The Study Away Review Committee (SARC) is composed of three voting members: the associate dean of the faculty, the registrar, and a member of the Educational Policy and Governance Committee (EPAG). The director of the Center for Study Away or a designee chairs SARC meetings. SARC reviews the academic merit of the applications on behalf of EPAG. Assuming you meet all eligibility requirements, SARC evaluates the application according to the Evaluation Criteria presented below and provides a response.
Approval by SARC means that you may earn Macalester credit for successfully completed coursework from the study away program and may apply towards program costs any financial aid you are eligible to receive.
You should be aware that applying to a program on the Macalester Study Away Approved Programs List does not ensure approval by SARC. All applications will be reviewed based on established criteria. You should formulate your application with this in mind.
Students submit their application to study away through the Center for Study Away’s online application system, which limits students to one submission. Application materials vary by the type of program, curricular plans, and optional opportunities included in the student’s study away plan. Students are encouraged to consider the application process and plan accordingly well in advance of the deadline.
All applicants for study away submit information on their study away coursework, semester preference, housing plans, educational goals, and graduation plans. Additionally, students discuss their study away and graduation plans with their academic advisor, who completes an online form. Students also review relevant policies, procedures, and coursework approval information as part of the application process.
If students have not yet declared a major by the application deadline, the chair of the department in which they intend to major will review their plans and verify that the student should be able to complete the chosen major following the plan the student has prepared.
Students are required to submit additional information if their plans include:
Participating in a Macalester Exchange Program.
Conducting independent study or directed research.
Completing an internship.
Participating in an optional early-start program.
Participating in a Macalester Competitive Study Away Program (see Competitive Programs for more information).
Studying away for an academic year.
Students choosing to submit a Non-Approved Program Request will provide additional information about the specific program they are requesting to participate in, as well as their specific reasons for choosing a program that is not on the Macalester Study Away Approved Program List.
Evaluation Criteria for the Study Away Application
- The student meets all Macalester eligibility requirements for study away.
- The student’s record shows evidence of college-level preparation and academic achievement (e.g. GPA, relevant coursework) appropriate to the proposed program.
- The proposed course of study is a relevant extension of – not a hiatus from – the student’s on-campus curriculum, particularly within a declared major.
- The proposed program or university is accredited or otherwise approved for credit by the Macalester Registrar and provides sufficient student support as determined by the Center for Study Away.
- The proposed course of study includes significant opportunities to build:
- Intellectual Independence
- Make choices that further their individual learning goals.
- Further learning goals associated with a Macalester education; AND
- Be exposed to multiple ways in which people draw upon aptitudes, values, and aesthetic interests in professional work and civic involvement.
- Consider experiences in the context of the program / host community from the perspective of that community or its members.
- Be exposed to the ways in which life in the host community interacts with or otherwise relates to life in their home environments.
- Intellectual Independence
In accordance with a student’s individual learning goals, the proposed course of study will facilitate (where appropriate):
- Cultural Learning
- Provide intentionally structured or inherent exposure to local populations, institutions and infrastructure.
- Enhance cultural learning through reflection or other curricular means; OR
- Applied Experience
- Provide for direct engagement in a field of interest combining theory and practice.
- Enable students to conduct primary research, produce creative work, or be involved meaningfully in local civic society; OR
- Language Learning
- Offer formal language instruction.
- Offer instruction in the student’s area(s) of study conducted in the target language (for students who have attained a sufficiently advanced level).
- Offer interaction with competent speakers of the target language in a variety of settings.
- Offer exposure to different kinds of information sources in the target language; OR
- Enhanced Learning through Curricular Opportunities Unavailable at Macalester
- Establish and articulate a strong, clear fit between the content, goals and location.
- Provide a distinctive or even unique context for the students’ field of study.
- Offer courses, fields of study, or human resources beyond what is available at Macalester.
- Cultural Learning
- The student’s previous international experience, if any.
When considering applications for study away, the Study Away Review Committee will take into serious consideration whether the program demonstrates advancement in the student’s academic trajectory.
In cases where students wish to appeal a decision made by SARC, a written appeal must be submitted to the director of Academic Programs. After ensuring the appeal includes all the relevant facts pertinent to the decision and articulates a rationale for appealing, the director of Academic Programs will send the appeal to the provost, who will decide the question. The provost’s decision is final.
Typically, only appeals that relate to curricular issues that arise after SARC’s review will be considered. Housing arrangements and off-campus jobs will not be taken into account.
Students seeking to appeal must submit a written statement to the director of Academic Programs by the date outlined in the letter notifying them of SARC’s decision. Emailed appeals are acceptable. Students with questions about the appeals process (including whether their circumstances warrant an appeal) should contact the director of Academics Programs.