Celebrating Study Abroad Program Leaders and Global Education Programs

Study Abroad 570

Global education is making strides at Valencia, and educators interested in leading a study abroad experience can find support in these two programs: the Study Abroad Program Leaders Certification, and the Program Leader-in-Training Mentorship (PLIT).

Study Abroad Program Leaders Certificationfaculty-insight-news-id

The Study Abroad and Global Experiences (SAGE) office has partnered with the faculty and instructional development team to offer this new opportunity, and since its inception in 2011, nearly 30 Valencia educators have been certified as study abroad leaders. This is a designation that indicates the completion of 24 hours of professional development in study abroad and global experiences. Check out our newly certified Study Abroad Program Leaders.

To successfully complete the certification and meet the qualifications to lead a study abroad program, a faculty member must complete the following two courses.

  • PRFC3210 – Roles and Responsibilities for the Study Abroad Program Leader (4 PD hours)
  • LCTS3214 – Designing a Short-Term Study Abroad Experience for Students (20 PD hours)

For more information about Study Abroad Program Leaders Certification please visit the faculty development website.

Program Leader in Training Mentorship

Another great opportunity for educators interested in leading a study abroad trip is the PLIT, which is designed for full-time faculty members who have never led a study abroad program before, and would like to gain first-hand experience to do so in the future. Participants select a short-term study abroad program to go on the first year as a mentee, where they learn what is involved in leading a study abroad program. Watch the video below from Suzette Dohany, professor of speech at the Winter Park Campus, where she shares her perspective on the benefits of being a mentee.


Betsy Brantley, professor of biology at West Campus, said that after hearing of other school’s programs, she was impressed with Valencia’s SAGE programs. Commenting on the PLIT experience, Betsy said, “You learn everything a study abroad coordinator is supposed to do…by actually doing it. SAGE’s training sessions for study abroad coordinators are very well done and comprehensive. But, hearing about situations just doesn’t compare to experiencing those situations first hand.”

Betsy is partnering with faculty from Hillsborough Community College and Central Florida Community College, who are making a two-week trip to Ecuador for a course titled “A Study of Transcultural Nursing.” She is actively learning about course logistics and design as well as other important details of setting up this experience.

“But, most importantly,” Betsy said, “I’m going to Ecuador on the trip, where I’ll have the first-hand experience in the country, in the culture, and communicating with local contacts and Ecuadorian medical staff and students. I’ll have the experience of working with students in a foreign setting and seeing the things to avoid….and the things to emphasize. There is no comparison between reading about Ecuador or reading about someone else’s experience…and actually being there yourself.”

When she returns, Betsy plans to apply what she’s learned to create her own study abroad course proposal for Valencia. To learn more about the Program Leader-in-Training Mentorship and to apply, please visit the SAGE website.

Faculty-led programs are happening all the time at Valencia. Five trips ran during Spring Break and four more are scheduled for this summer. Check out upcoming trips planned by Valencia faculty on the SAGE website.

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