Publication Date

2013

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Ken Williams

Abstract

A successful academic, intercultural study abroad program is dependent upon having qualified onsite field staff members to facilitate these programs. Although there is extensive literature defining what constitutes a successful academic, intercultural study abroad program, it is vague on the concepts of specific qualifications and hiring processes for staff members working in the field to facilitate these programs. This paper attempts to fill a gap in the literature and provide a framework for evaluating necessary qualifications for onsite field staff members and developing hiring tools to assess applicants utilizing the case study of International Field Studies, Inc. (IFS).

International Field Studies, Inc. is a registered non-profit, educational and scientific organization, founded in 1971, which relies heavily on the field staff members to facilitate successful academic, intercultural study abroad programs at Forfar Field Station on Andros Island, Bahamas. In order to identify the key responsibilities of onsite field staff members, I gathered data utilizing a questionnaire from constituents and affiliates of IFS, including board members, administrative staff and current employees, respected former field staff members, former students, faculty leaders, and IFS advocates. The data indicated that major responsibilities of the staff members include risk management, education, hospitality, maintenance, and intercultural competency and necessary characteristics in order to facilitate these programs include good leadership skills, outgoing personality, eagerness, and being a team player. These results informed hiring tools which were developed utilizing best practices in the field of International Education and Human Resources.

Disciplines

Human Resources Management | International and Comparative Education | International Business | Nonprofit Administration and Management | Organizational Behavior and Theory

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