Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Community College Leadership

Committee Director

Dennis E. Gregory

Committee Member

Christopher R. Glass

Committee Member

Lindsay E. Usher


As short-term study abroad programs increase in popularity and number at community colleges, it is vital to examine the effect on the faculty who lead these programs. The purpose of this research study was to explore how community college faculty who lead short-term study abroad programs perceive personal learning including social and cultural factors and how they apply any change in perspectives to their non-study abroad courses. At the community college level, faculty-led short-term study abroad courses play a key role in addressing the growing importance of intercultural competence within undergraduate education. Despite the critical role that faculty play in higher education internationalization processes, there exists a vast gap in the literature on the impact of leading study abroad programs (Bista, 2016). In this interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) study, 10 community college faculty who have led short-term study abroad programs were interviewed using semi-structured open-ended questions via Zoom or telephone to explore their experiences and perceived development of social and cultural learning. The research focused on the impacts of meaningful social and cultural experiential learning for community college study abroad leaders and any subsequent contributions to instructional internationalization efforts in the classroom. When the identified problem is complex or under-researched, IPA is a particularly useful method to investigate how participants make sense of their experiences. As a dual form of analysis, visual methodology was employed to analyze artifacts and photographs supplied by the participants.


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