THE STUDY OF THE U.S. INSTITUTES (SUSI) PROGRAM – Open for applications

Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary Educators (SUSIs) are intensive post-graduate level academic programs that provide foreign secondary school educators and administrators the opportunity to deepen their understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions. The program goal is to strengthen curricula and to enhance the quality of teaching about the United States in secondary schools and other academic institutions abroad.

Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary Educators will take place at various academic institutions throughout the United States over the course of five weeks beginning in June 2023. Each Institute includes a four-week academic residency component and, if possible, a one-week integrated study tour to another region of the United States. Prospective applicants may visit exchanges.state.gov/susi to obtain general information about the Institutes.

Application deadline is December 1 to the following email address: CopenhagenIRC@state.gov

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

The Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary Educators (SUSIs) will provide three multinational groups of 20 experienced secondary school educators (including teachers, administrators, teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, Ministry of Education officials, and others) with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, education, and culture – past and present.

The Institutes focus on providing content and materials for participants to develop high school level curricula about the United States. Two of the Institutes are tailored for secondary school teachers; please note that the Institutes for Teachers focus on content and materials about the United States rather than teaching methods and pedagogy. The third Institute is tailored for experienced administrators including teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, Ministry of Education officials, and others.

Through a combination of traditional, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary approaches, program content will examine the history and evolution of U.S. institutions and values, broadly defined. The programs will also serve to illuminate contemporary political, social, and economic debates in American society. The four-week academic residencies will take place at U.S. university and college campuses and will consist of a balanced series of lectures, panels, seminar discussions, readings, workshops, site visits, meetings with practitioners in the field, and cultural activities. One-week study tours to a different region will complement the academic residencies and showcase the cultural, geographic, and ethnic diversity of the United States. The program features curriculum based on the study of how America’s foundations and historical development have shaped and continue to inform U.S. politics, economics, and society.

A key cultural component of the program involves community service activities, which will provide participants with a first-hand experience of how volunteerism plays a vital role in U.S. civil society. The program will offer multiple opportunities for follow-on engagement through alumni webinars, grant-funded follow-on projects, social media, and an alumni workshop.

The University of Montana (UM) in Missoula, MT will oversee and administer the three SUSIs for Secondary Educators and will conduct one Institute for teachers which will explore U.S. studies through the lens of democracy and citizenship. The Institute for Training and Development (ITD) in Amherst, Massachusetts will conduct the second Institute for teachers which will explore the ways in which individual rights and social obligations have evolved through American history. California State University at Chico will conduct the Institute for Administrators and will focus on sociocultural understanding, equitable learning communities, and diversity and inclusion in U.S. education and society.

OTHER ESSENTIAL PROGRAM INFORMATION:

Program Funding: Through a Cooperative Agreement to the University of Montana (UM), the U.S. Statement’s Agency for Education and Culture (ECA) will cover all participant costs, including program administration; domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence, as well as arrange and pay for participants’ international and visa travel costs and travel allowances within set limits and in coordination with posts and Fulbright commissions. If the program is conducted virtually, ECA will work with UM to provide a technology stipend to participants.

Program Requirements and Restrictions: All participants are expected to participate fully in the program. Candidates should be aware that they are applying for an intensive program and there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program. The Institute is not a research program. Participants must attend all lectures and organized activities and complete assigned readings. Family members and/or friends may not accompany participants on any part of the program. If the program is conducted virtually, the same participation requirements apply. Note that Institute curriculum will not formally address teaching methodology and pedagogical methods.

English Language Ability: All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program. Host institutions will take into account that the level of comprehension and speaking ability of participants may vary and will prepare lectures and discussions that meet the highest academic standards while using language appropriate for participants whose English is their second or third language.

Housing and Meal Arrangements: When possible, each participant will have a private room with a shared bathroom during the residency portion (four weeks) of the Institute. However, private room accommodations are not guaranteed. During the study tour (one week), participants will likely share a hotel room with another participant of the same gender. During the residency, housing will typically be in college or university owned housing or nearby hotels. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own. It is important that applicants are comfortable with such arrangements, particularly sharing a room with another participant during the study tour.

Special Requirements: Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied. However, while Institute staff will make available special accommodations to the greatest extent possible, educators must be reminded that full participation in all Institute activities is still expected. Should a participant need to quarantine due to positive COVID-19 test results, accommodations will follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) and host institution guidelines.

Travel Arrangements: For all Institutes, the implementing partner (UM) will arrange and pay for international and visa travel. The host institution will provide each participant with a small travel allowance. In all Institutes, the host institutions will cover the cost of any travel within the United States during the Institute.

Health Benefits: All participants will receive the Department of State’s Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) health benefit, which provides coverage of up to $100,000 with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and a $75 co-pay per emergency room visit, for the duration of the program. Pre-existing conditions may be covered up to $100,000, subject to policy exclusions and limitations. COVID-19 is treated like any other illness under the ASPE policy. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.

Expectations: Violations of program rules, U.S. host institution rules, or U.S. local, state, or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.

Virtual Program Contingency: Should health, safety, and travel conditions pose significant challenges to the program, the SUSIs will pivot to a virtual format. The virtual program will consist of a minimum of 36 hours of required programming and will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. To the extent possible, the virtual programming will include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, site visits, assignments, and individual and group activities. Participants will be required to fully participate in the entire virtual program from their location.

Connectivity: Participants should have access to a computer and a stable internet connection for virtual pre-departure orientation sessions. If a participant does not have a computer or adequate internet access, the University of Montana (UM) will work with the participant to facilitate access on an as-needed basis.

CANDIDATE DESCRIPTION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary Educators are highly competitive. To confirm suitability for the program as well as the required English fluency, an American officer at the U.S. Embassy or consulate will interview the proposed nominee in English before submitting the nomination to ECA.

Priority will be given to candidates who have firm plans to enhance, update, or develop courses and/or educational materials with U.S. studies focus or component; who have no prior or limited experience in the United States; and who have special interest in the program subject areas as demonstrated through past scholarship, accomplishments, and professional duties. In addition, ECA makes every effort to have both geographic and gender balance in the Institutes.

Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly motivated, experienced secondary school teachers and administrators.

Ideal candidates are individuals whose home institution is seeking to introduce aspects of U.S. studies into its curricula, to develop new courses in the subject of the Institute, to enhance and update existing courses on the United States, or to offer specialized seminars/workshops for professionals in U.S. studies areas related to the program theme.  While the nominees’ scholarly and professional credentials are an important consideration, the potential impact and multiplier effect from their participation in the Institute is equally important. Ideal candidates will have little or no prior experience living in or visiting the United States.

As noted above, candidates must demonstrate English language fluency. Institutes are rigorous and demanding academic programs conducted entirely in English. Participants will be expected to read and comprehend substantial written materials and assignments in English and to participate in all seminar and panel discussions fully and actively. English fluency is vital to a successful experience in the Institute, for participants as individuals and to foster a cohesive and interactive group. U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) are not eligible for these programs.

OTHER FACTORS FOR CONSIDERATION:

ECA will accept up to two nominations per country. Nominations are due with the Embassy of the United States to the Kingdom of Denmark no later than December 1.