Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Community College Leadership

Committee Director

Mitchell R. Williams

Committee Member

Dennis E. Gregory

Committee Member

Taiwo A. Ande


Research demonstrates employers value international experiences when hiring employees. Community college students who do not have global or international experience risk being less valuable to employers than students who have such experience. With community colleges educating up to one-half of all U.S. undergraduates, more focus on internationalization is warranted in order to ensure student competitiveness in today's global labor pool. This ex post facto study of 2006 survey data from the American Council on Education (ACE) found a low level of internationalization occurring at most community colleges. Delineating community colleges according to their urban, suburban, or rural Carnegie classification found classification to impact overall institutional internationalization with rural community colleges experiencing significantly less internationalization than their urban and suburban counterparts. Of the four dimensions of internationalization examined, (a) institutional support, (b) academic requirements, programs, and extracurricular activities, (c) faculty policies and opportunities, and (d) international students, institutional support was the most important indicator of internationalization. As college presidents, boards of directors, and high-level administrators dictate areas of administrative importance, particularly setting the vision and mission for the institution, increasing their support for internationalization would have the largest impact on community college internationalization.