Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense

12-17-2009

Graduate Advisor

Kent A. Farnsworth, PhD

Committee

Dixie Kohn

Mary Utley

Shawn Woodhouse

Abstract

Providing global educational experiences for students in higher education has been a topic of discussion for decades. Although there is a common appreciation that students should be exposed to and gain awareness of other cultures, most institutions of higher education in the U.S. fall short in providing such opportunities. To accommodate for this need, some institutions are striving to internationalize the curriculum as well as the culture of the institution. Community colleges play a key role in the higher education system in the U.S. and may be the first, if not only opportunity for students to gain global awareness. This study examined factors that might contribute to, or impede the development of internationalized general education curricula in Missouri community colleges. Two hundred forty-three (243) general education faculty members from each of the 18 community college campuses in Missouri responded to an online questionnaire. This provided a 32% response rate of the potential population. The survey instrument consisted of three areas; demographics of the participants and their respective colleges or campuses, faculty perspectives on internationalization of curriculum, and an open comment forum. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis of variance were conducted to aid in determining the factors that affect internationalization efforts in community college general education curriculum. Additional quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted to provide further insight into global education not directly related to the study’s hypotheses. Findings from this study indicate that administrative support of internationalization, the geographic location of the college, positive attitudes toward internationalization, and faculty who place a high value on such efforts have a significant effect on internationalization of the general education curriculum. For a college to improve in the area of global education, the faculty, staff and administration must have an understanding of how these factors influence the success of providing an internationalized curriculum.

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