The Forum is very excited to announce a new online assessment tool that will provide an additional way for organizations to assess their health, safety, security and risk management practices. Information will be sent via email to Institutional Representatives of U.S. college and university members to request assistance with testing this tool by completing a survey and participating in a follow-up focus group discussion. Member participation will assist in the refinement of this tool before it debuts in early 2017.
The project is a collaboration between The Forum and 32 National Campus Safety Initiative (32 NCSI), a flagship program of the VTV Family Outreach Foundation (VTV). VTV is a non-profit organization founded by many of the survivors and surviving family members impacted by the mass shooting on the Virginia Tech campus in 2007. As a living memorial to the thirty-two community members, 32 NCSI exists to foster safe learning, living and working environments on all U.S. college and university campuses.
32 NCSI asked The Forum to collaborate in the development of an online tool to assist U.S. institutions to assess their education abroad programs in regards to health, safety, security and risk management. We were very pleased to enter into this partnership given the success that 32 NCSI has had and the opportunity to expand knowledge about education abroad best practices through its network. The result is the Education Abroad Health, Safety, Security, and Risk Management Indicators assessment tool, which is based on the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad and selected queries. It is important to note that this tool is not intended to serve as a substitute for the more rigorous means by which institutions may assess and improve their programming, such as through participation in The Forum’s Quality Improvement Program (QUIP). Rather, this online tool will provide a supplemental way for Forum members and other institutions to assess their practices and, based on the results, what further action might need to be taken.
It is also important to note that 32 NCSI’s mission is to serve U.S. college and university campuses, and this tool has been developed specifically for them. However, it may very likely be a useful resource for other types of institutions and organizations as well. We believe that making the tool available to as wide an audience as possible, including campus offices that may organize and sponsor education abroad opportunities but are unaware of the Standards, will help to improve our field as a whole.
The 32 NCSI-Forum research team has created a draft of the online survey tool and hopes that members will help to refine the tool by:
- Completing the Education Abroad Health, Safety, Security, and Risk Management Indicators assessment tool based upon what procedures and protocols your institution has in place for its education abroad program; and
- Participating in a focus group conference call designed to obtain feedback about completing the Education Abroad Health, Safety, Security, and Risk Management Indicators assessment tool and explore ways in which we can improve it.
More information about this opportunity will be provided to U.S. college and university members.