Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary Educators (SUSIs) are intensive five-week post-graduate level academic programs 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. Each Institute will include an academic residency component and a one-week integrated study tour to another region of the United States. A key cultural component of the program involves community service activities, which will provide participants with first-hand experience of how volunteerism plays a vital role in U.S. civil society.
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.
Through a combination of traditional, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary approaches, the 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.
The University of Montana (UM) in Missoula, Montana, will oversee and administer the three SUSIs for Secondary Educators and will also conduct one Institute for teachers which will explore U.S. studies through the lens of democracy and citizenship. The Institute for Training and Development (ITD) in Amherst, Massachusetts, will conduct the second Institute for teachers which will explore the ways in which individual rights and social obligations have evolved through American history. California State University at Chico will conduct the Institute for Administrators and will focus on sociocultural understanding, equitable learning communities, and diversity and inclusion in U.S. education and society.
Deadline for submission of applications for summer 2025 will be announced in Fall 2024. Incomplete applications and applications received after that deadline will not be considered.
Application cycle is open.
Deadline for submission of the application. Applications are reviewed for eligibility criteria. The most qualified applicants are invited for an interview.
Successful applicants are notified of their nomination. The final stage of the selection process is made by the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.
Successful applicants chosen by the U.S. Department of State are notified.
Administrative steps to process visa applications and departure for the U.S. are taken.
What degree of English proficiency should I have?
You must be fully proficient in English to fully understand lectures, actively participate in discussions, and read and write assignments in English.
To what extent do the Institutes for Secondary Educators cover teaching methods and pedagogy?
SUSIs for Secondary Educators focus primarily on content, materials, and education related to the United States. The Institutes for teachers typically include a handful of sessions on teaching methodologies; however, these sessions are supplemental to the main focus of the Institute.
I have been to the United States before. Does that mean I cannot apply for this program?
You can apply for SUSIs for Secondary Educators. However, please bear in mind that candidates with little or no experience in the United States may be considered for the program.
How much free time/time for independent research will I have during the program?
There will be some free time during the program as well as some time designated for independent research. However, candidates must understand that this is an intensive academic program and they are expected to participate in all lectures, activities, and scheduled events. Participants in Secondary Educator Institutes may, at their own expense, opt to extend their stay in the United States after the close of their program to the extent allowed by visa regulations.
If I have relatives in the United States, would I have time to see them?
Because of the intensive nature of the Institutes, participants will not be able to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends. Participants in Secondary Educator Institutes may, at their own expense, opt to extend their stay in the United States after the close of their program to the extent allowed by visa regulations.
Can I arrive early/late for the Institute?
The U.S. host university is expected to arrange flight itineraries so that participants arrive on the Institute start date. Occasionally, flight schedules necessitate that a participant arrives a day early. Once participants have reviewed their flight itinerary and the U.S. host university has booked the itinerary, the participant is responsible for making and paying for any itinerary changes if the participant chooses to change their plans.
Can I stay in the U.S. after the end of the Institute?
Yes. Under the terms of their J-1 visas, participants generally have up to 30 days after the end of the program to depart from the U.S. However, participants must be aware that they are responsible for all arrangements and expenses after the end of the Institute and will no longer have ECA-sponsored health benefits.
Can I miss one part or component of the Institute?
No, you cannot. All participants are expected to participate in all scheduled lectures, events, site visits, trips, and activities.
Will applicants with disabilities be considered?
Individuals with disabilities, participants from non-elite backgrounds, historically underserved groups, disadvantaged groups, members of the LGBTI community, and ethnic minority communities are encouraged to apply. Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are met.
Where are participants accommodated when in the U.S.?
Housing will be in shared university dorms on campus with common bathrooms. Male participants will be housed on one floor and female participants on a separate floor. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.