Program Planning Process
The Office of Instruction is always open to exploring the development of new faculty-led Domestic Field Study programs. Potential new DFS programs must be approved by the Office of Instruction, the Registrar's Office, the Dean(s) of the appropriate college(s), and relevant department administration/staff .
To allow sufficient planning time for a new domestic field study program, we recommend starting the proposal process at least 12 months prior to the estimated program departure date. Please visit the Forms & Deadlines page for up-to-date program proposal deadlines.
Briefly, the steps to propose and develop a new DFS program are as follows:
- Complete the new program questionnaire
This form gathers preliminary information about the proposed program curriuculm, logistics, and budget. After submission, DFS personnel will contact the faculty member(s) listed to discuss next steps in the planning process.
When developing ideas for DFS programs, potential program directors should:
Familiarize themselves with the Study Away Program Director Manual
Review the Office of Faculty Affairs' Instructor of Record Credentialing process
Identify their departmental Business Manager (for purposes of future program budget development)
- Meet with Domestic Field Study personnel
After your questionnaire has been reviewed, we will schedule a meeting with the potential program director(s) to:
Discuss rationale for the program and its benefits to the academic unit and UGA
Evaluate the viability of the proposed program, its fit among existing DFS programs at UGA, and the long-term sustainability of the program
Discuss the academic and financial management of the proposed program
- Discuss any safety and/or logistical concerns related to the proposed areas of travel
- Submit program proposal to the StudyAway Portal
Program director(s) or a designee will create a Faculty-led Program Proposal in the StudyAway Portal (Terra Dotta) for the semester and year that they intend for their program to run.
- Proposal review and approval
Each semester, representatives from DFS, the Office of Curriculum Systems, and UGA's Office of Emergency Preparedness meet to review proposals. The review process addresses the academic, financial, and risk management components of the proposal. Each member of the committee will need to give their approval of the proposals. The committee may ask program directors for additional documentation before final approval.
DFS personnel will contact the proposing faculty member, their Unit Head/Director, and the Dean of their college to confirm final program approval.
- Program planning and launch
Once approved, the Program Director (or a designee) should:
- Schedule a Field Study Portal Training (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Schedule a Budget development meeting (email Jonathan.Wentworth@uga.edu)
- Create program planning documents via the StudyAway Portal
- Update a Cost of Attendance Sheet
- Open applications for the term
- Sign up for a Risk Management training (email email@example.com)
- Faculty or staff traveling with the program need to sign the Program Staff Expectations Agreement. All faculty and staff who will be directly associated with the program while it is operational should be issued a letter of offer, using a standard template
- Complete the new program questionnaire
Program directors for existing programs must complete the planning process each year a program is offered.
This process ensures that the necessary academic, curricular, and financial information for each program is up-to-date and communicated across campus. DFS personnel will consult with Program Directors, unit heads, Curriculum Systems, the Office of Faculty Affairs, and other on-campus partners as necessary during this review.
Please follow the steps below to complete annual program planning in the StudyAway Portal.
Domestic Field Study program information and applications are managed through the UGA StudyAway Portal, which uses the TerraDotta system.
You must first request that DFS personnel or Victor (OGE) initiate your program planning "application" for a specific semester. Then, the steps to develop and/or update your program planning materials in TerraDotta are as follows:
- Login to the StudyAway Portal using your UGA credentials.
- Click the "home" icon, then Applicant. You should see your planning application for the term in which you intend to run the program.
- For your program, you will need to work through and submit a number of:
- Fillable forms: There are a series of web forms to complete for your program that will populate your program's landing page on the Portal (it's "brochure"). Some of these require you to select from pre-populated responses; some are text entry responses. Submit each questionnaire by clicking Done.
- Policy forms: There are also a number of policy documents that you will need to read and acknowledge ("mark as read") or digitally sign before submitting your program planning documents.
- Document uploads: These are documents that must be uploaded into the system through the Documents tab. Examples include budget proposals, program itineraries, and course syllabi. Note that required uploads will not automatically be marked as received; after DFS personnel review your documents, they will mark as received.
- Once all fillable forms are completed, policy documents acknowledged/signed, and documents uploaded, your submission is complete. You will be contacted directly if there are any issues.
Please visit the Forms & Deadlines page to access templates for DFS budgets and academic itineraries.
All completed templates will be uploaded to the Portal as part of the annual DFS Program Planning application.
The following policies and procedures are specific to Domestic Field Study programs. We are actively revising policies and will post updates below. If a DFS-specific policy is not yet available, we will continue to apply OGE policies.
- Vehicle use & rental policies (PDF) (last updated 19 Sept 2023)
Having trouble? Contact us.