Dissertation Proposal Defense By Nicole A. Schuessler
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Date and Time
Thursday, February 20, 2014 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, 137
THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERCULTURAL MATURITY IN SECOND YEAR COLLEGE STUDENTS
Globalization and the development of cultural competence have become increasingly important in our pluralistic society. It is evident from the recent embrace of international education on university campuses that the ability to effectively interact with,
understand, and make meaning of our experiences in a global setting is critical in order to address the complex issues of society. Increasingly over the past ten years, the second year of college stands out as being developmentally significant by higher education scholars and practitioners. As second-year students experience and question the complexity of the self and the world as they progress into adulthood, institutions of higher education have a responsibility to support and facilitate this process. Currently, there is a lack of empirical data that supports ways to effectively engage second year college students at a time when they may feel disillusioned about their college experience.
Constructivist-developmental theory and higher education professionals stress the importance of the development of the whole person that includes cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal domains of development. This holistic approach is particularly applicable when discussing intercultural maturity. How college students at varying levels of cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal development make meaning from intercultural experiences is a central focus of this study.
The purpose of this quantitative, quasi-experimental study is to investigate the development of intercultural maturity in second year college students -- both those who complete a short-term study abroad experience and those who remain on campus. Using descriptive and inferential statistics, this study will compare any changes in cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal development of the second year college student participants. This research will also examine which social identities, campus involvement, and behaviors in college may be correlated to the development of intercultural maturity.