Understanding Who Studies Abroad at Community Colleges

The purpose of this study was to examine student demographic and academic characteristics to predict study abroad participation among students enrolled at a single community college in the U.S. Southeast. Results indicated that the study abroad participation patterns of students at this community college sometimes mirrored those of students in the four-year sector (for example, male students were less likely to participate), but that other patterns differed markedly (for example, part-time students were more likely to participate). These findings suggest that lessons learned from research on study abroad participation at four-year institutions cannot simply be applied to policy and practice in community college study abroad programming and that community college education abroad must be examined in its own right.

Key Points

  • At this institution, part-time students were more likely to study abroad than full-time students.
  • Community college students representing a variety of race/ethnicity groups were equally as likely to study abroad.
  • Community college students eligible for needbased financial aid were less likely to study abroad.
  • Students with any declared degree objective, whether a transfer-focused degree, technical degree, or certificate, were more likely to study abroad.
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