Advising for SFS Programs

Quality Standards

SFS maintains the highest academic and institutional standards by relying on a peer-review process. Our assurance of quality is backed by our School of Record, program reviews, a diverse Advisory Committee, and publicly available student evaluations.

Our SChool of Record

Our courses are accredited through our School of Record (SOR), the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (U of M). U of M utilizes the following criteria in determining the appropriateness of acting as SOR for a select number of educational partners:

  • The program must be one the University of Minnesota actively uses and supports for University of Minnesota students.
  • The program must be one the University has confidence in and experience with, as well as a stake in the academic content and quality of the programs.
  • The program must have appropriate oversight mechanisms in place, such as advisory boards or councils and review processes.

All SFS courses—while often non-traditional in delivery –are developed and reviewed in accordance with our SOR and the Forum on Education Abroad’s Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad.

Institutional Partners Council

The SFS Institutional Partners Council helps uphold our consistent record of academic quality in the changing field of environmental study abroad. The Council advises SFS on program development, environmental and scientific issues, and trends in academia.

Current members:

  • Dan Ardia | Franklin & Marshall College | Associate Dean of Faculty, Professor of Biology
  • Jim Bolender | University of San Diego | Associate Provost for International Affairs, Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • Sara Gomez | Tufts University | Associate Director, Environmental Studies Program
  • Michal Greenburg | University of Colorado Boulder | Assistant Director, Education Abroad
  • Susan Holme | Whitman College | Senior Director, Off-Campus Studies
  • Alicia Jones | Eckerd College | Director of Global Education
  • Irina Krymova | University of Illinois at Chicago | Senior Associate Director, Office of Global Engagement
  • Brian Libby | Harvard University | Assistant Director, Office of International Education
  • Ebony Majeed | Hampton University | Director, International Office
  • Jill Reister | University of Minnesota – Twin Cities | Assistant Director of Programming, Learning Abroad Center

Student Evaluations

We encourage our alumni to submit program evaluations to popular websites such as, and Go Overseas. These portals allow prospective students to learn about the SFS experience from one of their peers. These reviews are not edited or vetted by SFS, and taken together illuminate the full SFS experience.

SFS students also complete anonymous program evaluations before leaving their SFS program.  These evaluations are closely reviewed by the SFS Office of Academic Affairs and the Center staff.