The U.S. Embassy in Portugal is accepting applications for the fully funded summer 2024 Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Secondary Educators sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).
Deadline: Sunday, December 3, 2023.
Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Secondary Educators 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.
Institutes will take place at various academic institutions throughout the United States over the course of five weeks between late May and early June 2024; exact dates will be communicated in spring 2024. Each Institute includes a four-week academic residency and a one-week integrated study tour in another region of the United States. Should health, safety, and travel conditions pose significant challenges, the program will pivot to a modified virtual format.
Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Secondary Educators are rigorous and demanding academic programs conducted entirely in English. The Institutes 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; 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 in 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. Community service activities are a key cultural component of the program and provide participants with a first-hand experience of how volunteerism plays a vital role in U.S. civil society.
The University of Montana (UM) in Missoula, Montana 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: All participant costs will be covered; domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing, and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence; as well as participants’ international and visa travel costs and travel allowances within set limits.
Program Requirements and Restrictions: All participants are expected to participate fully in the program. The Institute is not a research program. Participants must attend all lectures and organized activities and complete assigned readings. Institutes focus on U.S. studies, with only a brief focus on the U.S. education system itself. Institute curriculum will not formally address teaching methodology and pedagogical methods.
English Language Ability: All candidates must be proficient 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 discussion fully and actively. English fluency is vital to a successful experience and in the Institute, for participants as individuals and to foster a cohesive and interactive group.
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. Candidates should make sure they are comfortable with such arrangements, particularly sharing a room with another participant during the study tour.
Special Accommodations: Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily or weekly worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied. Special accommodations will be made available to the greatest extent possible.
Travel Arrangements: International and visa travel will be arranged for all Institutes. 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.
Virtual Program Contingency: Should health, safety, and travel conditions pose significant challenges to the program, SUSIs will pivot to a virtual format. The virtual program would consist of at least 36 hours of required programming and include both synchronous and asynchronous learning. Virtual programming may include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, individual assignments, and group activities. Participants would 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.
CANDIDATE DESCRIPTION AND QUALIFICATIONS
Candidates should be willing and able to fully take part in an intensive post-graduate level academic program. 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, and who have special interest in the program subject areas as demonstrated through past scholarship, accomplishments, and professional duties. To confirm suitability for this highly competitive program as well as the required English fluency, an American officer at the U.S. Embassy will interview the proposed nominee in English.
Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly motivated, experienced secondary school teachers and administrators whose students are approximately 14-18 years of age. Candidates from historically underserved groups, minorities communities, and individuals with disabilities, and who have little or no prior experience in the United Sates are encouraged to apply.
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.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) are not eligible for these programs.
Complete applications must be filled in this form by the end of Sunday, December 3, 2023.
Qualified candidates will be interviewed by early January 2024.
All candidates will be notified regarding selection or non-selection in spring 2024.