Dr. Tracy Williams, associate director of study abroad, discussed a new abroad program with staff assembly members Tuesday. Nia Brookins/TCU360

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Thanks to a new program, faculty, staff and graduate students may be able to study abroad too.

Dr. Tracy Williams, associate director of study abroad, discussed the new program with staff assembly members on Tuesday.

Williams talked about her plans to add a faculty, staff and graduate school component to the Global Citizenship Credential that will replace the Certificate in International Studies.  

Dr Tracy Williams addressing the staff assembly at their meeting Tuesday.
Dr. Tracy Williams addressing the staff assembly at their meeting Tuesday.

The program, proposed to the TCU Undergraduate Council in January, aims to award students that show their dedication to the global community with a level I or II distinction.

Williams said instead of credit hours, faculty and staff would gain teaching and learning opportunities. The study abroad office plans to make 10 grants for up to $2,500. After hearing this, nods and smiles quickly filled the room.

“It’s very enticing,” Chair-elect Shawn Wagner said. “I could see how this would change our campus a lot.”

Williams said the program was put into place initially to help students fulfill the TCU mission statement and become global citizens–so the expansion of the program will bring positivity to the culture of TCU.

Possible opportunities for faculty, staff and graduate students.
Possible opportunities for faculty, staff and graduate students.

Some staff suggested that this be available to only staff and graduate students because faculty already have study abroad opportunities. They also suggested it could count as coursework for staff members pursuing degrees at TCU. Williams said she will be taking these ideas into consideration.

“Before going forward I wanted input to make this program great,” Williams said. “All ideas are welcomed.”

Some staff expressed concerns over their pay being cut while they are away. Williams said her vision is that staff will be paid while they are abroad.

“You shouldn’t have to take out vacation time,” she said. “We will give grants for studies related to your job at TCU.”

Williams said her vision is that staff members could be “students” or co-facilitate with a staff member while they are away on these trips. Her hope is that faculty, staff and graduate students will be a part of this program by 2018 or 2019.

“I’m so excited that [staff] is excited about this,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for our university to have these things for us.”