Community College Education Abroad Health and Safety Concerns: Standards Needed to Meet the Challenges

Community College Education Abroad Health and Safety Concerns: Standards Needed to Meet the Challenges

Gregory F. Malveaux (Montgomery College, USA), Gary M. Rhodes (California State University Dominguez Hills, USA) and Rosalind L. Raby (California State University Northridge, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6252-8.ch004
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There has been a good deal already written about health and safety with education abroad at four-year colleges and universities. Although the authors found significant publications with a university focus, they found no published literature that specifically addresses community college overseas health, safety, and legal issues. The purpose of this chapter is to review what the literature already says about health and safety challenges and apply it to community colleges. In so doing, they bring forth US court cases and real-life examples at community college education abroad programs in order to ground recommendations and strategies for responding to today's challenges. In the same way that community colleges implement “on campus” policies and procedures to both limit and respond to student health and safety crises, community colleges should also implement policies and procedures to limit “study abroad” risks to students and be prepared to act if issues arise overseas. This chapter provides essential strategies to improve health and safety and legal standards for community college education abroad programs.
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Background On Study Abroad Policies And How They Apply To Community Colleges

A prevailing belief is that education abroad practices are the same for all institutional types. However, the uniqueness of community colleges mandates some specific modifications. For example, community colleges have low to free tuition which impacts the cost of studying abroad. Open access favors access over selectivity, which impacts who studies abroad and questions program and administrative hidden fee costs. Multiple missions, guided pathway programs, and stackable credentials result in highly sequenced classes that accommodate career and workforce certification, but that can negatively impact who is able to study abroad. Emphasis on performance funding that is linked to student learning outcomes and assessment often ignore contributions made by studying abroad. Minimum qualifications for faculty hiring that adhere to state and federal hiring regulations impact faculty who teach on campus and abroad. Finally, national enrollment and funding declines are challenging community colleges to remain open. In sum, community college study abroad policies must support the safety of program participants, limit liability to the college, and support an administrative office to implement study abroad (Henry, 1985; 2006).

This section reviews policy responses to study abroad health and safety by major professional organizations and merges findings to application in community colleges.

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