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Examining comprehensive internationalization at two state comprehensive universities (SCUs): a comparative case study of the internationalization process




Griffin, Jermain, author
Jennings, Louise, advisor
Kuk, Linda, committee member
Wolgemuth, Jennifer, committee member
Mumme, Stephen, committee member

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This study examines how state comprehensive universities (SCUs) made internationalization an institutional priority amidst competing interests. This study integrated the American Council on Education's Model for Comprehensive Internationalization (2012), organizational change theories including evolutionary and revolutionary change (Burke, 2014), and literature on SCUs (Fryar, 2015; Henderson, 2005, 2007) in a qualitative comparative case study design to understand how comprehensive internationalization can be achieved at an SCU. The research is presented in three manuscript chapters. The first manuscript chapter focuses on how campus advocates for internationalization understood the concept of comprehensive internationalization. Internationalization at both institutions was centered on the curriculum and co-curricular experiences, with less attention to other features of a comprehensive international model. This key finding corroborates past iterations of how internationalization is described in US higher education, raising questions about the ground support for broader efforts of internationalization at SCUs that encompasses other key features of comprehensive internationalization as outlined by leaders in the field, including the American Council on Education (ACE) Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement (CIGE) (2016). The second manuscript chapter explores how internationalization advocates characterized how internationalization occurred at their institutions and how it was working. Participants from both institutions attributed increased communication between colleagues, primarily among the faculty, but also with some staff divisions, as key to building momentum for internationalization at their institutions. Finally, the third chapter examines how SCUs managed comprehensive internationalization against other competing interests. Participants from both institutions shared different degrees of struggle with finances and public support for publicly-funded higher education among other competing interests.


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comprehensive universities


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