Global Learning Programs Abroad (GLPA)
Ryerson International’s vision for global learning refers to activities on campus and abroad that engage with the diversity of the world’s cultures, knowledge systems, worldviews, perspectives, and nations (i.e. diverse ways of knowing and being). Our approach to global learning centres programming based on equity, collaboration, and reflexivity, recognizing that there are diverse understandings of what this means and looks like in practice.
This section houses guidelines and resources specific to faculty and staff leading student programming internationally. Global Learning Programs Abroad (GLPA) is a term developed to encapsulate the wide variety of faculty and staff led initiatives that exist across the university (i.e. group based programs abroad). This includes what are commonly understood by many as field trips, field studies, short-term intensives, and faculty-led travel, among other terms.
While honouring the exceptional opportunities provided by programs and faculties across Ryerson, our intention is to support this essential work by providing guidelines and resources that advance best practice in the field. This is shaped by Ryerson’s unique vision to advance equity and community inclusion, alongside our community’s commitment to prepare students to face the world’s interconnected, global challenges while respecting and engaging with diverse, multifaceted perspectives and approaches.
Note that throughout these resources the compass symbol (pictured on the left) will appear. This symbol indicates a need for special attention when engaging in contexts of heightened power differentials specific to regions negatively impacted by imperialism, colonialism and global inequities (commonly understood as the Global South, although not exclusive to).
We are grateful to Simon Fraser University's International Services for Students department. Some of the material on these pages has been adapted, with permission, from their resources.
Partnerships and Collaboration Guidelines
- The relationship centres equitable participation, ensuring that everyone involved is able to contribute at all stages to overall decision making (i.e. development, planning, implementation and evaluation).
- Opportunities exist for partnership to grow and mature in a sustainable manner. Central to this is the review and evaluation of programming.
- Program is structured to ensure balance between the interests, objectives and overall well-being of all involved, including participants (student and otherwise), partners, collaborators, and other stakeholders.
- Objectives, responsibilities, and expectations for Ryerson program leads, participants, collaborators, partners, and/or host(s) are explicitly stated and communicated.
- When required, an institutional agreement is implemented with the support of Ryerson International.
Program Model and Design Guidelines
- All programs must have clearly defined learning objectives and, when possible, integrate the program into the curriculum and goals of the home academic unit. Curricular, credit-bearing programming is strongly encouraged.
- All programs are encouraged to incorporate elements of Global Learning Education.
- Where possible, include structured and/or informal opportunities for local participation within programming (students, community members, etc) .
- Collaborate with and incorporate local educators (both formal and informal) in the development and realization of educational programming.
- All programs must be approved by the program lead’s home department (Faculty, School, Department, Zone, Institute, etc).
Planning and Logistics Guidelines
- The program must include a Ryerson lead faculty or staff member responsible for overall programming, including logistical and educational components (pre-departure, in-country, post-travel).
- Health, safety and overall risks have been identified and are being managed appropriately. Understandings of risk also refer to the possible negative ramifications of programming overall, including risk to students, partners and collaborators, local stakeholders and the environment.
- Program costs, contributions and overall budget should be managed sustainably and transparently.
- Determine the duration, timing and group size of the program taking into consideration the guidelines outlined in the Partnerships and Collaboration and Participation and Preparation sections.
- All initiatives should incorporate ongoing monitoring and evaluation. This should include feedback from all stakeholders, including participants (Ryerson and non-Ryerson when relevant), partners, collaborators and Ryerson faculty.
Participation and Preparation Guidelines
- All aspects of program planning, from program model and design, to content and location, centre inclusive and accessible programming considerations.
- Selection criteria for participants must be equitable, consistent and transparent throughout the recruitment and application process.
- All programs must utilize responsible communication practices in relation to promotion, recruitment and general publications.
- All programs must include pre-departure, in-country and post-travel components. Students are made aware of and understand the expectations connected to their participation in the program.
- Participants will only undertake activities that they would be considered qualified for or otherwise eligible to conduct at home. When applicable, all participants should receive activity specific training and preparation developed and implemented by Ryerson university personnel and in-country collaborators.