Strategic Plan 2012-2015

The Forum on Education Abroad’s Board of Directors endorsed a revised mission statement and new strategic plan for the organization at its 2012 summer meeting. The new plan is intended to guide The Forum’s activities and initiatives through 2015.

The strategic planning process involved recommendations made by the Strategic Planning Task Force composed of Board members, a Forum Council representative and the President and CEO. 198 Forum member institutions responded to a survey asking for input about what services and benefits members want to help to advance their institution’s/organization’s education abroad efforts.The process reconfirmed at all levels of membership the five foundational principals of The Forum: standards, data collection, outcomes assessment, curriculum and academic design, and advocacy. In addition, new ideas were generated about how The Forum can better serve its members.The result is a new strategic plan that has the following three key objectives:

  • Increase the recognition and influence of The Forum.
  • Improve responsiveness to member needs by providing more differentiated content that serves the diversity of member institutions and organizations.
  • Enhance the delivery of member benefits and services.

Below is the broad outline of the new strategic plan. It will be evaluated on an annual basis by the Board to ensure that it is effective in guiding the organization into the future.

Mission Statement

The Forum on Education Abroad develops and disseminates comprehensive Standards of Good Practice for the field of education abroad. It promotes best practices and excellence in curricular design, engages in data collection and research, conducts program assessment and quality improvement, and advocates on behalf of its members and the field of education abroad. The Forum serves institutions and organizations that sponsor and support education abroad programs for students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. The Forum also collaborates with international member institutions and organizations to identify and facilitate best practices and standards for education abroad.

Member Services

The Forum’s programs and services are recognized as providing best practices for members’ education abroad endeavors. Members aspire to and take concrete steps towards participating in standards-related programs to assess and improve their programs and gain recognition by The Forum through the use of the “Recognized for Meeting Standards of Good Practice” logo. The Forum is distinguished by authoritatively providing: Standards of Good Practice; reliable and comprehensive data and research; guidance in and examples of outstanding curriculum design; models for and results of outcomes assessment; and advocacy for education abroad. The use of these services assists members to assess and improve their education abroad programs to benefit student participants.

Educational Programming

The Forum designs and implements programming at the regional, national and international levels that sets and disseminates Standards of Good Practice, increases the accessibility of the Standards to all levels of member institutions and organizations, encourages and provides training in the implementation of best practices, and allows all member institutions and organizations to engage in purposeful dialogue. Programming also promotes and disseminates data collection and research, curriculum and academic design, outcomes assessment and advocacy. The Forum’s programming is nimble and responsive in communicating timely content. In turn, member institutions and organizations (and their representatives) understand and support the integrity of The Forum’s programming and annual conference.


The Forum is internationally-recognized for its advocacy of education abroad. The Forum educates the key decision-makers who shape the field of education abroad in Standards of Good Practice and evidence-based best practices. The Forum advocates for education abroad both within institutions/organizations and in their national or global contexts.


The Forum promotes the five areas of the organization’s strengths through collaborations with:

  • higher education institutions and organizations;
  • professional and higher education associations;
  • academic and regional accreditation associations;
  • governments, agencies and the private sector.

The Forum serves as a model for international education organizations and associations.


The Forum is guided by its mission statement, which reflects the organization’s standing as a leader in the field of education abroad. Its membership, board, council, committees and working groups, and staff are committed to advancing Standards of Good Practice; data collection and research; curriculum and academic design; outcomes assessment; and advocacy for education abroad at all levels.