3. Financial activity attributable to TnCIS study abroad program revenues and disbursements should be recorded in RSCC’s agency fund.
      5. Acquiring Goods and Services Abroad
        1. To the maximum extent possible, arrangements for goods and services needed while abroad should be paid by RSCC directly to the vendor.
          1. However, there are situations where payment for goods and services abroad must be rendered at the time they are acquired. In these situations, RSCC may utilize several methods to make payments while abroad.
          2. Any of the following can be used for purchases and expenses associated with a study abroad program:
            1. Procurement card;
            2. Check request;
            3. Stored value/pre-paid card;
            4. Cash advance/petty cash advance to an authorized RSCC representative;
            5. Direct payment by an authorized RSCC representative from personal funds, with a reimbursement request to follow.
        2. Study abroad programs will comply with all applicable TBR and RSCC policies regarding procurement and use of these payment methods.
      6. Travel Advances/Petty Cash Advances
        1. RSCC has the authority to determine the best way to handle payment of purchases and expenses for its study abroad programs.
        2. RSCC may also allow for travel advances/petty cash to pay for large expenses abroad. However, due to the risks and responsibilities associated with petty cash, its use should be limited to those situations where other payment alternatives are not an option.
        3. All cash advances will follow current RSCC policies.
        4. The employee must include the estimated foreign expenses that will be required to be paid in cash, along with an explanation of why they cannot be paid for with a credit card or direct billing arrangement.
        5. The employee must provide information to clearly show the business purpose of the expenses and documentation to support the expenses claimed.
        6. Within 30 days of return, the employee must complete a travel expense voucher and submit itemized receipts for all expenses paid from the advance.
          1. If the expenses were less than the amount of advance received, all remaining funds must be returned to RSCC.
          2. If costs were more than what was provided in the advance for expenses that are approved or integrally related to the educational aspects of the program, the employee may receive reimbursement for these expenses.
      7. Reimbursement
        1. Employees are responsible for keeping copies of original receipts to verify that expenses were valid and related to the program.
          1. If it isn’t possible to obtain original receipts for program-related expenses, the employee must keep a log listing all expenses and ask the person providing the service or another person on the trip (preferably another employee) to sign and document what was provided.
          2. RSCC will hold the employee financially responsible for all charges for which there are no receipts or log entries.
          3. The employee will also be responsible for all expenses that are not approved according to TBR or RSCC regulations, as well as those not integrally related to the educational aspects of the program.
        2. Whether the employee owes money back to RSCC or is eligible for reimbursement, they are responsible for completing the Travel Expense Report and submitting it with all appropriate receipts within 30 days following their return to the United States.

          Reimbursements that are not submitted within a reasonable amount of time are considered taxable by the IRS and must be processed through the payroll system.
        3. The following items must be completed and submitted to the Business Office no later than 30 days after the conclusion of the study abroad trip:
          1. Documentation of foreign exchange rates used.
          2. This will only apply if funds were exchanged during the program. Oanda’s currency converter is a good resource for currency conversion.
          3. If currency is bought in advance, documents of the rate at which the currency was originally purchased should be provided.
        4. Required documentation of expenses – including receipts for goods and services purchased, and signature sheets for cash allowances distributed during the program.

          Do not include disallowed expenses on the travel expense summary and travel expense report. Examples of disallowed expenses include personal items, alcohol, etc.
        5. The travel expense summary and a summary of travel advances should be submitted with the travel expense report.
        6. The travel expense report must be filled out in U.S. dollars and signed by the Study Abroad program director or their designee before being submitted to the business office.
        7. Upon return from the trip, remaining institution funds must be deposited in the business office.
        8. If foreign currency was distributed to the program director in advance of the trip, documentation must be submitted with the travel expense report. This also applies if foreign currency was returned to the Study Abroad/Business Office.
      8. International Education Fee Usage
        1. Recognizing the need for flexibility while maintaining accountability, TBR has established the optional assessment of an international education fee to be paid by each student enrolled at RSCC. Subject to change, RSCC currently charges an international education fee of $1.00 per credit hour up to 12 hours or a maximum semester fee of $12.00 per student.
        2. RSCC has the authority to allocate funds to activities in support of globalization efforts for its campus, including international professional development of the faculty.
        3. RSCC uses a portion of the revenue generated through the international education fee for study abroad scholarships.
        4. RSCC has established an infrastructure (International Education Committee) to determine the allocation of the international education fees collected from students to promote internationalization at RSCC. That infrastructure includes student representation.
        5. Employee Compensation/Benefits provided by Program Abroad
          1. An allocation of salary and benefit costs for those involved in providing direct support for international programs is allowable but should be controlled and kept to a minimum.
          2. RSCC will provide to TBR (upon request) disclosure of any salaries and/or other benefits provided to any employee which are paid for or subsidized by international education fees or secured from any vendor that is providing services to students.
        6. Faculty Compensation
          1. Faculty engaged in directing or teaching study abroad courses receive remuneration from RSCC. Again, direct instructional cost is charged to the appropriate departmental budget and not to the international education fee budget.
          2. Faculty compensation for summer session and inter-session international educational programs whether campus-based or operated through TnCIS are not subject to TBR policy Faculty Compensation during summer session and inter-sessions. Access the complete detailed TBR policy at
          3. Faculty teaching or directing study abroad courses on behalf of TnCIS must submit an adjunct faculty contract and a travel authorization form at RSCC, which will be forwarded to the TnCIS office by RSCC.
          4. For RSCC faculty teaching in a TnCIS program, TnCIS will process the contract through the accounting office of PSCC, which will issue a Dual Services Agreement to RSCC along with a purchase order.
          5. RSCC will invoice PSCC for the services to receive reimbursement for paying the faculty members directly for their service.
        7. Faculty are expected to follow through on the agreed upon international study course and adhere to all RSCC policies once abroad. In the event that a faculty member cancels their participation in the trip or is directed to return from a trip due to failure to follow RSCC policies, the faculty member will be charged for any travel costs assumed by the institution in advance of the trip or the faculty member will be held responsible for costs associated with their return home.
      9. Emergency Reserve/Contingency Fund
        RSCC, as a whole, will maintain sufficient unrestricted fund balances to ensure that it can meet reasonable contingencies, emergencies, and unforeseen problems of students, faculty, and staff engaged in RSCC or TBR sponsored or supported international programs or courses.
  15. Use of Technology Abroad
    1. TBR requires that RSCC fully comply with federal regulations that control the conditions under which certain information, technologies and commodities can be exported to a foreign country, person, or entity, including U.S. citizens in a foreign country.
      1. RSCC is responsible for implementing export control procedures to determine whether an activity is covered under export control regulations, whether the U.S. Department of State’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) 22 CFR §120-130, U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Administration regulations (EAR) 15 CFR §734-774 or the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) 31 CFR §500-599.
      2. All faculty, staff, or students involved in international travel including study abroad, restricted research, international collaborations, or foreign exchanges that risk export or violation of the regulations must comply with the provisions of any license (or other governmental approval), policy, procedure, or campus based Technology Control Plan (TCP) as required by ITAR. Before traveling internationally, faculty/staff/students should determine whether any item, device, component, or document is covered by ITAR and/or requires a license or other government approval/agreement for export or import as defined in those regulations. Where unsure, faculty/staff/students should consult with the RSCC International Education Office.
      3. RSCC is responsible for determining if self-disclosure of any violations, real or perceived, of the expert control regulations or TCP occur during the course of the sponsored activity to the federal agency.
    2. European Union General Data Protection – EU GDPR
      1. Faculty and RSCC must comply with the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (“Regulation on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data”, “the EU GDPR”), when students are participating in a program taking place in the European Union.
      2. All students participating in programs in the European Union must sign the Notice Regarding Protection of Personal Data and Request of Consent for their Processing – Students from the Home Campus on Study Abroad in the European Union form (this form will soon be available on the RSCC study abroad website).
TBR Policy Reference:
Original Date Effective: 08/08/2022
Original Approval By: Christopher L. Whaley, President
Office Responsible: Vice President Student Learning

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