If ACM’s Faculty Site Visits program had a marquee, the bold letters on it would proclaim “Botswana — Back by Popular Demand!”
After sponsoring a faculty site visit to the Botswana: Development in Southern Africa program last spring, ACM will offer faculty another opportunity to see the program in action next March.
On a Botswana Program field trip in Gaborone, where the program is located.
Photo by Emily Keast
“We had 22 applications from ACM college faculty to go on last year’s site visit to Botswana and only five spots available on the trip,” said Joan Gillespie, ACM Vice President and Director of Off-Campus Study. “Given the incredible interest among faculty, we want to give more people the chance to go.”
The Faculty Site Visits program, now in its fourth year, takes a group of professors each semester to visit one of ACM’s off-campus programs. The aim of the visit is for faculty to learn firsthand about the program’s curriculum, location, and resources, so they can be more informed as they counsel their students about off-campus study options.
The spring 2015 Botswana site visit is tentatively scheduled for March 14-20, including travel time. The group selected for the trip will meet with program faculty, staff, and students, experience classes and activities, and visit local sites in Gaborone, the nation’s capital and location of the program. The faculty will also have a chance to meet with faculty in their disciplines at ACM’s partner institution, the University of Botswana (UB).
“We want to foster a dialogue between faculty at ACM colleges and the University of Botswana,” Gillespie said. “So we’ll ask the faculty going on the site visit to prepare some brief discussion points on a topic related to the program’s site in southern Africa, present that to their UB colleagues, and let the discussion go from there.”
On the University of Botswana campus.
Photo by Emily Gaul
Students on the Botswana Program take courses at UB, complete an independent study project with the guidance of the ACM Visiting Faculty Director or a UB professor, live in university dormitories, volunteer with community organizations, and see the surrounding area and other parts of the country on field trips and excursions.
With its interdisciplinary approach and access to UB courses across the curriculum that are taught in English, the Botswana Program draws students from a variety of majors. Gillespie said she hopes that applicants for the site visit will similarly represent a range of departments, including the sciences.
“The Botswana Program is unusual in that there are options for students majoring in the natural sciences, as well as for students in the social sciences and humanities,” she noted. “UB offers strong courses in the sciences, including lab courses, which our students can choose as electives. For example, we’ve had students take a course on virology in the biology department.”
ACM has issued a Call for Applications for the Botswana site visit, with an application deadline of December 1, 2014. Applicants will be notified of the selection committee’s decision by December 15.
Faculty at ACM colleges who are tenured, tenure-track, or in other continuing appointments are eligible. ACM covers the cost of airfare, lodging and meals, and local travel for scheduled activities during the site visit.