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About CCSA

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About CCSA

The Cooperative Center for Study Abroad – CCSA - is a non-profit association of twenty-eight colleges and universities in thirteen states. CCSA is overseen by a Board of Trustees made up our member institutions. CCSA fosters international understanding and enhances the education of students through reasonably priced, short-term, for-credit courses both within the United States and in other English-speaking regions. CCSA is headquartered at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

CCSA promotes global citizenship by building a community of scholars in which we share what we learn outside a structured classroom setting, encouraging independence and responsibility among our students and faculty, providing professional development for faculty and staff to positively impact the global teaching and learning experience, and promoting intergenerational teaching and learning through coursework and experiences that take place in locations around the world.

CCSA’s membership includes large public and small private schools with a total enrollment of over 200,000. These schools serve students from all backgrounds, including those underserved in study abroad. CCSA supports our member schools by providing the needed logistical services along with our deep experience on designing study abroad courses and programs.

CCSA offers short-term study away and abroad programs taught by faculty from our member schools. Each faculty teaches their own class, side-by-side with other faculty. While the students are in one course, the classes intermingle and share experiences, examining class activities from their own discipline. The courses have three components: before, during (onsite usually 2 to 4 weeks) and after. Courses tend to be delivered online before and after with the study abroad component that is focused on meeting people and exploring spaces in the domestic and international locations. CCSA’s direct support to our member schools serves as an extension and complement to the faculty and staff at each member school.

CCSA programs prepare college students to shape our future. Through global learning, the potential impact on and by young people goes beyond any single location, nation or hemisphere.


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.

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.

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.

Today, CCSA offers programs on five continents, sending at least five hundred students and faculty abroad each year. Course offerings have also grown extensively to include subjects as different as marine biology and fashion design, watercolor painting and nursing, in addition to regular offerings in theatre, business, psychology, english, history, and political science. As CCSA enters into its fourth decade, the consortium looks forward to expanding its membership, as well as increasing the diversity of its program offerings, while maintaining the quality of its signature programs in the United Kingdom. As of 2014, CCSA resides at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky.