Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Counseling and Human Development

Degree Program

Counseling and Personnel Services, PhD

Committee Chair

Hirschy, Amy

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Valentine, Jeff

Committee Member

Valentine, Jeff

Committee Member

Cuyjet, Michael

Committee Member

Gross, Jacob

Author's Keywords

education abroad; study abroad; student involvement; predictor models; HERI; international education


Globalization is a topic of great interest in higher education yet fewer than 10% of college graduates participate in a formal study abroad program. While according to The American Council on Education [ACE] (2008) data, nearly 80% of incoming first-year students intend to go abroad, the reality is most students do not. Practitioners in Education Abroad (EA) are continually looking at ways to help increase student participation in overseas programs and opportunities. The study looks at frequencies and predictor models to help determine factors that influence student participation in study abroad. The study utilized HERI’s 2009 The Freshman Survey (TFS) and 2013 The College Senior Survey (CSS). The student responses were matched and used predictor variables pertaining to the student characteristics (sex, race/ethnicity, academic major), post-secondary school characteristics (public vs. private), intent to go abroad, high school academic performance (GPA, AP courses, and college entrance exam scores), intent to go abroad, and intent to be involved in college (join student government, NCAA/NAIA athletics, join a fraternity or sorority, participate in club/IM sports, participate in student clubs and organizations, and faculty research) to examine actual participation in study abroad. Study results indicate that White students are 1.2 times more likely to go abroad than non-White students, Humanities majors are 1.5 more times likely to go abroad than other majors, and that students who attend a private, post-secondary schools are 2.5 more times likely to go abroad their public post-secondary school counterparts. First-year students who intend to go abroad are 2.5 times more likely to go abroad than their peers who do not. College entrance exam scores, GPA, and AP courses taken are all positively associated with going abroad. Student involvement in on-campus activities predict education abroad participation at differing rates. All variables in the model predict 70% of education abroad participation. The study demonstrates that predominantly White, female, students are private colleges and universities are more likely to go abroad. However, intent to be involved as a first-year student can be a predictor for education abroad participation, dependent on what the involvement is.