System Membership – Forum on Education Abroad

Please see the following information sent to Chief Academic Officers from Todd Harmening regarding System Membership in the Forum on Education Abroad. 

I am pleased to share that the system office obtained a systemwide membership to the Forum on Education Abroad. The following outlines the rationale and opportunity for system institutions to benefit from this membership and the request of institutions to apply for full membership under the umbrella of this system membership.

The membership is prompted by a number of factors, first among which is the safety of our students as they engage in study abroad. The Forum provides resources for institutions including Standards of Good Practice that are recognized as the definitive means by which the quality of education abroad programs are judged. As you may know, legislation was signed into law this past session requiring study abroad incident reporting for which the Office of Higher Education will soon issue guidance. The legislation also notes the Forum standards as follows “A postsecondary institution must report to the secretary of state annually by November 1 whether its program complies with health and safety standards set by the Forum on Education Abroad or a similar study abroad program standard setting agency.” In addition to the expectations of this legislation, campus interest in Forum membership prompted system office staff to inquire about a system-wide membership.

The Forum is offering the system a membership rate of $3,000 for all MnSCU institutions to have full membership, substantially lower than if each institution were to join individually. The system office has been able to identify resources to cover the membership cost for fiscal years 2015 and 2016. In spring of 2016, we will review the value of membership in consultation with campus faculty and administration, and determine interest in ongoing membership. If ongoing membership is determined, a means for prorating the membership rate back to system institutions will need to be developed.

To process the full membership, each institution is asked to complete the Forum’s membership application and submit by one of the means noted on the last page of that application. This fall we intend to have a WebEx where we will have Forum staff outline the benefits of membership, including resources and services available to us as members. I will work with Forum staff to follow-up with the institutional representative noted on your institution’s membership application regarding this WebEx session so please process your individual institution application as soon as possible.

Each institution is asked to coordinate their membership in the Forum by identifying the primary institution representative and associate members within the membership application.

I hope that you will find this membership of value for your faculty and staff in service to our students. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions regarding the Forum membership at or 651-201-1856.

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