Professionals

Learning Abroad Major Advising

What Is a Learning Abroad Major Advising Page?

Learning Abroad Major Advising Pages (MAPs) are an innovation of the University of Minnesota's study abroad curriculum integration initiative. MAPs describe academic considerations for study abroad and highlight specific study abroad programs approved by faculty and academic advisers. They began as Study Abroad Major Advising Sheets (SAMAS) are now available online. These have long been the highest-profile product of the University of Minnesota’s curriculum integration efforts and represent the dialogue that takes place between faculty members and advisers in academic departments and the Learning Abroad Center.

Key characteristics:

  • They are a result of a joint effort between the Learning Abroad Center and a college or department/program. Neither partner would be capable of producing such a resource without the other.
  • Each resource includes information and advice about how learning abroad experiences fit into particular degree program(s), as well as a handpicked sample list of recommended learning abroad opportunities.

Evolution of the Major Advising Pages

Stage 1 (1999–2003)

  • First major advising sheet developed—what would become known as Study Abroad Major Advising Sheets (SAMAS)
  • During this time, the Learning Abroad Center was called the Global Campus
  • Content determined jointly by academic unit (usually a college, department or interdisciplinary program) and Learning Abroad Center
  • Edited and printed by Learning Abroad Center
  • Distributed by and used for advising by both partner units

Stage 2 (2003–2010)

  • A continuation of stage 1, with the addition of SAMASes being posted as PDFs on Learning Abroad Center website
  • Coordinate campuses began to create SAMASes

Stage 3 (2010–present)

  • Content shaped cooperatively as in Stages 1 and 2
  • Content converted from PDF to a web page format for easier updates and better access. These pages were then renamed Major Advising Pages (MAPs). Users still able to print on demand.
  • Move from stage 2 to stage 3 required massive overhaul of material to make web-friendly (reduction in verbosity, insertion of multiple links, links between MAPs)

Resources for Practitioners

See a list of primary and secondary resources that academic units or other institutions may use to prepare major advising resources. Many of the secondary resources were used in stage 1 or 2 at the University of Minnesota. Some are still in use for a few academic units. Even those no longer active may prove useful for other institutions beginning to develop their own resources.