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Faculty Information Page

The information on this page is intended to provide faculty members with the information they need to propose and execute a Summer Study course.  If you discover additional sections that would be useful, please let us know and we will add them over time as we work toward developing a thorough, rich source of information for faculty members.

Proposing a Summer Study (SUMR) Course

The due date for Summer Study '18 proposals is September 18, 2017.  Proposals are submitted to Kathleen Parent, Curriculum Information Specialist. 

Proposing a Summer Study (SUMR) course involves all the usual steps for proposing an academic-year course (i.e., designing the course, establishing learning goals, completing a standard course proposal form), plus a number of additional steps that are particular to SUMR courses.  The additional steps include writing a more detailed narrative about the course plan; figuring out the basic logistics of travel, lodging, food, and partnerships/arrangements with other organizations; preparing a budget; and customizing a health and safety plan.  More information on each of these is provided below.  Keep in mind as you prepare each part that SUMR courses are subject to a two-part review process.  The first part is done by the Curriculum Committee, which evaluates proposals from an academic and curricular standpoint.  The committee will rank-order all SUMR proposals, and submit the ranked list to the academic administration, which completes the second part of the review.  This second part involves an evaluation of the financial feasibility of the proposal, in the context of budgetary constraints and other priorities.  Faculty members whose proposals are approved will then finalize their course descriptions and budgets, and -- with guidance of administrators -- move their courses through various processes aimed at mitigating risks, establishing the cost of the course for students, publicizing the course, approving students for registration, and more.

As noted above, at the stage of preparing the proposal, faculty members will write a more detailed narrative about the course plan; figure out the basic logistics of travel, lodging, food, and partnerships/arrangements with other organizations; prepare a budget; and customize a health and safety plan.

The more detailed narrative  A typical course description for an academic-year course is about 100 words long, but that's not enough space in which to describe fully where students will go and what they will do in connection with a SUMR course.  The detailed narrative is an opportunity for the faculty member to help the Curriculum Committee, and eventually students, understand what is involved in the course and how its learning goals will be achieved. For example, the narrative might elucidate how particular learning goals will be achieved through a combination of classroom lectures or exercises, field sites and day trips, and student assignments.

Basic logistics  SUMR courses take place off-campus because our campus residence halls and academic buildings are occupied by the Language Schools during the summer, and more importantly, because they tend to be "place-based" courses that capitalize on a particular location for its unique learning opportunities.  Faculty members proposing summer courses therefore need to start early in figuring out where they and their students will stay, how they will get there, and what kinds of arrangements will be needed.  If the course will take place in a country with a cash economy, or limited financial services, you will also need to think about how to get access to cash while there, or how to get substantial bills paid (such as for lodging).  Depending on the location of the course, there might be other country-specific logistic issues to consider.

Budget  Preparing a budget involves thinking through the total costs of running the course, including your own stipend (which is a pre-set amount); travel, food, and lodging for yourself, your students, and any co-leader you intend to hire; fees associated with field trips; and any other expenses.  A template to use as a starting point is available here.  You can then customize it to your course's needs.  

Health and safety  Faculty members will create a Health and Safety plan customized to their own courses.  This includes information regarding health insurance, medications, access to medical care while traveling, emergency contact information, and any specialized health and safety needs associated with activities particular to a course (such as one that involves hiking, or being out of cell phone range, for instance).  A straightforward example of a brief health and safety plan can be found in the "Personal Safety and Emergencies" sections of the MiddCORE handbook, and a guiding set of questions to consider in creating your plan can be found here.  The instructor of a Summer Study course is considered a "Campus Security Authority" (CSA) for purposes of Clery Act reporting in connection with that course.  You can read more about your responsibilities as a CSA here

Finalizing the Course Description

The final course descpription that gets posted online will need to include instructions for students wishing to apply for approval to take the course.  There is a standard, automated application form, but you might wish to request specific additional information from applicants.  The Dean of Curriculum will contact you for any specific application requirements that may not have been included with the the original course description and will not already be requested on the automated application form  (e.g., a list of their past experiences relevant to your course, confirmation of the final dates when the course will take place, and any ADA-relevant information that students might need to be aware of; especially if there is any physical or learning activity that is essential and fundamental to the course that would affect students’ ability to participate). 

To view the automated application, please click here.

Finalizing the Budget

Once the course is approved, the Dean of Curriculum, in consultation with the Associate Vice President of Finance, will work with the instructor to identify additional costs that may not have been included in the original budget (i.e., all facets of travel: airfare, car rental, airport transportation; lodging; meals; course materials; day-trip expenses; personal expenses, etc.)

Once all of the financial costs have been identified, the Dean of Curriculum and the Associate Vice President for Finance will finalize the course budget. The Budget Office then helps set the “program fee” for the course (i.e., the amount that full-pay students will pay to enroll in the course. That fee will cover the instructor's expenses.  The fee will also be based on certain assumptions about the percentage of enrolled students who are likely to be financially aided, and the percentage of aid they are likely to need.  The program fee is therefore not simply the total course expenses divided by the number of enrolled students.

Once the finalized budget has been approved and entered into Banner, the instructor will receive an approval letter that includes the published course description, course budget information, and salary information.  Compensation for the primary instructor of a Summer Study course is $5000.

Any Co-instructor affiliated with the course will also receive a contract letter.  Compensation for any co-instructor should be based on the individual's expertise and contributions to the course.  For example, a recent Middlebury graduate who is participating largely in the role of "trip leader" would be compensated substantially less than a true team teacher whose scholarly expertise, alongside your own, is necessary for the success of the course.  You can include in your budget an amount that seems appropriate to you, given the anticipated role of the co-instructor/leader.

Co-instructor(s) and faculty member(s) will be paid by submitting a one-time payment form. You will find further information and the form itself on the following webpage:

Publicizing Summer Courses

Summer Study course descriptions will be added to the Summer Study webpage (go/sumr) and students will be notified of the offerings ideally by the time they leave for December break. This page will continue to be updated as the course descriptions are finalized with additional course details, dates, and costs.

During December break, colleagues from the Communications office will send mailings to students about a variety of summer opportunities, including Summer Study courses, to make them aware of their options.

From the Summer Study webpage, students will have the initial option to place their name on a list for more information about the course offerings.  These lists will be sent to you, the instructor, as spreadsheets with interested students' contact information.  You can then follow up with interested students to explore whether the course would be a good option for them.  Once the automated application form is available, students will be notified that they can begin applying to participate.

Meanwhile, colleagues in Communications will continue to disseminate informational materials, making students aware of upcoming summer options.


At some point after a course is approved, you will want to access the funding for the course so you can start solidifying some of your arrangements, and putting down any required deposits.

The Dean of Curriculum, together with the Academic Affairs budget personnel, will determine the Index that has been assigned to your course.  You will likely want to apply for a "P-card" and have it charge directly to that index (or redirect your existing P-card to that index).  That way, you can start making purchases or putting down deposits in connection with the course without using your own funds and later needing reimbursement.  Of course, any charges that are contingent on the number of students enrolled will need to wait until you have a better sense of how many students will participate.

This can also be a good time to start considering the economic situation in the location where your course will take place.  If credit cards are commonly used, then you can continue to rely on your P-card once in country.  If your course site has a cash economy, then you'll want to think through the best and safest way to get access to cash while you are there.  A related issue is whether you will need to provide students with any cash.  If, for example, you've decided to use a "per diem" type system, where each student is given a certain amount to spend on food, then you'll want to think through how much to give students at once, and how to either access cash as you need it or store it safely in the meantime.

The Application Process for Students

The specific application deadline for students will be announced, but it is usually in mid-February.

The course description as posted online will contain a link to an automated application system, and will contain any additional instructions that you, as instructor, have specified. Any additional materials that you have requested from students will be sent directly to you.  The standard materials that are gathered through the automated process will be collected in a database, and then forwarded to you soon after the deadline.  You will need to follow-up with students for any missing materials.

All Summer Study courses are "By Approval Only."  Instructor(s) will manage the student approval process by reviewing the submitted applications plus any additional materials requested, and notifying students whether or not they are approved to register for the course.  Students will officially declare their registration by submitting an Add card to the faculty member by April 5. Once the faculty member has received Add cards from all of the students who will be registering for the course, s/he will sign them and deliver them to the Registrar's Office by April 6.

The Registrar’s Office will register the students into the course.

Please note that the online course description will also have an automated system for students simply to indicate their possible interest in the course.  You will periodically receive spreadsheets with the contact information of those students who have expressed interest so you can follow up with them, provide additional information, and encourage them to apply if their interests are well aligned with the course.

Notifying Accepted Students

When notifying students of their approval, confirm with them the following information regarding AP/IB Credits:

  • Important Information regarding AP and IB Credits:  In some cases, enrolling in a Summer Study course can decrease the number of pre-college testing credits (such as AP, IB, or others) you can apply toward your undergraduate degree.  Please read carefully the degree requirements in the College Handbook so you understand how your credits might be affected. 

Provide students with a copy of the approved Health and Safety Plan and include a link to the Special Needs Identification Form available at

Once students have confirmed their acceptance, by submitting their green Add Card for the instructor's signature (by April 5), the instructor will then deliver all of the Add Cards to the to the Registrar’s Office (by April 6). The Registrar’s Office will register the students into the course.

Financial Aid

Two categories of students are responsible for paying the full costs of a Summer Study course:  those who do not receive financial aid during the regular academic year, and those who do receive financial aid but who have previously taken a Summer Study course.  (The latter is because financial aid is available to a given student only for a single Summer Study course.)

  • Students in either of the categories noted above are responsible for the full program fee (as determined by the Budget Office and the Dean of Curriculum), plus travel costs incurred getting to/from the course site, any personal expenses incurred (such as visa application fees and other miscellaneous personal expenses).  Other expenses, such as lodging, meals, and travel in and around the course site, are covered by the program fee.

Students who receive financial aid and are taking their first Summer Study course, will have "full need met," as determined by the Financial Aid Office.  

  • Summer Study financial aid for students in this category is automatic -- they do not need to apply specially for that aid.  After registration in April, the registrar’s office will send a list to the Student Financial Services (SFS) Office of all students enrolled in the course.  The SFS office will automatically compute and process aid for all enrolled students who are eligible. 
  • The SFS uses the following formula to compute the aid for each eligible student.  They begin with the student's "expected family contribution" (EFC), which students can look up in Banner.  That EFC is the amount the student's family is expected to contribute over a 9-month period.  The SFS office then computes the Summer Study EFC by converting the 9-month EFC to an EFC proportional to the duration of the course. For example, if the course will last for one month, then the Summer Study EFC is the 9-month EFC divided by 9.  The SFS office will then award to the student: 1) the difference between the course's program fee and the Summer Study EFC, to make up the whole program fee, and 2) a travel and personal expenses allowance that will be equal to the cost of the average plane ticket, visa application, etc., as detailed in the course budget.
  • Note that individual students’ actual expenses might differ.  For example, suppose the average plane ticket to the course site is anticipated to be $2000, and students are flying directly from their home locations.  A student whose home is in a major city might find a less expensive flight than the average, while a student whose home is in a rural location might find a flight more expensive than the average.  Students should therefore plan for the possibility that their travel/personal allowance might undershoot their actual costs by some margin.
  • Often the financial aid award letters from the SFS office do not come out until after registration.  However, students can determine their out-of-pocket costs prior to receiving their award letter by taking the appropriate proportion of their 9-month Estimated Family Contribution (EFC; bound in BannerWeb under the Finance tab).  That is the amount they would be expected to contribute; the remainder of the program fee, travel costs, and personal expenses would be covered by aid (with the caveat above that the travel and personal expenses allowance is based on an average).
  • Students who have questions about their particular circumstances can contact Mike McLaughlin or one of his colleagues in the Student Financial Services office.

On the theory that it is better for aided students to be pleasantly surprised by receiving more aid than they expected, than to be disillusioned by receiving less than they expected, two additional thoughts might be useful.  First, with respect to the travel/personal allowance, it might be best not to quote the exact budgeted figure to students early in the process.  It is still possible the SFS office will need to make minor tweaks to the computation of out-of-pocket expenses.  Therefore, you might quote them a rough figure like “approximately $2700-$3000.”  That way, if it turns out, for example, that SFS can’t award aid for meals not covered by the program fee, and has to adjust the travel/personal allowance downward from what’s in the budget, the students won’t be shocked by what they have to pay; and if it turns out to be the full amount, they’ll just be pleasantly surprised.  Second, when the SFS applies the formula above (for converting the 9-month EFC to a Summer Study EFC), they might use round figures that benefit the student.  For example, for a 5-week course, they might simply call it a month and compute the Summer Study EFC as simply (9-month EFC/9).  That would have the effect of decreasing the expected amount that aided students’ families will pay, and increasing their aid.  Here again, it might be worth not advertising that to students too early in the process. 

Travel, Housing, Food

Instructors facilitate the process for making travel arrangements, and have several options for doing so.  A few to consider are as follows:

1. You can plan for all students to depart from same location, and the instructor can make the travel arrangements for all students from that location;

2. Students can either book travel from their home location to a designated central meeting place (i.e., major city airport), and then the class travel is pre-arranged by the instructor(s) from that point;

3. You can plan for all students to depart from same location, but students make their own arrangements;

4. Depending on the logistics of the course, you can plan for all students to meet on-site, in which case students make their own arrangements.  It’s important for instructors to be clear about precisely when/where the course begins – that is, when does the faculty member assume responsibility for the students? 

If students who receive financial aid have questions about their travel expenses, please refer to the Financial Aid section above for answers.

Instructor(s) budget their own travel from Middlebury (the cost of which will ultimately be covered by the fee students pay to participate in the course.)


Instructor locates affordable, safe housing at the course site(s).  It is recommended that instructors look into the possibility of partnering with a nearby university or institute, as these will often have the added benefit of available classroom space as well as infrastructure to stand in for resources typically available on campus, such as a health center, commons dean-type personnel, and public safety officers.


Depending on the logistics of the course, food may be covered as part of a dining plan at a university; or it could be budgeted so that all meals are taken together as a class; or it could be based on a per diem with students determining how to use their allotted amount each day; or it could be a combination of scheduled group meals and per diem days.  In making this decision, you are encouraged to take into account your own expert knowledge of the locale in which the course is taking place, the pros and cons of students travelling with per diem money, and the particulars of your course logistics.

If it makes sense for students to cook for themselves, be aware that some cooking and/or basic kitchen safety education may be necessary.

Once the you determine the details regarding travel, housing, and meals, please communicate that information to the students enrolling in your course.

Health & Safety Plans

The Dean of Curriculum will send the instructors’ health and safety plans (as originally submitted with the course proposal) on to the Global Operations group, Public Safety, the Risk Office, the ADA office, and our Title IX representatives for their review.  Feedback from these support areas will be shared with the instructor so the health and safety plans can be refined. The "Other Resources" section at the bottom of the Global Operations web page is useful as a resource in this regard.

Insurance, Taxes, and Visas

The vendors for certain activities planned as part of the course may request a Certificate of Insurance as evidence that you and all of our students are insured. Further information is available at

Students who are traveling abroad for a Summer Study course should make sure they have adequate health insurance coverage.  If they need to supplement their regular policies with international coverage, they can enroll in a Middlebury policy for this purpose through GeoBlue.

There can be tax implications of Summer Study courses, particularly if certain affordances of the course have to be treated as income.  Questions about tax implications can be directed to the college's Tax Office.  

Faculty and students should also be aware of any visa-related issues that might affect their participation in a Summer Study course.  For example, there may be limitations when traveling on a tourist visa versus a student visa, or implications for international students, depending on their home country and the country in which the course will take place.  Questions regarding visas can be directed to the ISSS Office

College Policies

The instructor(s) needs to be familiar with college policies such as anti-harassment, sexual misconduct and stalking, ADA policies, and student policies. These, and other policies, are available in the College Handbook,

Registration for Summer Courses

Students will officially declare their registration by submitting an Add card to the faculty member by April 5. This is a critical step, as it marks the student's commitment and intention to enroll in the course.  The faculty member should make clear to students that the Add card indicates their intention to enroll, and that the due date for the Add cards is firm.  Once the faculty member has received Add cards from all of the students who will be registering for the course, s/he will sign them and deliver them to the Registrar's Office by April 6. The Registrar’s Office will register the students into the course.

Once the students have all been registered, the instructor can decide whether and how often to convene the group in preparation for the course.  At a minimum, a pre-departure orientation (discussed below in "Prior to Departure") should be held.

Prior to Departure

Conduct a pre-departure orientation and training session with your students.  This is an opportunity to make clear your expectations for student conduct, share details regarding travel and policies, and ensure that all students are aware of what to do in an emergency.  It can also be a chance for students to get to know one another and begin to form a sense of community.

Instructors customize a Code of Conduct Handbook for their students detailing the rules and guidelines for student conduct, customized for the course location.  In many cases, you can simply apply the same policies guiding student conduct here on campus to your course; in other cases, local laws and customs might be in conflict with our policies on campus, and you will need to educate students about the local standards and make clear the standards to which they will be held.  For example, it is important to make sure that you and your students are aware of Middlebury's policy regarding sexual misconduct, domestic and dating violence, and stalking, as well as how that policy aligns with local laws and customs.  Some useful examples are the Faculty-led Program Guide provided by MIIS, and MiddCORE student handbook.

You will also want to define the specific beginning and ending points of your course to make clear when you have assumed and when you have abdicated responsibility for your students.  For example, you might have all your students travel from their home locations to the destination airport, and begin the course once everyone has arrived at the destination airport; or you might have everyone converge on a major city and depart together from there, in which case you might begin the course once everyone has assembled in that city.  Similarly, at the end of the course, some students may wish to extend their stay, and it's important to establish when they are traveling as part of your course, and when they are on their own. 

Before departure, the instructor emails the Office of Public Safety, copying the Dean of Curriculum, with the course itinerary and the list of student names with emergency contact information.

Additional helpful tips:

  • Request that all students program the instructor’s phone number and any other local emergency numbers into their phones, as well as the emergency number for the Middlebury College Office of Public Safety.
  • If appropriate, encourage students to notify their banking institution that they will be using their credit and debit cards in another country.
  • Encourage students to get a paper copy (preferable typewritten) of any prescription medications they take in case they need an emergency refill while abroad or encounter difficulties at the airport in carrying medications.
  • Prepare a written list of location emergency contact numbers (i.e. police, counseling, fire, ambulance), that upon arrival will be posted in an identified central area.
  • Consider requesting and carrying photocopies of all students' passport and/or visa documentation in case of loss.
  • Forward to Kathleen Parent in the Dean of Curriculum Office copies of any signed agreements with vendors, touring companies, etc.
  • Have students complete and sign the Health Information and Release Form. The faculty member should keep the originals and copies should be fowarded to Kathleen Parent in the Dean of Curriculum Office.
During the course

Most often, everything goes smoothly for a Summer Study course and its professor and students.  When issues come up, however, it's important to recognize key differences between a Summer Study course and a regular on-campus course.

During a regular on-campus course, there is a relatively clear division of responsibility between professors and various members of the Student Life staff, such as Commons Deans and residence hall staff.  During a Summer Study course, by contrast, you take on responsibility for all of the above.  If a student gets injured or sick or robbed, or is having personal difficulties, you are their primary source if support or information regarding appropriate supports.  A Summer Study course is therefore a "24/7" proposition in many respects.

One reason it can be so helpful to have a co-leader, co-teacher, or assistant is that you and your colleague can "spot" each other.  For example, you can trade off who's "on" during a given time period, or simply benefit from knowing that if one of you needs to accompany a student to a doctor or hospital, for example, the other can cover the class and the other students in the meantime.  This is also why it can be helpful to partner with a university or institute nearby that might have infrastructure for dealing with various kinds of crises that might come up.

While the course is in progress, the Dean of Curriculum (or the dean's designee) is "on call" as the primary campus contact person in the event that a major crisis arises.  In that case, you would either contact the dean directly, or contact Public Safety, who would contact the dean.  We would then marshal the appropriate resources on campus to assist in handling the crisis.

After the Course

Once you and your students arrive back safely, exhilarated and exhausted, a small handful of tasks remain.

Grades will need to be submitted to the Registrar's office.

All receipts fshould be submitted to Kathleen Parent or Lynn Dunton.  Primarily, these will be for documentation and record-keeping purposes because most items would have been charged via P-card ahead of time.  Occasionally, however, there will be some stray receipts for which you require reimbursement, and Kathleen and Lynn can help with those, too. 

Finally, it is worth reaching out to Sue Ritter's office regarding Clery Act reporting, even if no incidents occurred during your course.  Typically, information regarding Clery Act reporting is gathered many months after Summer Study courses have ended, at which point it can be difficult and inconvenient to revisit the details of your course.  Taking the initiative to furnish the information promptly after your return can make the process much easier.

Whom To Contact

ADA Policy                                       Jodi Litchfield, x5936

Budget reimbursements:                  Kathleen Parent, x2207

Certificate of Insurance:                   Matt Curran, x5504

Course related issues:                     Emily Proctor, x5954

Financial Aid:                                  Mike McLaughlin, x5228

Registration:                                  Gloria Gottlieb, x5354