About CCSA

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On September 10, 1982, a group of likeminded and committed individuals agreed to establish the Cooperative Center for Study in Britain. Four decades later, we remain committed to the ideals on which this organization was founded. While the names have changed, the goal of creating study abroad programs that are accessible to all students and faculty who seek global learning opportunities remains our guiding principle. In this year, 2022, the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad celebrates forty years, countless courses, hundreds of credit hours, and multitudes of airline tickets. Join us in recognizing those who set this in motion, those who kept it going, and those who will continue the traditions.

Meet those with the stories of 40 years of CCSA.

Dr. Ryan shares his experience with CCSA.

Celia Wall shares her experience with CCSA.

1980s - Common interests and cooperative culture. In 1982, in an effort to address a common desire to share resources and services throughout the state of Kentucky, a group of faculty and administrators from Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University and Western Kentucky University met to cooperatively plan, administer and teach low cost, quality and academically sound study abroad programs in Great Britain. Hence, the Cooperative Center for Study in Britain (CCSB) was established.

1990’s - MEMBER expansion beyond KENTUCKY. The consortium's first offerings--one, a travel program to various parts of England and Scotland and the other, a multi-week program based at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London--were made available to students in the summer of 1983. Initially headquartered at Western Kentucky University, CCSB moved to Northern Kentucky University in 1989. In September 1996, as a reflection of the successful expansion of its programs to destinations beyond Great Britain, including Australia and Ireland, CCSB changed its name to CCSA, the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad.

By the mid 1990's, membership in the consortium had grown to over twenty member schools, including both private and public institutions, and while a core constituency of schools continues to be located in the state of Kentucky, the consortium today includes members from nine states.



2000’s - Expanding opportunities and reach. the start of the new millennium saw programs offered in a variety of destinations for which English is an official and/or historic language, including Belize, Canada, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as, of course, its original sites in the British Isles. The intervening years also saw the debut of a variety of CCSA-sponsored internship and semester options, such as an 8-week internship in Dublin, and direct enrollment partnerships currently with the University of East Anglia and with Manchester University. An important constant throughout the expansion of both its membership and destinations continues to be the offering of programs that place academic soundness, good value for money and participant safety at the center of all its activities.

2010’s to now. In August of 2014, CCSA moved back to Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Along with the full and associate member membership, CCSA created an affiliate member level that enables more schools to join as not cost in order to grow the faculty and student pool. The membership increases from 17 to 30 in a short time with several of the new affiliate opted to become full members within a a few years. Continuing the tradition of focusing on faculty from member institutions teaching the course they create, CCSA implemented a professional development program designed to improve global teaching and learning as well as supporting the career development of the staff from our member schools. In 2019, CCSA added domestic programs - Study Away -- and Custom Global, which opened CCSA resources to member institutions wishing to develop their own programs.

Today, CCSA serves eighteen full members and eleven affiliate members. We offer short-term programs in many time zones, sending hundreds of students and faculty abroad each year. Course offerings have also grown extensively to include subjects as different as marine biology, fashion design, nursing, painting, and psychology, in addition to traditional offerings in theatre, business, English, history, and political science. As CCSA enters into its fifth decade, the consortium of 29 members looks forward to expanding our membership, as well as increasing the diversity of its program offerings and reaching underrepresented students and faculty, while maintaining the quality of all our programs.