Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Sociology

Committee Member

Dr. William Haller, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Catherine Mobley

Committee Member

Dr. Sharon Nagy

Abstract

This study examines the effects of participation in study abroad on undergraduate students' engagement with racial and religious diversity to identify outcomes and patterns that support the prominent goals in higher education of promoting global learning and enhancing inclusion and diversity on university campuses. Based on the framework of intergroup contact theory, I use hierarchical regression models to analyze data from the National Survey of Student Engagement collected at Clemson University in 2013 and 2015. Among undergraduate seniors, participation in study abroad is significantly associated with greater engagement with topics related to racial and religious diversity, and engagement with diverse peers. The results corroborate previous findings that study abroad has significant effects on students' perspectives and behaviors, and suggest that the prejudice reduction effects of intergroup contact that may result from study abroad experiences generalize to subsequent interactions on students' home campuses.

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