Title

Study abroad for non-traditional adults : Community of Hope pilot project

Publication Date

1-1-2004

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Marla Solomon

Abstract

Today, educational institutions, governments, and individuals are beginning to realize the importance of international education to remain a competitor in the world economy. The number of college students studying abroad is steadily increasing, but if the United States is to be truly competitive, we cannot focus only on our educated population as a way to prepare globally, but we must focus on all citizens, because all citizens will be affected by globalization. The purpose of this research was to conduct a needs assessment and, through this research, explain whether Adult Basic Education/General Education Development (ABE/GED) students see a need for study abroad and what they perceive as hindrances to studying abroad. This study served as a needs and constraints assessment for the design of a pilot study-abroad program for non-traditional adult learners. Non-traditional defined as students who are enrolled in an ABE/GED program and from the poor or working class. Through focus groups and one-on-one interviews with 17 students from the Community of Hope, the researcher was able to determine that the obstacles and advantages were not far from those of minority college students. The results revealed that their obstacles were finances, fear, and family. Some of their advantages were learning a new language, learning about other cultures and seeing how people in other cultures live day to day. The findings suggest that non-traditional students do see a need for study abroad and based on the research, a pilot program was designed to take non-traditional students on a four- week visit to Kenya.

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