Standards of Good Practice
The Forum on Education Abroad is recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as the Standards Development Organization (SDO) for the field of education abroad. As such, it is The Forum’s responsibility to monitor changes in our field of professional practice and maintain, update, and promulgate the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad according to the needs of our field.
Our process for developing and updating standards prioritizes the core principles of due process for standards development as identified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI): Openness, Lack of Dominance, Balance, Coordination and Harmonization, Consideration of View and Objections, Consensus Vote and Appeals. Persons directly or materially affected by the Standards have the opportunity to have their voices heard in this important process.
Notification of Standards Development
Beginning October 11, 2018, notice is hereby given that The Forum on Education Abroad has convened a Standards Update Working Group with the intent of revising the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad in preparation for a 6th edition. All interested parties are invited to share their thoughts with the Standards Update Working Group at any time via our online form.
Deadline: April 26, 2019
The Standards Update Working Group is responsible for revising the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad and proposing new drafts to a representative Consensus Body. The Consensus Body is responsible for voting to approve proposed revisions. The Consensus Body is made up of 50 members from diverse interest categories in the field: U.S. higher education institutions, higher education institutions outside of the U.S., education abroad providers, professional associations, service providers and charitable organizations, general interest members, and individuals from the governing bodies of The Forum. Following each draft, a 30-day public comment period will commence. Drafts of revised and proposed standards will be available on this webpage as they become available. All inquiries related to our standards development process can be directed to the Standards Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|August||2018||Call for volunteers for Standards Update Working Group|
|September & October||2018||Selection of Standards Update Working Group|
|October 11||2018||Notification of Standards Development|
|April||2019||Consensus Body selected and announced|
|May 24-27||2019||Writing retreat in Washington, DC, USA for Standards Update Working Group|
|June||2019||Draft released, public comment period opens (30 days)|
|July||2019||Summary of Public Comments published on website|
|End of July||2019||Standards Update Working Group revises draft based on comments received|
|August||2019||Draft sent to Consensus Body for first vote|
|August-October||2019||Consensus Body voting until majority vote is reached in favor of the Standards updates|
|November||2019||Revised Standards announced and appeal period opened to any persons who have directly and materially affected interests and who have been or will be adversely affected by the revised Standards (30 days)|
|December||2019||Standards Manager responds in writing to each appellant within 30 days, appeals|
|January||2020||Board of Directors votes to endorse 6th edition|
|March||2020||Release of the 6th Edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad|
|July||2020||6th Edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad takes effect.|
Submit comments and suggestions via this online form, or share your thoughts with the Standards Update Working Group at any of the virtual or in-person meetings listed above.
The Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad support the complex responsibilities inherent in offering education abroad opportunities to students. They act as a means to develop, manage, assess and improve education abroad programming. As a commonly-developed and accepted set of standards, they provide a framework for accountability.
Each Standard is structured by:
- Statements: the broad principles of the Standard, detailed in bullet points. These define the aspirational best practices that should be applicable to any entity operating within the field of education abroad, according to their type of education abroad activity.
- a set of Queries following the Statement: prompts for evaluation, designed to elicit a response that demonstrates how the Standard is being met and encourages discussion rather than a yes or no response.
Supporting each Standard are:
- Fundamental elements: a dynamic feature defining essential expectations of implementing the Standards;
- Member Resources: a resource featuring best practices, keyed to the Standards. These examples are vetted by The Forum’s Standards Committee, and are made available exclusively to Forum members,
- Standards Guidelines: guidance that contextualizes various specific areas of education abroad practices, particularly where these practices may differ from the same practice in the home campus context.
Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, 5th ed. (2015)