Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Broader View: The Impact of Study Abroad on Graduation Rates
by Cochran, Sean, Ed.D., Concordia University Irvine, 2019, 139; 27735998
Abstract (Summary)

Study abroad is a highly impactful practice in higher education with many benefits (Ingraham & Peterson, 2004). Despite a recent increase in participation, less than 2% of students in the US comparatively go abroad (IIE, 2017). Listed among the known obstacles is the fear that study abroad negatively affects students’ time-to-degree (Kasravi, 2009; Lucas, 2009; Peterson, 2003). The present study provides a broader view on study abroad’s impact on graduation rates by examining how an institution’s practices affect participants’ time-to-degree. The institutional practices investigated were academic advising and course transferability.

Through a convergent parallel mixed design, the researcher utilized a post-experience student survey and semi-structured interviews with academic advisors, both faculty and staff, at four large California public universities. The sample population (N = 4,291) included students who had studied abroad during the 2016–2018 academic years. Nine academic advisors from separate colleges and advising units were interviewed in order to shed light on how advisors play a role in the timely graduation of study abroad students. Both quantitative and qualitative techniques were applied to analyze the data and determine findings.

Studying abroad was not only found to meet the requirements most students needed to graduate on time, it also appears to have sped up graduation for a small group of students. The amount of transferable coursework a student completed while abroad was the best predictor of timely graduation. Graduation delays were discovered to occur for a variety of reasons other than the lack of transferable coursework. The present study found it clear that academic advisors play a key role in ensuring the timely graduation of study abroad students by being facilitators and advocates.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kim, Eugene
Commitee: Waite, Dan, Webb, Catherine
School: Concordia University Irvine
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School counseling, Higher education
Keywords: Academic advising, California State University, Graduation rates, Higher education, Study abroad
Publication Number: 27735998
ISBN: 9781392710975
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