Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Mohammed K. Farouk

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Roger Gonzalez

Third Advisor's Name

Hilary Landorf

Fourth Advisor's Name

Angela Salmon

Keywords

internationalization process, HEIs internationalization process, student attitudes on internationalization

Date of Defense

10-11-2010

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine a Higher Education Institution’s (HEI) process of internationalization. The theoretical model developed by Van Dijk and Miejer (1997) was used to review Florida International University (FIU)’s policy, support, and implementation dimensions and determine its position on the Internationalization Cube, and assess how FIU’s international activities fit into its different organizational processes. In addition, the study sought to shed light on student and faculty attitudes toward internationalization.

Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from examining organizational documents, interviews, descriptive data on FIU’s international activities using the International Dimension Index, and the Student and Faculty Survey on Internationalization. FIU’s international activities results were analyzed in relation to a panel of experts’ item relevancy index. The Likert-type survey scales’ frequencies and percentages were calculated as well as Spearman Rho correlations between the survey’s three scales and demographic and experiences variables.

The study found that FIU is located on position six of a possible eight positions on the Van Dijk and Meijer Internationalization Cube with the following characteristics: Priority Policy, One-Sided Support, and Structured Implementation toward internationalization. The analysis of FIU’s results on international activities showed that FIU exhibits all the activities considered to be strong indicators of internationalization but for position seven placement special attention is needed in the areas of foreign language study, international students, study abroad, faculty movement and involvement in international projects. The survey indicated students and faculty rated the Benefits of Internationalization highly but didn’t perceive strong institutional Support for Internationalization. Faculty age and offshore programs participation; student gender, race/ethnicity and class status; and for both, study abroad and knowledge of students travel grant had significant positive correlations with student and faculty attitudes.

The study concluded that an association exists between FIU’s position on the Internationalization Cube and its international activities. Recommendations for policy, implementation, and future studies were made. It was concluded that advancing FIU’s position on the Cube will require adjustments in FIU’s policy, support and implementation dimensions. Differences in student and faculty views toward internationalization should be taken into account when planning internationalization efforts.

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