Assessing the impact of various experiences on students' levels of global citizenship Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ms35td170

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  • The purpose of this quantitative study was to identify factors that contribute to students' levels of global citizenship. Factors considered in this research include (a) race/ethnicity, (b) gender, (c), year in school, (d) age, (e), length of time abroad, (f) host family experience, (g), community service abroad, (h) more than 40 hours of community service abroad, and (i) current perception of active citizenship. This paper provides an overview of service-learning, international experiential learning and global citizenship research, and it describes a research study to address the question: To what extent do international service-learning experiences significantly impact students' levels of global citizenship? The literature review culminates with a discussion of the Global Citizenship Scale, which was used as the quantitative instrument to measure students' levels of global citizenship. The population of students used for this research was comprised of a variety of students from different schools around the country, recruited via informal means such as email blasts and social media, as well as more targeted outreach to study abroad organizations with a service component, as these are rare and harder to find in the general population. The 318 participants in this study were separated into three distinct groups: (a) students that did not study abroad, (b) students that studied abroad in a traditional program (living in dormitories and attending classes), and (c), students that studied abroad and completed community service projects during their programs. Findings from this study indicate clear gains in measures of global citizenship for students with a host family experience, for those who engaged in service, and especially for those who engaged in over 40 hours of service while abroad. Study abroad experience alone was not statistically significant, suggesting that merely going abroad does not have a significant impact on one's level of global citizenship. The findings from this research can contribute to international programming, education, and pre-, during-, and post- orientations. In order to enhance students' levels of global citizenship during an international experience, findings from this research suggest that students must engage in a high impact cultural experience and/or become directly involved in the community via meaningful service activities.
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