Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Jay Cooper

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Bair

Third Advisor

Dr. Marlene Kowalski-Braun


Research has demonstrated the importance of multicultural competency for student affairs practitioners and their ability to effectively serve students (Pope, Reynolds, & Mueller, 2004). However, there has been little research into the various programs, especially study abroad, designed to impact multicultural competency among student affairs practitioners. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact that a short-term study abroad experience had on student affairs graduate students‟ multicultural competency. The study involved quantitative survey research methods involving 90 former graduate students who participated in the experience between the years 1999-2010 and who were still active in the profession. Participants completed a survey designed to measure multicultural competence and data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The results from the data suggest that a short term study abroad program can impact multicultural awareness, knowledge and skills. Study abroad and other high impact experiences need to be more widely used in student affairs graduate preparation programs to better prepare practitioners for their work with diverse student populations.

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