Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



Major Professor

Karl Jost

Committee Members

Jane Connelly, Kathleen Davis, Malcolm McInnis


The purpose of this study was to determine the organizational structures and practices that appear to characterize successful study abroad operations in U.S. colleges and universities. The researcher was also interested to know if these differ from the organizational structures and practices of less successful operations. Institutional members of NAFSA: Association of International Educators affiliatied with the Section on U.S. Students Studying Abroad (SECUSSA) were surveyed by means of a questionnaire. A total of 348 usable questionnaires (a 52.6% response rate) were returned from universities and four year colleges which were then placed into four groups-large private, smallprivate, large public and small public institutions. Within these four groups were two success levels based on the percentage of enrolled students awarded study abroad credit.

Significant chi-square values (p<.05) were found between institutional success and a) the location of study abroad office within academic affairs at both large and small public institutions, b) length of time an institution has had involvement in study abroad, specifically the age of the study abroad office and when the first study abroad programs was offered and c) use of sources other than central funds for teh study abroad offices operating budget at both large and small public institutions. No significant chi-square values were found between a) the presence of a centralized structure for international education reporting to a senior academic administrator whose primary responsibility is for international education, b) faculty status of the director of the study abroad office, and c) the academic qualifications of the director. Pearson product-moment correlations were also performed, and significant values were found between institutional success and number of study abroad programs offered at large private (r = .209) and large public (r = .578) schools. No significant values were found between institutional success and the degree of centralization of study abroad administration within the study abroad office.

Qualitative research is recommended at the most successful institutions since aggregate data easily overlook unique responses that have proven successful. Both qualitative and quantitative research is needed at community colleges.

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