SUSI for Secondary School Educators Program

The U.S. Embassy in Tunisia is seeking eligible Tunisian secondary teachers and administrators for the Study of the United States Institutes for Secondary School Educators, scheduled to take place in Summer 2019.

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Secondary Educators are five-week intensive post-graduate level academic programs with integrated study tours whose purpose is to provide foreign secondary school educators and administrators the opportunity to deepen their understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions.  The ultimate goal of the Institutes is to strengthen curricula and to enhance the quality of teaching about the United States in secondary schools and other academic institutions abroad.

Pending availability of funding, the SUSIs for Secondary Educators will take place beginning in early June and July 2019.  Three Institutes for Secondary Educators will be offered, two with a focus on classroom teachers and the third with a focus on administrators including teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, and ministry of education officials, among others.  Each Institute will have 20 participants and will include a four-week academic residency component and a one-week integrated study tour.

Institute Description:

The SUSIs for Secondary Educators will provide three multinational groups of 20 experienced secondary school educators (including teachers, administrators, teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, ministry of education officials, and others) with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, education, and culture – past and present.  The focus of the Institutes will be on providing content and materials for participants to develop high school level curricula about the United States.  Two of the Institutes are tailored for secondary school teachers; please note that the Institutes for Teachers focus on content and materials about the United States rather than teaching methods and pedagogy.  The third Institute is tailored for experienced administrators including teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, ministry of education officials, and others.

This year’s Institutes will focus on the theme of “Liberty, Equality, and the American Dream.”  Through a combination of traditional, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary approaches, program content will examine the history and evolution of U.S. institutions and values, broadly defined.  The programs will also serve to illuminate contemporary political, social, and economic debates in American society.  The four-week academic residencies will take place at U.S. universities and colleges campuses and will consist of a balanced series of lectures, panels, seminar discussions, readings, workshops, site visits, meetings with practitioners in the field, and cultural activities.  One-week study tours to a different region of the United States will complement the academic residencies.  One goal of the study tours is to showcase the cultural, geographic, and ethnic diversity of the United States.  The program features curriculum based on the study of how America’s foundations and historical development have shaped and continue to inform U.S. politics, economics, and society.  A key cultural component of the program involves community service activities, which will provide participants with a first-hand experience of how volunteerism plays a vital role in U.S. civil society.  The program will offer multiple opportunities for follow-on engagement through alumni webinars, grant-funded follow-on projects, social media, and an alumni workshop.

Other Essential Program Information:

This program covers all participant costs, including international travel, travel allowance, and visa related travel costs within set limits; visa program administration; travel and ground transportation in the United States; housing and subsistence; and book, cultural, mailing, and incidental allowances.

Housing and Meal Arrangements:  Participants may be asked to share living quarters during the residency portion (four weeks) of the Institute.  During the study tour (up to one week), participants may share a hotel room with a participant of the same gender.  During the residency, housing will typically be in college or university owned housing.  Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.  The host institutions will provide full details to participants in pre-institute communications at least six-weeks in advance of the Institute.  Host institutions will take care to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.

Health Benefits: All participants will receive the Department of State’s coverage of up to $100,000, with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and a $75 co-pay per emergency room visit, for the duration of the program.  Pre-existing conditions are not covered.  Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.

Program Requirements and Restrictions:

All participants are expected to participate fully in the program.  This program is an intensive post-graduate level academic program and study tour.  Participants should be aware of the rigorous nature of the Institute and the expectation that the success of the Institute depends on their full participation.  Selected participants must attend all lectures and organized activities and complete assigned readings.  Family members and/or friends cannot accompany participants on any part of the program.  Candidates should be aware that this is an intensive Institute and there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program.  The Institute is not a research program.

Eligibility Criteria:

Study of the U.S. Institutes are highly competitive.  Priority will be given to candidates who have firm plans to enhance, update or develop courses and/or educational materials with a U.S. studies focus or component, who have no prior experience in the United States, and who have a special interest and experience in the field of secondary education as demonstrated through past scholarship, accomplishments, and professional duties.  Preference will be given to candidates working in/with government schools.

To be eligible for this program, applicants must:

  • Be Tunisian secondary classroom teachers OR administrators (including teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, and Ministry of Education officials, among others). S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) and immediate family members of U.S. Embassy employees are NOT eligible to participate in this program.
  • Be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly motivated and experienced secondary school teachers and administrators.
  • Have limited or no prior experience in the United States.
  • Seek to introduce or enhance aspects of U.S. studies into their curricula or to offer specialized seminars/workshops for education professionals in U.S. studies or related fields.
  • Have plans to expand the impact of this program upon return to Tunisia.
  • Demonstrate English language fluency.  Institutes are rigorous and demanding programs; participants will be expected to handle substantial reading assignments in English and to fully and actively participate in all seminar and panel discussions.  English fluency is vital to a successful experience in the Institute.
  • Be willing and able to take part in an intensive post-graduate level academic program, and be comfortable with American campus life and an active program schedule.

Application Procedure:

  • Complete the downloadable application form, including the Personal Essay.
  • Provide a curriculum vitae, in English
  • E-mail the completed application form and curriculum vitae to TunisELprograms@state.gov no later than December 31, 2018.

Incomplete applications or those submitted after December 31 will NOT be reviewed.  Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.