Student involvement and study abroad : exploring Astin's Theory in an overseas program in France Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6108vd536

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  • The purpose of this study was to determine whether Alexander Astin's Theory of Student Involvement could be applied to an academic experience in an overseas setting. Using data collected from the program evaluations of 79 students who had participated in the Oregon University System exchange program in Lyon, France during a five year period, 14 research questions were formulated and their attendant hypotheses were tested. These questions asked about the relationships that existed between pairs of variables from the following list of six: extracurricular involvement, overall program satisfaction, housing satisfaction, residence hall satisfaction, academic achievement, and language level. The hypotheses for variable dyads, which had academic achievement as one of the components, were tested using regression analysis. All other hypotheses were analyzed using the Pearson's chi-square test. A P-value of .05 or less indicated a significant relationship between the two variables of interest. Only one significant finding, that the relationship between extracurricular involvement and language level is not independent, was proven in this study. The cross-tab display associated with the chi-square test for this hypothesis indicated that students in the higher language level group (Direct Exchange) were more involved in extracurricular activities than were the lower language level group (Institute) students. Although not statistically significant, three other findings of interest were discovered. These were: the relationship between extracurricular involvement and overall program satisfaction, the relationship between extracurricular involvement and housing satisfaction, and the relationship between overall program satisfaction and housing satisfaction. Based on this study alone, one could not conclude that Astin's Theory of Student Involvement is applicable in a study abroad program. The researcher suggests several possible reasons for this conclusion and makes recommendations for further research.
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