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Graduate/Professional Development Credit

GEEO: Professional Development and Graduate Credit Program, 2015

In 2008 GEEO developed a multi-tiered system to ensure that both teachers and their students receive as much educational benefit as possible from our travel programs. The educational and for-credit components of the program were developed by GEEO staff in consultation with professional educators with expertise at all levels, ranging from elementary to graduate level education. Through our graduate partnership program participants can earn graduate credits and professional development hours while enjoying their international travel.

We award professional development certificates at the end of the program to every participant, at no cost. Every state has different rules on professional development credit, so the amount of credit an educator receives for participating in one our programs varies.

Participating educators also have the option to enroll in a three credit hour (3 cr.) graduate course for each GEEO trip they take through Northern Illinois University. Details follow:

GEEO’s Student and Teacher Education Program for Summer 2015

In partnership with Northern Illinois University, GEEO is pleased to offer a three credit hour (US, semester) graduate course to participants in our summer travel programs. The course is offered as "interdisciplinary studies" credit and may be transferable to a degree program or for advancement on a district’s compensation scale. Participants must complete GEEO's Graduate Education Program and meet the course requirements in order to earn this credit. Please see below for full details.

Northern Illinois University: GEEO’s Educational Partner

Chartered in 1895, Northern Illinois University first opened its doors in 1899 as the Northern Illinois State Normal School solely to prepare college-educated teachers. The university has since grown into a world-class university that attracts students from around the globe while still serving the northern Illinois/Chicago region and the nation. With over 23,000 students, NIU remains deeply committed to preparing teachers. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association and is included in the Research Universities – High Research Activity category of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and is a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. Notably, the university has institutional membership with or in the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and is also fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education to offer teacher education programs in forty- nine initial and graduate teacher certification programs which are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. Each year NIU also serves more than 500 students through international programs and study abroad.

1. Course Overview and Essential Information

Subject Area: Interdisciplinary Graduate Study Abroad

Course Name: GEEO Graduate Education Program

Course Number: IDSP 501

Session: Summer 2015

Professor:Dr. J.D. Bowers
Office: Williston 320
Telephone: 815.753.7829

This course will run from June 17th - August 7, 2015 during NIU’s summer session.

The registration period for the course is between April 1 and June 1, with the latter date being the absolute cut-off for registration. Participants will enroll at NIU as a Student-at-Large (SAL) and then complete the institutional paperwork to register for the class and participate in the program. You must complete all required paperwork for SAL admission to the university as well as for the Study Abroad program.

If you wish to sign up for this program please go to this website. We will also email you the IQTR Assignment Handbook and the IQTR Project Final Grading Rubric.

The cost for the 3-credit course is $1,100.00. This cost includes travel insurance, instructional fees, ITIC travel card, and one copy of an official transcript upon completion.

Participants have two semesters (summer and fall) to complete all of the requirements of this course. You will receive an incomplete for the SU semester until the coursework is submitted. A grade must be submitted, according to university policy, by the end of the fall term.

All materials must be submitted no later than December 1, 2015. Final grades will be posted on December 15, 2015.

2. Course Requirements

Please note: All course assignments will be sent to you upon registration, in a separate email as PDF files.

IDSP 501 requires ninety contact hours (forty-five instructional and forty-five hours of development and travel), all of which is easily met by the program of travel and pre- and post-travel engagement.

Eight weeks before departure, each participant must develop a Classroom Action Plan that details how they plan to bring their travel experiences into their classroom. The use of a CAP survey instrument will guide you through this process. This first element of the course must be submitted no later than 30 days before the travel program departure.

Towards the beginning of each trip there will be a Curriculum Discussion Meeting where you will discuss their classroom action plans and get some insightful information on the countries they are about to visit. The teachers in the group offer feedback and often these plans are enriched.

Then you will work with the instructor to prepare and submit this survey and develop their action plans into course-ready materials and lessons through the required Investigative Question and Teaching Resource (IQTR) assignment.

During the trip, participants will learn about the destination country and will also keep a Reflective Travel Journal. You do not need to submit the journal for the course. But, throughout the travel program you will participate in scheduled visits to historically and culturally significant locations, cultural immersion, volunteering, nature experiences, school visits and other educational and mind-opening activities. These activities are essential elements in the program of study and serve as foundational elements for your action plans and developed curricular materials. The reflective journal, which focuses on two related yet distinct elements of the program: a) experiences and information that directly contribute to your academic and curricular plans and b) social, cultural, and personal developments. The first segment should be no less than 450 words about the lessons, ideas, issues, and knowledge gained and how it helps to further your understandings of the topics or will contribute to your written curriculum. The second can be any length and should recount your new insights into the people you meet, places you go, and experiences you have.

The journal and action plan will both be essential for your use in developing two Investigative Question and Teaching Resource (IQTR) assignments. Each IQTR (see separate IQTR Assignment Handbook) is built on essential and engaging questions about a historical or contemporary issue that is part of the society(ies)/country(ies) visited and a compilation of resources that will help the students (and teacher) explore potential answers through a variety of sources—primary, secondary, reference, and objects. Each IQTR represents a collection of these sources (gathered while on the trip—such as local currency, a poster, newspaper article, a souvenir—or after they return home) as well as a contextual essay, lesson ideas, and information about how to teach with them in the classroom. These unique assignments are multi-faceted, multi-purposed, and provide students and teachers with exciting and engaging approaches to discussing distant lands and the issues that their people confront. The IQTR allows teachers in our program to enact their action plan, incorporating their experiences into their curriculum. For example a math teacher could bring back small denominations of currency from the country they visited and have the students do math problems using the money, explore the economics of the region, look into currency differences and trade imbalances, as well as numerous other issues.

For a final grade, teachers will have to submit both IQTRs and a Final Report of what they did in their classroom (through both a narrative and submission of their presentation materials, such as a Prezi, Powerpoint, or other documentation). The IQTR will be graded using the rubric GEEO will send you when you request more information about this program.

3. Classroom Optimization

GEEO also supports teachers in integrating their travel experiences and IQTRs into the classroom through prescribed GEEO activities, which begin with a 10-15 minute GEEO Powerpoint Presentation to their students. GEEO provides you with a template and encourages customization for the age and subject of your students. You must then include your revised/customized Powerpoint as part of the final report, in partial fulfillment of the course requirements.

GEEO also provides you with a Google Earth Presentation, which allows students to see your journey on a 3D globe. Zooming in and out on high resolution satellite images, this presentation is highly interactive and really captures a student’s attention. Documentation of its use will be made in the final report.

Participants are also required to dedicate classroom space to their GEEO experience by creating an In- class Bulletin Board or Wall Display, including photos of the trip, artifacts, current events articles (that you can refresh once a month), and more. As a part of your final report for the course, you must include a photo of this display.

4. Advocacy

Teachers are also responsible for spreading the word about their experience to their colleagues. This is a positive educational experience for the participant, forcing them to employ different skills than they would use ordinarily. It also furthers the mission of GEEO, to make teachers see travel as both a privilege and responsibility. Therefore, as a final step in the course, we ask that all participating educators write one of the following Advocacy Briefs:

1. Write an article about their experience and how they shared it with their students for an educational-related journal, newsletter, blog, or other venue. 2. Write an op-ed for submission to a local, regional, or national newspaper on an issue that integrates your experiences, either by country, issue, or educational topic. 3. Write a one-page action plan for your district on how to promote global education at the district-wide level.

Whichever of the advocacy briefs you choose, you must submit it in fulfillment for the requirements of the course. You should also make every effort to have to published or presented, although that is not a requirement.

5. Final Steps

After completing all of the above activities you will fill out GEEO's Post Education Program Survey summarizing your efforts for GEEO and then submit your materials, electronically, to the professor for evaluation and a grade for the course.

6. Course Checklist

ItemDate Completed
NIU Student-at-Large Enrollment
NIU Study Abroad Registration
Classroom Action Plan
Curriculum Discussion Meeting
Reflective Travel Journal
IQTR # 1: .
IQTR # 2: .
GEEO Powerpoint Presentation 
GEEO GoogleEarth Presentation 
In-Class Display 
Advocacy Brief: . 
Final Report 
GEEO Post-Education Program Survey