Publication Date

5-2010

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Linda Gobbo

Abstract

Sonoma State University (SSU) is committed to increasing diversity and producing globally‐competent students. With a small international student population, low levels of participation in study abroad, and little contact with international students of the Sonoma State American Language Institute (SSALI) many SSU students do not have significant international exposure. Thus, the focus of offering opportunities for internationalization is of an interest to various stakeholders at SSU. This qualitative inquiry takes an ethnographic approach to seeking out what the general perceptions of international education are by SSU faculty, staff, and students; and secondly, how internationalization can be incorporated into an overall strategic plan. A campus‐wide questionnaire sent via email to SSU students, faculty and staff sought input in determining the current state of affairs and potential areas of growth of the International Education strategy at SSU. The results of 136 students and 70 faculty and staff respondents revealed that there is a general interest in promoting a greater awareness of international opportunities at SSU through strengthening departmental support for international events and activities, hosting Fulbright teaching assistants at SSU, proposing an international house for students both domestic and international to live on‐campus, offering a wider selection of foreign languages to students and raising further awareness of issues as well as opportunities in SSU’s international education strategy. Overall, the findings bring to light that the SSU community is not very aware of current internationalization strategies, and that building a higher awareness is the first step in forming any kind of strategy worth implementing. Additional suggestions by respondents and the researcher can assist in forming the basis of an international education strategy at SSU.

Disciplines

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | International and Comparative Education

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