Global Academy Leadership

Global Academy Leadership

Discipline-specific and interdisciplinary academic programs are proposed and led by Northern Michigan University faculty or qualified academic officers and are sponsored, in partnership with International Programs, by affiliated colleges and academic departments.

International Programs considers proposals for Global Academy Courses only if the faculty leader holds appointment (including emeriti) as tenured faculty, tenure-track faculty, instructor, or senior instructor.

Faculty on sabbatical or other approved leave during the semester(s) immediately prior to the period of travel are not eligible to lead as they would not be available to recruit participants and to attend required leader preparation sessions.

Proposals from others may be considered for Global Academy Service Projects, which may be proposed by senior administrators or other NMU staff members, with the support of their unit supervisor.

The program must be supervised at the overseas site(s) by an NMU faculty member(s) who also serve as the faculty instructor(s) of record for the Global Academy course(s).  If two or more faculty leaders assume teaching roles in the Global Academy course(s), they may elect to teach only a portion of the program course(s).  They may also provide the functional duties of the Program Assistant.

Global Academy Leaders agree to:

  • Conduct a site assessment visit prior to program delivery, which may include attending a current rotation of the program to observe operations.
  • Follow all proposal procedures outlined in the Global Academy procedures, and to obtain required signatures from the sponsoring academic department, college, and Academic Senate
  • Observe deadlines and benchmarks outlined in the Global Academy proposal process.
  • Attend Global Academy Leader Preparation Sessions, or arrange to review content and provide signature acknowledging responsibility for content presented in the sessions.
  • Collaborate with IPO in developing budgetary and administrative supports for the Global Academy Course.
  • Disclose known risks and cost-of-attendance in keeping with approved program parameters.
  • Approve student admission to the Global Academy course and arrange for course registration in the appropriate section.
  • Conduct pre-departure course sessions and arrange pre-departure orientation by IPO staff.
  • Serve as on-site risk manager and crisis response leader.
  • Promptly communicate program and/or student problems or concerns to the IPO.
  • Report all Student Conduct violations to the IPO.
  • Administer academic course evaluation.
  • File post-program report within 30 days of program end-date.
  • Complete on-line travel settlement against IPO-managed Global Academy Course account, including original receipts for on-site expenditures.
  • Arrange timely posting of participant grades.


Global Academy Program Assistant

All Global Academy Programs will include at least one person designated as Program Assistant.   This person must be associated with Northern Michigan University by contract and/or written agreement.   The Program Assistant must be a professionally qualified adult whose skills, experience, and/or academic credentials enable them to make a substantive contribution to program delivery.

  • Multi-site programs are required to have a qualified NMU employee, student, or volunteer, approved by International Programs,  to serve as the designated Program Assistant for the duration of the program. This person will attend all required training and participate in pre-program orientation session(s).
  • Single-site programs with an on-site institution associated to the University by contract or other written agreement may select a qualified individual employed from the contracted institution who agrees to understand and abide by the Program Assistant’s functional responsibilities.

The Program Assistant will be identified by the Faculty Leader as part of the proposal process. In the event a faculty leader does not have a program assistant, International Programs can identify one via an application process.

The Program Assistant must attend or agree to uphold elements of Faculty Leader Preparation sessions as well as adhering to reporting requirements included in the University’s security, health and criminal activity protocols.  It is understood that the PA will agree to follow emergency protocols included in the University’s Global Academy Course handbook.  In the event that the Program Leader is unable to deliver course content due to illness or accident, the PA agrees to maintain group activities and to assure student wellbeing until such time as alternate course leadership is established.

Eligible persons may include:

  • University employees
  • Upper division bachelor students or graduate students enrolled for credit at Northern Michigan University
  • Volunteers with Limited Personal Service agreement

​Non-teaching Program Assistants do not receive an additional stipend (above their NMU salary), but some or all of their program-related expenses may be paid from student course fees and/or supplemental college/department funds.

A Program Assistant’s responsibilities may include:

  • Assistance with on-site logistics for the course.  In particular, the PA will serve as a liaison with the students and any local institutions during program delivery.
  • Help for students with both emergency and non-emergency problems and general cultural advice.  As will the Leader, the Program Assistant is on-call and available to assist students at all times in the event of an emergency. The PA’s presence is required for the full duration of the program, including weekends and periods marked as “free time.”
  • The PA will help the Leader in ensuring that the program proceeds in a timely manner.  The PA will encourage students to get to class on time, will take the lead in looking for any strays, and will help to ensure that students are continuing to participate attentively.
  • The PA will assist with local logistics in coordination with the local host, including transportation and purchase of supplies.
  • The PA may assist with inventory and daily management of course equipment.
  • The PA may support the preparation of course materials.
  • The PA may assist with class discussions, de-briefing, and student projects.
  • By mutual agreement, the PA will help the program leader with other duties.

Role of the Host Institution

Program Leaders are required to establish in-country institutional resources to support program logistics, delivery of course content, and emergency-response duties associated with their leadership role.  Such institutions may include:

  • Accredited and government-approved universities
  • Non-government organizations (NGOs)
  • Third-party commercial providers licensed to operate academic and/or volunteer service programs in the host country(ies)
  • Humanitarian and faith-based initiatives with a permanent in-country presence
  • Host government and/or U.S. government-sponsored institutions and programs
  • Designating a local employee or qualified professional to serve as Program Assistant, following the requirements and responsibilities outlined above under “Global Academy Assistant.”

All contracts and formal agreements for service must be processed through the IPO, with review by appropriate legal counsel and administrative units.