Institutionalizing International Education and Embedding Education Abroad Into the Campus Community

Institutionalizing International Education and Embedding Education Abroad Into the Campus Community

Carola Smith (Santa Barbara City College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6252-8.ch012

Abstract

This chapter is a descriptive case study on one community college in California to show how the institution was able to successfully institutionalize study abroad through advocacy, strategic planning, and the cultivation of local, statewide, and international collaborations. Because of the longevity and vitality of the program examined in this particular case study, there is useful insight for other education abroad professionals who are at varying stages of implementing, developing, or institutionalizing study abroad programs at their respective institutions.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

Many community colleges have been offering study abroad programs for several decades, and most educators and administrators recognize the need to prepare students for an increasingly globalized world and work environment. At the same time, community colleges continue to be faced with a number of challenges and obstacles, which frequently stand in the way of the systemic integration of education abroad within the institution.

This chapter employs a qualitative research approach, utilizing a singular descriptive case study to provide an in-depth analysis of how one community college in California was able to successfully institutionalize study abroad through advocacy, strategic planning, and the cultivation of local, statewide, and international collaborations. The initiatives and strategies discussed in this chapter are not only intended to provide insight into this particular institution’s approach to institutionalizing education abroad, but also to provide a “detailed consideration of the contextual factors” (Starman, 2013, p. 36) and a holistic overview of the conditions, which need to be in place to successfully garner broad-based institutional support for community college education abroad. While the author is cognizant of the inherent limitations and common misperceptions of qualitative case studies, including the author’s potential tendency towards subjectivity, a case study approach was chosen to provide detailed insight into the historic development of the program and to examine the causes and factors that led to the program’s long-term viability and success (Flyvbjerg, 2006, 2011; Starman, 2013). Because of the longevity and vitality of the program examined in this particular case study, the author hopes to be able to provide useful insight for other education abroad professionals who are at varying stages of implementing, developing, or institutionalizing study abroad programs at their respective institutions.

The study focuses on Santa Barbara City College (SBCC), which is located in central California and which has had a long-standing commitment to international education. SBCC is a Hispanic-serving institution in an urban location, which serves approximately 17,500 students. Approximately 42% of the students are white, 40% of the students are Hispanic, 8% are Asian/Filipino/Pacific Islander, and 3% are African American. Approximately 67% of the students are part-time students, and 64% of the students are 24 years of age or younger. Approximately, 15% of the students are fully online students. Almost 37% of the students are California College Promise Grant recipients and almost 40% of the students receive either state, federal, and/or private financial assistance. The above cited institutional data are intended to provide a snapshot of SBCC’s student demographics; however, it should be acknowledged that these demographic characteristics do not adequately capture the diversity and “polymorphic identities” of community college students and that community college students may have multiple identities and may change identities over time (Levin, Viggiano, López Damián, Morales, & Wolf, 2017, p.120).

The author first became familiar with SBCC’s Study Abroad program in 1989, when she attended SBCC as an international student and participated in a semester study abroad program in Cambridge, England. In 1995, she returned to the college – initially in the role of faculty and subsequently as an administrator. For the past 21 years, she has provided oversight for the institution’s Study Abroad Program. Information on the origin and early development of the program was derived from interviews with the previous program director and former study abroad faculty directors.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset