Anderson University has adopted Global Engagement: Anderson University Abroad as the institution's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The program provides short-term (7-14 days) learning abroad experiences as an integral component of a 3-credit course. The QEP initiative is a pilot effort establishing a wider range of access for students to learn about the implications of global interdependence through a short-term study abroad experience in an elective general education course. These courses offer the opportunity to utilize the world as a valuable learning environment, by providing immediate and direct contextual frames of reference for understanding global interdependence. The QEP centers on one initiative that impacts the entire campus by reaching across the University community and involving the key constituencies and stakeholders that are most directly invested in student learning: faculty, students, library professionals, the Christian life division, the Center for Learning and Teaching Excellence, and personnel in student services and in student development.
The University's commitment to undertake this long-term initiative --Anderson University Abroad-- to enhance student learning through international engagement comes from the convergence of many factors. Historically, the University has provided periodic academic international courses of study, and because of its Christian heritage has long promoted mission work locally, nationally, and internationally. The University's current Strategic Plan calls for the creation of a more comprehensive campus-wide study abroad program. Anderson University Abroad clearly aligns with the University's mission and values as well as with strategies and priorities from this strategic plan. The opportunity to develop a QEP has provided the necessary impetus for creating the program. Note that throughout the QEP, study abroad is a generic term identified as an educational program that occurs outside the United States (Kitsantas & Meyers, 2001).