Date of Award

4-8-2015

Document Type

Restricted Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Learning, Leadership, and Community

Department

Department of Educational Leadership, Learning, and Curriculum

Committee Chair

Kathleen Norris

Committee Member

Nancy Puglisi

Committee Member

Michael Fischler

Abstract

The Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) 2007 report, published by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), highlighted “personal and social responsibility” (p. 12) as one of the essential learning outcomes for US undergraduates. Many in the higher education community responded positively to the AAC&U’s report and the need for social responsibility, but research on the topic has shown faculty struggling to cultivate it (Dey & Associates, 2008; Colby & Sullivan, 2009, O'Neil, 2012). This project explored the following questions: Which study abroad program design components cultivate social responsibility among US undergraduate student participants? How do study abroad program leaders and student participants understand social responsibility? I explored these questions through the study abroad literature on social responsibility, an electronic survey sent to BestSemester student participants, and interviews with BestSemester program directors. Seven themes from the BestSemester program director interviews, BestSemester student responses from the electronic survey, and a theoretical framework from the literature review on the acquisition of social responsibility in study abroad are presented.

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