Learn how to propose a Wintersession travel course

All RISD faculty, upon department head approval and TU confirmation, can propose a WS travel course for the following academic year, and submit a course proposal by the established course table process and deadline.

All Wintersession travel course proposals must be approved by the relative Department Head, Division Dean, and Academic Affairs, and then submitted to the Wintersession Committee for final review and approval.

Guyana: Exploring Art and Science of Bio Diversity in Guyana
Surama, Guyana 2019
Italy: *Invisible Venice
Venice, Italy 2016


  • All full- and part-time faculty can propose to lead a WS travel course.
  • To submit the proposal, the faculty member must have an appropriate TU approval from their department head the following academic year.
  • It is strongly recommended that the faculty member proposing the course have strong familiarity with the location, and a strong preference is given to those applicants with demonstrated experience teaching students in a travel course environment.
  • All faculty who lead off-campus global learning courses, must comply with RISD’s policy for off-campus teaching. Before submitting your proposal, please review the policy and ensure you are willing to comply with this policy.
  • Each travel course must be led by either two RISD faculty or a RISD faculty and graduate student TA. It is preferable that the faculty member partners with another faculty member (full- or part-time) in the Liberal Arts Division and/or a studio department to collaborate and propose a 6-credit WS travel course that combines studio and liberal arts, two liberal arts, two studio courses. In this case, for faculty new to leading a WS travel course, we encourage you to collaborate with a faculty who has such experience.

Application Process & Steps

  • Faculty must work with their department head to complete a course proposal form and a draft syllabus (per the syllabus guidelines), itinerary and budget. Please note: this process must be followed for all travel courses including repeat offerings.
  • The relevant department head and dean must approve the course proposal form and supporting materials (draft syllabus, budget, itinerary) in order to progress the proposal.
  • All course materials must be received, reviewed, and approved by Academic Affairs and the Wintersession Committee.

ACCORDIAN HERE: Timeline & Steps (if possible)

Step One: Approval from Department, Division and Academic Affairs

  • RISD faculty member prepares and submits the course proposal for review in the late fall of the previous academic year, i.e. Wintersession travel course planned to be offered in 2021, the course proposal must be prepared during Fall 2019 as part of the regular department’s course table.
  • RISD Faculty submit to the Department Head the the course proposal form and the draft syllabus, itinerary, and budget.
  • Department Head approves the proposal and submits all materials to the Dean office for review.
  • Upon approval, the Dean’s office will submit to Academic Administration all of the above listed materials. Academic Administration approves/does not approve based on available TU budget and contractual compliance confirmation.

Step Two: Committee Review

  • Academic Administration provides the Wintersession Faculty Committee with all submission materials to review for their February meeting.
  • In the March meeting, the Committee reviews and approves all travel courses for following WS. The review focuses on: eligibility, course proposal and its alignment with location/site of course, budget, and syllabus + itinerary.
  • Wintersession Committee Chair communicates with faculty if course is approved and, if not, the edits that needs to be done to get the course approved. In copy: Academic Administration, RISD Global, WS Committee Support, Dept. Head & Dean.

Step Three: Committee Approval

  • If the Committee approves your course to run, you will receive confirmation following their April-May meeting.

Step Four: Publicity & Announcement

  • Once approved, the announcement + publicity phase begins (April onwards)
  • Registrar’s officially establishes all WS travel courses. RISD Global posts the course/studio on our website.
  • Faculty work with RISD Global to establish marketing and promotion strategy.

RISD Global's Role

  • Advises and supports faculty (upon request) on the location, organization, and details of travel courses and studios during the course preparation stages.
  • Promotes the course and supports faculty in outreach to students, student advising, and group info-sessions.
  • Supports faculty and students through the various application, selection, scholarships, and registration processes and steps.
  • After the course is fully registered and confirmed to run, works closely with the faculty and other offices on campus to support all travel arrangements and confirmations.
  • Co-develops and leads the pre-departure meetings for faculty + joins faculty-led pre-departure meetings for students.
  • Provides faculty/students with pre-departure materials and student forms, registers all students and faculty for mandatory health and safety insurance.
  • Ensures that the International Incident Response Team (IIRT), Public Safety, and Student Affairs are prepared to support these courses, students and faculty while off-campus.
  • Oversees, in collaboration with On-Call International and RISD Public Safety & Risk Management issues the response to issues that arise on the course while off-campus.
  • Presents documentation of the courses, when possible, to further promote and support these unique off-campus teaching and learning experiences.

Past Wintersession Travel Courses can be found here.

Faculty Advising

Faculty advising blurb goes here: Have questions? The RISD Global team is available to meet for an advising session to help craft your application.

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