SIT Study Abroad Tunisia
World Learning seeks an Academic Director to manage SIT Study Abroad’s program in Tunisia and Italy: Politics and Religious Integration in the Mediterranean. The program is based in Tunis, Tunisia, and goes on excursion Palermo, Sicily. The start date for this position is July 1, 2020.
SIT Study Abroad Academic Directors (AD) manage SIT’s undergraduate study abroad programs located in 42 countries worldwide. The program themes vary from development and social change to arts, environmental studies, post-conflict transformation, health, and human rights. All SIT Study Abroad programs emphasize field study while examining critical global issues in keeping with the broader organizational missions of peace and social justice. SIT’s educational model focuses on cultural immersion as its primary heuristic component and uses theories of experiential education to inform its curricula and augment student learning. The academic centerpiece of most SIT Study Abroad semester programs is the independent study project. This component weaves together theory and practice and synthesizes the other program coursework.
The Academic Director is responsible for:
• the planning, delivery, and supervision of the academic program offered by SIT Study Abroad at its assigned program location;
• ensuring program academic excellence and facilitating student learning experience in a safe environment;
• Managing the program site and supervision of local staff, budget planning and oversight, and financial reporting;
• representing SIT Study Abroad in the program location and developing and maintaining positive relationships with local partners.
The Academic Director must remain current in their areas of expertise and familiar with in-country issues and practices in higher education. When required by local law, the Academic Director will have a local employment contract. The position is full time for the entire contract period.
1. Academic Management
• General management, implementation, and delivery of the study abroad program;
• Curriculum development and academic oversight;
• Advising in matters regarding academic program delivery and scheduling;
• Organizing and delivering the students’ initial cross-cultural orientation and components of the thematic and research methods courses, in their areas of expertise, as appropriate;
• Where appropriate and in consultation with the Academic Dean, teach one or more of
the academic components;
• Designing and coordinating a fully-integrated educational experience to facilitate student learning through classroom sessions, language instruction, field-based activities, and homestays. Facilitating the linkages between and among each of these various components;
• Where applicable, working with the language coordinator and language instructors to ensure highest quality, field-based language instruction;
• Generally guiding and advising students in both their cross-cultural learning processes and academic experiences – thus serving as an educator/teacher in the broadest sense by assisting students to draw substantive connections from among different aspects of the experience;
• Conducting the program review and academic evaluation at the end of the program and, in programs with an independent study project or internship experience, submitting a narrative evaluation of the student’s work / experience.
2. Program Management
• Managing program administration and operations in compliance with local laws and regulations;
• Negotiating cost-effective program services and managing the program budget;
• Making recruitment and termination decisions for local program staff in collaboration with the Academic Dean and World Learning Vermont Human Resources office;
• Supervising local program staff, including mentoring, training, and regular performance evaluations;
• Maintaining regular communication with the headquarters of SIT Study Abroad in Brattleboro, Vermont, USA and submitting detailed, timely reports, as required;
• Facilitating a constructive relationship between SIT students and host country nationals and program partners;
• Negotiating and maintaining updated agreements with local partner organizations;
• Participating, when requested, in the writing and editing of program materials, advertising materials, catalog copy, country information.
3. Student Health and Safety
• Providing student support for medical, personal and security issues in collaboration with Student Affairs division, the supervising Dean, and local staff.
• Maintaining up-to-date program contingency plans, based on current and reliable information concerning health and safety risks of the local environment.
• Communicating emergency procedures and protocols to student participants, program staff, home stay families.
• Providing culturally appropriate strategies and advice to maximize safety and wellbeing.
4. Other duties as assigned.
The nature of the AD job is such that ADs may be called upon during irregular hours to deal with emergencies.
• Terminal degree (PhD) in political science, sociology, anthropology, religion or an academic discipline related to the theme of the program.
• Academic and practical knowledge of the region with advanced proficiency in English, French, and Arabic required.
• Eligibility to work in Tunisia is also required
• College teaching and experience with U.S. undergraduates is desirable.
• ADs must be attuned to the educational philosophy and expectations of SIT and possess both commitment to academic excellence and the personal leadership qualities required by the program. Among the latter are cultural sensitivity and adaptability; intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for challenge; tact and diplomacy in working with host nationals and American students; organizational ability; budget management skills; and computer literacy.
• Effective communication skills.
• Proven ability to be flexible, collaborative and patient plus a sense of humor.
Why World Learning Inc.
Eighty-five years later, World Learning Inc. continues to lead worldwide efforts to foster empathy among people from different cultures. Our global nonprofit World Learning offers 79 global programs that improve education and employment opportunities around the world while promoting civic engagement and strengthening institutions. Our School for International Training offers study abroad programs to 2,200 students each year. And the Experiment in International Living has provided semester long homestays, service, and study opportunities to more than 70,000 students since its inception.
World Learning is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action/veterans/ADA employer, committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce.