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What University Resources Promote Global Awareness and Are UNCG Students Aware of These Resources? Paul Smith, Krystal Carrigan, Stephen Maloy, Robert Norris
Table of Contents Introduction………………………………………………………………………………..3 Cumulative Literature Review…………………………………………………………….5 Methodology……………………………………………………………………………..14 Qualitative Methods……………………………………………………………...14 Quantitative Methods…………………………………………………………….16 Findings……………………………………………………………………………….…18 Qualitative Findings……………………………………………….……………..19 Quantitative Findings…………………………………………….………………27 Findings Conclusion……………………………………….…………………….30 Summary and Discussion……………………………………….…………………..……31 Charts, Graphs, and Tables……………..………………………………………………..34 Literature Review Works Cited………………………………………………………….37
Introduction The intent of the research in the following pages is to give the reader a comprehensive guide to the awareness of University of North Carolina at Greensboro students of on campus global resources made available to them. The only guide in the beginning stages of the research process was a review of the previous literature concerning issues of global awareness amongst students in a higher education setting. A lack of similar research on the specific topic assigned to group two to guide in the study itself made the findings fresh and eye opening. It can be assumed that many college students are not entirely concerned with anything related to any international outlet unless it is directly affecting the given student. While this is seemingly a grim observation, it is also a harsh reality. The findings show that students are confused and very apathetic to issues affecting the world outside of their own.
4 In the following report, the intended purpose is to determine not only how aware students are of oncampus global resources, but to explain any possible relationship between oncampus housing and awareness of these resources that promote global awareness. The hypothesis that we are testing with our findings is as follows: students who are currently living on campus or have lived on campus have a greater knowledge of on campus global resources than do students who have not lived on campus at any point. To begin to answer the research topic at hand, the first step was to compile a comprehensive and exhaustive list of all oncampus global resources that are readily available to all students enrolled. After gathering all resources spanning from the International Housing in Philips Hawkins dorm and the various study abroad programs to General Global Requirements and language courses, the research could really begin. During interviews, the aforementioned list was used to gauge the interviewee’s general knowledge and use of these resources. In order to get a greater idea of the students’ use of these on campus resources, interviews were conducted with twentyfour students and a survey was compiled with questions regarding frequency of use and/or attendance of oncampus resources. To better test the hypothesis mentioned earlier, general education questions were included in the beginning of the survey inquiring to the students former living situations while enrolled as well as current living situations. Previous research on the topic of global resources on campus extended no further than various study abroad programs. One of the underlying purposes of this research is to
5 show the depth and variety of global resources on campus. It also shows the students’ level of awareness regarding these resources. This research is important because it is some of the first of its kind. The fact that all previous research has focused on only one global awareness resource on college campuses shows that current scholars are using too narrow a focus when trying to study these issues. The following pages of this report follow up to this brief introduction with a comprehensive, detailed account of the research project, including the methodology used, the findings, and the accuracy of the hypothesis stated above. It will also serve as a guide to the advantages and disadvantages of the research, the importance of the findings and provide a possible framework for future research.
Literature Review What resources are available at UNCG that promote global awareness and are students aware these resources exist? This is an important question because students today on college and university campuses all over the world often don’t realize the wealth of knowledge that does exist within the walls of these institutions regarding foreign nations and their cultures. The majority of the scholarly peerreviewed articles found that attempt to answer this very question pertain to only one of the numerous resources
6 available that encourage international consciousness on college campuses. Due to the lack of existing information on any other types of oncampus resources, most of the following articles will pertain to the Study Abroad Program, which is offered at most universities in the U.S. The literature review to follow will give insight into the many advantages students gain by participating in their university’s Study Abroad Program, as well as some potential disadvantages. It will reveal several correlations between the research methods and findings within a variety of articles, as well as some distinct differences. Also being addressed will be the implementation of supplementary, more innovative ideas for increasing the worldly perception among college students. In summation this piece will include, from the authors, more than a few approaches to becoming internationally savvy and some personal opinions regarding the articles’ contributions to a significant way to an understanding of the subject. Chen and Barnett (2000) and Kitsantas(2004) both depict advantageous findings for the use of the Study Abroad Program. According to Chen and Barnett (2000), there is a clear relationship between a country’s economic status and its participation in international student exchange. It was hypothesized that the countries and cultures in which students actively participate in their international study programs will have a higher degree of economic success than those that do not. By analyzing data from UNESCO Statistical Yearbook, which contains information from the top fifty host countries and includes both senders and receivers of international students, and the GNP per capita of each participating country, Chen and Barnett (2000) found that the countries
7 with the highest numbers on the student exchange network tended to remain at the top of the economic ladder, while those countries at the very bottom, such as those in Latin America and Africa, tend to remain there, thus proving the original hypothesis. Similar findings were made by Fry (1984). He found that study abroad programs are often a better way to learn languages providing many benefits ancillary to society. Study abroad offers life experiences that provide for a healthier view of the world, and move students away from a nationalistic or ethnocentric view commonly held by many. Finally, Fry (1984) found that studying abroad has, in many cases, opened up professional opportunities that were not available in the home countries. This is especially true for highly trained individuals. These opportunities then benefit the local and national economy of the home country. For these reasons, Fry argues that study abroad has significant social, economic, and political impacts (Fry, 1984). Kitsantas (2004) also portrays the positive effects of the Study Abroad Program. Her study focused on the more specific impact study abroad programs has on the development of “crosscultural skills and global understanding among college students” (4). She utilized five methods for gathering data from the participants including a Personal Data Questionnaire and a CrossCultural Adaptability Inventory or CCAI. Kitsantas found that study abroad programs on college campuses do enhance cross cultural skills and global understanding among students. Furthermore, she found that “study abroad programs significantly contribute to the preparation of students to function in a multicultural world and promote international understanding”(5). Drews and Meyer (1996) conducted a study to determine what effects, if any,
8 studying abroad had on students’ ideas about other national groups. Unlike previous studies on the effects of studying abroad, this one used a free association method in which the students were given eleven blank sheets of paper, each with the name of a different nationality at the top. They were asked to write freely and not edit their thoughts and ideas. The associations were then scored based on the order in which they appeared and their frequency. The researchers then fit each association into one of two broad categories: “personal,” which included more individualistic statements about peoples’ character, or “surface,” which referred to non-personal characteristics, such as stereotypes and physical traits. They then scored each category based on country and student group. They found that students who participate in study abroad programs look at other national and cultural groups on a much more personal, individual level, while those who do not go abroad have a much more stereotypical viewpoint (Drews and Meyer 1996). The studies conducted by Erickson and Spiering, and Hadis, describe some difficulties with the Study Abroad Program. The purpose of the study conducted by Hadis was to find out how the study abroad experience contributes to the student’s academic maturation. This study dealt with determining what are the determinants of academic focusing that lead students to become more interested in their academic studies, such as studying for pleasure instead of a good grade, rather than on nonacademic, agerelated stimuli; with study abroad participants as the units of analysis (Hadis, 2002). Although the findings of this research indicate that approximately 80 % of students upon return reported they were independent and able to make their own decisions, and approximately 90 % reported being more open to new ideas, many students upon returning from abroad
9 found themselves disassociating from their academics. It is important for students to realize when going into the study abroad experience that it is not just a “trip” but instead an immersion of a different culture. Dwyer (2004) provided a solution to the problem of academic maturation for students participating in the Study Abroad Program. His study shows that the impact of the length of study abroad time affects the student differently upon return, but most have showed a percent increase in their academic success. The data collected in the survey supported the hypothesis that the longer the study abroad experiences the greater the impact on students and their future decisions. More is definitely better in the length of study abroad experiences. Each student that has studied abroad can be successful in achieving important academic, personal, career, and intercultural developmental outcomes (Dwyer, 2004). Furthermore, The findings in this study could be used to show how important the study abroad program can be in idea of ‘academic maturation,’ according to Dwyer (2004). The article written by Erickson and Spiering (2006) also illustrates a negative aspect of the Study Abroad Program. The purpose of the study was to find out the reasons why some students choose not to study abroad. The study used the Diffusion of Innovation Theory in which diffusion is defined as “the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among members of society” (155). The findings from this research revealed five reasons why students choose not to participate in
10 the Study Abroad Program and they are: Relative advantage, which means in order for students to take advantage of study abroad opportunities they must first realize how it will benefit them. Compatibility, this means that if the study abroad program is seen as outside a student’s normal characteristics, then students will view the program as not compatible with their schedules and lives. Complexity, which states that if the process to study abroad is viewed as too complicated, then students will not choose the program. Trialability is if a student has traveled overseas before, then they are more likely to have an interest to study abroad than others. Observability is if students that have studied abroad have a good experience or gain something, then others are more likely to participate. According to Erickson and Spiering (2006), in order for students to decide to start studying abroad the process must first become portrayed as easy and that it can be implemented into their schedules easily also. The knowledge of the study abroad program needs to be promoted more often to students that might be interested. This could lead to a slight increase of participants in study abroad programs just by raising their awareness. McMahon (1992) addressed another indicator for nonparticipation in the Study Abroad Program. This study reveals that third world countries that are inferior, both politically and economically to the U.S., show a strong desire to study in developed countries. Areas like the United States, unfortunately, are disinclined to accept students from undeveloped countries into these programs unless they are economically similar or
11 linked to the United States (McMahon, 1992). The United States' proven unwillingness to be accepting of third world cultures in knowledge gaining situations illustrates our lack of understanding of the international resources afforded to us in a higher education setting. Goldstein and Kim (2006) revealed some information that may help correct the problems with nonparticipation in the Study Abroad Programs. The purpose of this study was to “identify avenues for increasing access to the benefits of study abroad programs” (507). Unlike previous studies on this subject, which suggested that the primary predictors of participation in study abroad programs were academic and career factors, their research leads to the conclusion that expectations and intercultural factors are much more important. They found that study abroad expectations, ethnocentrism, prejudice, and foreign language interest are the most important factors in predicting participation in international programs (Goldstein and Kim 2006). This article may help in establishing a better understanding of what we can do earlier on in students’ academic careers to promote global consciousness and spark interest in international study options. It can also guide educators and institutions in developing programs and events to increase students’ multicultural understanding, interaction, and experiences, effectively reducing anxiety, discomfort, and discrimination towards other national and cultural ideas and beliefs. Lee’s (2006) article reveals a resource not yet mentioned. Students today on college and university campuses are taught by professors that represent a culture or ethnic
12 group from which the student has never been exposed to. This lack of crosscultural understanding can cause biased perceptions of minority professors (Lee, 2006). The purpose of Lee’s study was to alert the college community to racial conflicts occurring between students and minority professors, reveal several positive aspects of multicultural learning environments, and encourage the implementation of methods that promote global awareness. The findings of this theoretical study “state that diversity in higher education ensures that all students will have the opportunity to enhance their self confidence, their social and intellectual development, and improve their ability to work harmoniously in a global work environment” (1). Experiences such as attending class with diverse students and professors, having personal interaction with members of different ethnic groups, participating in ethnic cultural events on campus, or engaging in structured campus dialogue on diversity issues contribute to the students’ problem solving and thinking skills. In essence, the more experience college graduates had with students and professors from other cultures during their undergraduate years, the more sophisticated their intellectual processes (Lee, 2006) Asmar’s (2005) study further illuminated this idea. The purpose of the study was to encourage educators to make international students feel welcomed as active participants in the class, not simply to have their presence tolerated and essentially ignored. Teachers who can focus on similarities between students will find it easier to reject stereotypes and develop a more inclusive teaching style that is conducive to both
13 cultures. Students will learn more about teaching as well as be betterinformed educators in the process (Asmar, 2005). Both articles indicate that being exposed to foreignborn teachers and students offers another resource that can be utilized to increase one’s global awareness. Tucker’s (2001) article is another resource found to encourage international consciousness, different from those already cited. Her study describes how The Florida International University attempts to develop and implement a program in teacher education that promotes global awareness. The Global Awareness Program (GAP) was designed to help the university and surrounding communities “bridge the gap” between the lack of crosscultural resources on campus and the need for more global awareness (Tucker, 2001). The goal of GAP is to train faculty members on how to develop global education programs and to get students and the local population involved. She found that “through GAP students, teachers, parents and the community are challenged to get to know the world” (217). Overall, the research on study abroad shows that international studies programs for students can affect the social, political, and economic climates of schools, cities, and entire nations. It shows that these programs, especially study abroad, have a positive effect on participants’ views of international groups and cultures.
14 Methodology This research project set out to study the resources available on the University of North Carolina at Greensboro campus that helped promote global awareness. Moreover, the researchers wanted to learn whether or not UNCG students are aware of these resources. A list of all of the available resources on campus that promote global awareness was compiled from UNCG websites, school catalogs, flyers, posters, and word of mouth. A master list of resources was then made from the information collected. This list was used in interviews with twentyfour students as well as in a survey of over 350 UNCG students.
Interviews Interviews were used to gather preliminary information about global awareness at UNCG. Members of the Research Methods class worked with a group to develop an interview protocol was developed. The interviews were semistructured, permitting researchers to ask specific questions while also giving them the discretion to change the order and format of the questions as needed. Each researcher was asked to conduct one interview with a UNCG student. An interview report was then shared with all members of the class. For the portion of the interview pertaining to group two, interviewees were first asked to freely generate a list of
15 all resources on campus known to them that helped promote global awareness. They were asked to list the resource, whether or not they had used it, how often they used it, their reason(s) for using it, and the way in which they found out about it. The researcher was then asked to go through the master list with the interviewee, who was instructed to indicate which of the listed resources they had heard of, which they had used, how often they used them, their reasons for using them, and how they had found out about them. These interviews were important for discovering not only what oncampus resources were known to the students, but their reasons for using or not using them and the ways in which students discover these resources. Interviewing, while the best possible method given the available time and resources, is not without flaws. The first is that the interviewees, in some instances, did not seem to understand what the researchers meant by “resources that promoted global awareness.” This was obvious by the pair of interviewees who listed “recycling” in the free generation portion of the interview. Another possible problem is that, although the researchers were encouraged to interview a random student who was unknown to them, many, if not most, chose friends, roommates, or significant others. This may have created a bias in the types of subjects studied, as they would be more likely to be similar to the researchers themselves. This is especially a problem when discussing the resources that are specific concentrations or majors, because many of the students interviewed were Sociology majors. Therefore, they are much more likely to be unaware of the two
16 Business School concentrations while knowing about the global Sociology major. The final problem associated with this approach is not so much a flaw in the methodology, but an issue with the topic studied. Many interviewees could not freely generate an extensive list, but were aware of many more resources when the master list was in front of them. While this may have been another example of interviewees not understanding exactly what was being asked, it may also be that many resources on the master list were not considered as promoting global awareness by the subjects. The reasoning for this, and its implications, will be discussed in the summary and conclusions section.
Surveys After analyzing the interviews, a survey was constructed. Each group was required to develop a set of survey questions based on its’ given research question and hypothesis. The entire class collaborated in order to develop the setup questions for the survey, such as those regarding participants’ age, race, major, et cetera. General demographic questions were asked first. Of these general questions, the one most pertinent to group two was “Have you ever lived on campus?” This information was imperative in order to test our hypothesis, which stated that students who live or have lived on campus have a greater knowledge of and more frequently use resources that promote global awareness. In order to test the frequency with which participants used the oncampus
17 resources, a matrix was developed using a Likert scale. The scale ranged from zero to four, with the corresponding answers never, rarely, sometimes, often, and very often. Subjects were asked to indicate how often they use each of the resources on the master list, which was updated and revised after conducting interviews, making it even more comprehensive. The population was made up of students from the following Sociology classes: 101, 202, 227, 301, 327, 342, and 346. This could be seen as a convenience sample because courses were selected not for representitivity, but because other instructors agreed to allow the surveys to be conducted. After all of the surveys were administered, the data was coded and entered into a spreadsheet using Google Documents. Every student in the Sociology 301 class was required to assist in data entry. The data was then transferred into SPSS to be analyzed. It should be noted that, due to human error in entering the data, each group had to go through the information in order to clean it up. Researchers went through the spreadsheet line by line, referring back to the original surveys when necessary in order to put the data in a useful format. Wrongful entries were corrected as well as missing information accounted for. After obtaining a clean data set, it could be further analyzed to gather information. The researchers used the univariate analytical functions of the SPSS program in order to gather descriptive statistics, such as means, ranges, valid percents, and standard
18 deviations, of the survey responses. In order to directly test the hypothesis, bivariate analysis was conducted. A crosstabulation was created comparing responses of frequency of use with whether or not the respondents had ever lived on campus. This was done using the Zscores of responses, which were then converted into high, mid, and low ranges based on standard deviations from the mean. This table, shown here, also shows the number, minimum and maximum values, and mean of each resource.
SUMMARY TABLE (valid percent) Multicultural Resource Center International Week Friday Fests Other I.S.A Activities Other International Clubs Study Abroad and Global Exchange Programs International Studies Program International Internships/Work Study Programs Language Courses (Russian, German, Japanese, Chinese) Romance Language Courses (French, Italian, Spanish) Sociology: Global Social Problems Courses Business: International Business Courses Global Economics Courses Greek Civilization/Latin Civilization Programs Other General Global Requirement (GL/GN marker classes) Lloyd International Honors Courses Never Rarely Sometimes 63.7 22.4 9.3 70.7 17.3 8.2 78 12.1 6.8 77.4 16.4 5.1 77.6 15.6 4.8 73.2 13.6 8.8 77.3 11.9 7.9 83.2 9.9 5.1 74.9 48.4 33.1 80.1 77.2 71.4 35.3 86.9 8.8 7.6 11.6 11.4 12.3 11.6 10.3 6.8 7.4 17.3 15 5.7 6.8 9.1 21.7 1.7 Often 2.5 3.4 2.5 1.1 1.1 2.5 2.3 0.6 4.8 12.5 19.3 1.1 2 5.1 18.8 1.7 Very Often 2 3 0.6 0 0.8 2 0.6 1.1 4 14.2 21 1.7 1.7 2.8 14 2.8
Findings Researchers in group two compiled a list of UNCG resources that promote global awareness. This list included the following resources: Study Abroad/Exchange Programs, PhilipsHawkins Residence Hall (International Dorm), Friday Fests, International Week, Multicultural Resource Center, General Global Requirements (GL/GN Classes), Foreign Language Requirements, International Studies Program (European, Russian, African, Asian), Romance Languages (French, Italian, Spanish), Russian, German, and Japanese language programs, Sociology: Global Social Problems concentration, Business: International Business and Global Economics concentrations, Greek Civilization/Latin Civilization Programs, and International Internships/WorkStudy Programs. After creating this master list, interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of students.
Interview Findings In conducting interviews, the goal was to discover which resources were used most frequently (and, conversely, least frequently) and the reasons for the use or nonuse of these resources. The first part of the interviews pertaining to group two required the interviewees to freely generate a list of all global awareness resources known to them. The range in the number of resources listed was from zero (did not know any resources)
20 to seven. Figure 1.1 shows the number of resources listed by interviewees.
Number of Resources Listed 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Number of Interviewees 2 5 5 2 3 2 0 1
The two interviewees who were unable to list any resources seemed unconcerned, one laughing and saying, “I don’t know about any.” While these numbers do not illustrate any specific phenomenon, it gives researchers a place to begin when trying to understand how much students think is available to them on campus when it comes to global awareness. Some of the subjects who were only able to list a few resources pointed to lack of time spent on campus as the reason, one saying “I don’t know. I’m not on campus enough.” This student was a commuter, not an on campus resident. Another said, “I’m not really sure about the name” in regards to the resources listed. There are two conclusions that can be drawn from this statement. One is that the resources on campus are not promoted enough to where their names are universally known to all students. The second conclusion also goes back to
21 promotion. Students only hear these names in passing and view them as just another useless resource to add to the list. They are not adequately promoted and explained, creating a lack of understanding about the resources, including a common name. The majority of resources listed by interviewees were events, programs, or groups specifically set up and run by the International Programs Center, although the IPC itself was not listed a single time. Individual students listed Interlink, Global Leadership Programs, International Week, and international internships. Two each listed the International Students Association (ISA), and Friday Fests. Five listed either the International House or PhilipsHawkins, which is the same resource by two different names. Five also listed Study Abroad or Exchange programs. None of the students reported using Study Abroad or Exchange programs, however, although one student reported attending a study abroad meeting. One interviewee, who knew of study abroad programs but had never used one, said there was “no point” in using it. One said he or she attends ISA meetings every “once in a while” because “I like the meetings.” Philips Hawkins and Friday Fests, which are in PhilipsHawkins, were mostly reported as being used by students who either resided in the dorm or had friends living there. Only one student said they used the International House to meet foreign people and one said he or she attended some Friday Fests in order to meet “culturally diverse people.” Other resources commonly listed were the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Multicultural Resource Center, or MRC, which is run by the Office of Multicultural
22 Affairs. Four listed the office while five listed the MRC. Most knew of these resources either through friends or from walking by them, which is due to their location in the very busy Elliot University Center. While some listed using the MRC to “increase awareness” or to do research for a class, a few reported using it for less academic reasons, such as “to relax” or to kill time while waiting on a friend. The thought of going to an academic location, such as the MRC, in order to simply relax seemed odd. One possible explanation of this could be it’s location directly next to the Meditation Room, one of the most popular spots on campus for relaxation. Seven students interviewed listed some type of language program as an available resource. Three simply said foreign languages, while one said romance languages, one said Spanish, one said Russian, and one other said Japanese/Chinese language. The Russian and Japanese/Chinese language programs were not used by any of the interviewees. Of those who listed the others, Spanish was the only language class taken. While one participant said he or she took romance languages “because of foreigners in country,” the others only reported using it because it was required of them. Similarly, one student also listed “Foreign language clubs” and two specifically listed the Spanish club. Only one student said she had used this resource because it was required for a Spanish class. Another resource listed by only one student was SALSA, or the Spanish American Latino Student Association, although it is obvious that this participant did not know
23 exactly what this resource was. This was obvious when they listed as their reason for not using it that they “don’t dance.” There were several resources listed by interviewees that the researchers had not considered on their list. Each of the following was listed by one student: Cultural Anthropology, the Anthropology Club, Biology, Geo Club, STAND (“the Darfur group”), the Neo Black Society, and ESpartan. Two also listed flyers or posters, and two others listed recycling and recycling bins. This seemed to be due to a misunderstanding about what was meant by “global awareness resources.” Another possible explanation could be the subjects not taking the interviews seriously and attempting to be witty and funny, skewing the data. The second part of the interview pertaining to group two required the researcher to go over the master list of available global awareness resources with the interviewee. Participants were asked to go through the list, indicating which resources they were aware of, whether or not they had ever used them, how often they used them, the reasons for using or not using them, and how they found out about them. Overall, many more students were aware of global awareness resources than had actually used them. In the twentyone interviews studied, there were only two resources that were known to all participants. These were study abroad/exchange programs and romance languages. The next most widely known resource was the foreign language requirements. Twenty out of twentyone subjects were aware of this particular resource.
24 The resource indicated the least in terms of awareness was International Week, which only six participants were aware of. The resource most commonly used by interviewees was the foreign language requirements, used by thirteen out of twentyone participants. This was followed closely by the general global requirements, used by twelve subjects. Out of the fourteen resources on the master list, five were never indicated as being used by an interviewee. These were study abroad, international studies programs, Russian, German, and Japanese programs, the two international business concentrations, and international internships or workstudy programs. All twentyone participants were aware that study abroad and exchange programs were offered at UNCG, but none had ever participated in one. One student, however, did indicate that he planned to use it in the future. The only reasons given for not participating in such programs were that it “costs too much money” and there was “no desire to travel outside the US.” The ways in which students found out about these programs were through friends, advisors, teachers, classes, word of mouth, and, for one student, through the Honors Program. PhilipsHawkins International Dorm was known by thirteen of the interviewees, of which five indicated they had used it. Most indicated having friends who lived there as the reason for going, though most used it very seldom. One student did say he or she went there “to meet people.” PhilipsHawkins was known about through word of mouth,
25 a tour of the campus, or from a University Studies class. Eleven out of twentyone participants were aware of Friday Fests, but only three indicated they had attended one before. While most knew of these events through friends, one student said he or she knew about it through Intervarsity and another through a “cultural tour.” The reasons given for not attending were lack of time, some saying they simply “didn’t have time to go,” or they “had other priorities.” Six students interviewed said they were aware of International Week, while only two had used it. One went to see a performance, the other “in order to meet foreign people.” All six students aware of this resource had found out through friends, except for one who “found out from a campus info board.” Fourteen participants knew that the Multicultural Resource Center existed, yet only five said they had ever used it. One student, upon being told what this was, was surprised, saying he or she “didn’t know about it at all.” Students had used this resource for class assignments, for which they were required to go, or to just “check it out.” Other didn’t use it because they just “don’t need it.” The ways in which students found out about this resource were through word of mouth, flyers, friends, or through a University Studies class. One surprising number is that, out of twentyone interviewees, only fourteen were aware of the General Global Requirements of the University. Twelve indicated they had used these. This number was lower than expected due to the fact that these classes are
26 required of all students, regardless of major, in order to graduate. Students said they used these “throughout the college years,” but “only as much as required.” While most of the interviewees used these because they were required in order to graduate or “because you were told to do it,” a few indicated that they continued taking them because of interest. One student said they were “more interesting. I’ve learned US history for the past twelve years. I want to learn something different.” Students knew about this resource from the course book, advisors, friends, or “just by being a student.” One student indicated that they had “never heard the term.” Twenty students were aware of the foreign language requirements, while thirteen had actually used this resource. Some students indicated they used this resource frequently, “everyday.” Some gave the number of language courses they had taken, which ranged from one to three. One student indicated that they were used “throughout the college years” while another used them “only when needed.” The reasons for use were mostly to fill major requirements, although some students gave more personal reasons, such as “because it’s a way of communicating.” One student said he or she had taken French simply because he or she “liked the language.” One student said it was not required for their major, indicating that foreign language is not necessarily a prerequisite for graduation, but that it depended on the student’s major. Students had found out about such requirements through the UNCG catalog, advising, orientation, or by just “being a student.” A few had heard of such requirements through friends.
27 International Studies Programs, which are offered in European, Russian, Asian, and African studies, were only used by one of the interviewees, although nine were aware they existed. Students knew of these through friends and through the Honors Program. The one participant was in his or her third semester in the Russian studies program. He or she indicated they had participated because of interest. The only reason given for not using this program was “because I’m not really interested in the program.” All twentyone subjects were aware of the Romance Languages programs, offered in French, Italian, and Spanish, but only nine had used one of these. Again, some indicated they used such resources frequently or everyday, while some gave the number of courses taken, ranging from two to “throughout the college years.” One student, who hadn’t used this resource, said defiantly that they were “not going to.” One of the students who had used this program was a Spanish major. Some also used it because they “like the language” or “for communication.” One student, who is also enrolled in the Russian studies program, said they used it out of interest. Others took these classes only because they were required. Students knew of such programs by “just being a student,” through the UNCG catalog, or through friends. Although sixteen of the participants were aware that the University offered language programs in Russian, German, and Japanese, none had ever used any of them. The only reason given for not using these resources was lack of interest. One student, who indicated she was interested in French, said, “I hate Japanese.” Some students knew
28 about these programs through the UNCG catalog, website, or through friends. One student had “never heard of it.” Nine out of the twentyone students interviewed were aware that the Sociology department offered a concentration in Global Social Problems. Three of these students indicated that they had used this resource. Some knew about it because they had taken a class, one indicating that they used this resource “throughout the college years.” Some also said they knew from other Sociology classes, as well as from advisors and through the UNCG catalog. One student had “never heard of it.” Thirteen of the interviewees were aware that the Bryan School of Business and Economics offered concentrations in International Business and Global Economics. None of them, however, participated in the program. They all appeared to know through friends, one saying she knew because her “boyfriend is a business major.” Only eight of the participants were aware of the Greek and Latin Civilization programs, of which only three had participated. One student was in the program, while the others had only taken one and two courses. One student, who is enrolled in the Russian studies program, indicated that they hadn’t used it but wanted to. One of the participants said they used it because it was required while the others said they took the classes because they “enjoyed it.” Most had found out about the programs through advisors or friends. One student indicated that they “found it when looking for a new major.”
29 One of the resources widely known about but never used is the international internships and workstudy programs offered by the University. Fourteen interviewees were aware of such programs. Students knew of such resources through friends, roommates, flyers, and, indicated by only one, through the Honors program. One said he or she had “just heard it before.” One student who was unaware of this resource said “I thought they were just local.” The reasons given for not using these programs varied. One said he or she did not use it because his or her “family makes too much money.” Another said “I don’t feel like I need to go international.” Only one student said they might use it in the future.
Survey Findings The purpose of the survey research was to get a more generalizable idea of how frequently students use the available resources. Overall, less than 30% of UNCG students surveyed actually utilize oncampus resources that promote global awareness. This was true of each individual resource except for the four: the Multicultural Resource Center, Romance Language Courses, Sociology: Global Social Problems Courses, and other General Global Requirements (GL/GN marker classes). It was reported that almost 90 % of students surveyed have “never” utilized the Lloyd International Honors Courses. This data is shown in the table on page 16. Table 2.2 shows the valid number, mean, minimum, maximum, and standard
30 deviation for each resource listed. The range in number of responses, N, was from 351 to 354. Overall, the most commonly used resource from our list was Sociology: Global Social Problems courses with a mean answer of 1.83. This represents a frequency of use between “rarely” and “sometimes”. This data may have been skewed by the fact that the survey population was made up of students in Sociology courses, some of which may have fit under the Global Social Problems umbrella. The next most frequently used resource was Other General Global Requirements (GL/GN Marker courses), with a mean response of 1.66. This is also in the “rarely” to “sometimes” range. This resource was followed closely by Romance Language Courses, with an average of 1.36. Other than these three resources, no other one on the list had a mean response over 1. The resource used least frequently by survey participants was International Internships/WorkStudy Programs. The average response for this was .26, representing a frequency of use below “rarely,” almost “never.” The Lloyd International Honors Courses was also extremely low, with an average of .27. Another interesting fact discovered from the statistics is that the three resources that were most often utilized have an average frequency of use at least twice as much as the lesserused resources. The lowest average use of the most frequently used resource was a 1.36, while the highest average frequency of use of the lesser used resources was .57, which reveals a staggering average of .79 between the two resources. This disparity may be due to the fact that the top three most frequently used resources are requirements.
31 Furthermore, the most commonly used resource that is not a class or requirement is the Multicultural Resource Center. This resource had an average use of .57, representing a frequency of use between never and rarely.
Cross Tabulation A contingency table was produced to test our hypothesis that students who live or have lived on campus have a higher frequency of use of global resources. The analysis conducted seems to prove this hypothesis true. Whether or not students have lived on campus at any point is a possible predictor in that they will also have more knowledge and utilization of those resources at UNCG. This can be seen in Table 2.3. The information collected proves that students that reside or have resided on campus have a higher utilization of the resources that promote global awareness at UNCG. There is a higher percentage of lowfrequency users among those students that have not lived on campus. Amongst those who have never lived oncampus, 20.7% were classified as low level utilizers, compared with 10.3% of those who live or have lived on campus. This tenpercent is compensated for in the high level utilization. Of those who have never lived oncampus, only 9.8% fit into the high level utilization category. The percentage of those who have lived on campus that fit into the high level utilization category was 17.9, almost ten percentage points higher. This data is also shown in Table 2.3.
32 The hypothesis is shown to be true for the convenience sample of students responding to the survey. The statistics reveal that those students who have lived on campus use global resources more frequently than the students who have never lived on campus. It was also shown that, overall, few students really make use of the resources on campus. This was shown to be true by the small number of survey participants who indicated a frequency of use of either “very often” or “never”; most simply fall somewhere in the middle. Conclusion Overall, both the qualitative interview research and quantitative survey findings seem to go hand in hand in proving our hypothesis true. The survey results show that students who live or have lived on campus use the global resources more frequently. The interview research seems to support this, showing that students tend to find out about these resources based on how close they are to the resources, which comes with on campus residence. While it is difficult to say whether there is a difference based on residence and knowledge of the resources’ existence, it can be reasonably assumed that those who use resources more frequently have a greater knowledge of them.
Summary and Discussion The purpose of this study was to determine the available resources on the UNCG
33 campus that promote global awareness and whether or not the students are aware of such resources. While previous research tends to illustrate the need for more global studies programs to increase international knowledge and awareness among students, none was found that actually tests whether or not students have a basic awareness of or knowledge about such resources. The researchers in this project set out to discover these things specifically at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. For the purposes of this study, data was collected using both interview and survey research. These methods are outlined, along with population information, strengths, and potential flaws, in the Methodology section. Interviews were conducted in which we learned that most students only use the resources that are required of them. In fact, many participants did not even consider these requirements, such as global courses and foreign language requirements, as global awareness resources on campus. They view these classes and programs that are required in order to graduate as just another hurdle to leap over, as opposed to an opportunity to expand their horizons and broaden their knowledge of the global community. Students interviewed seemed to care about and use only the resources and programs that affected them personally in their academic careers. While agreeing with this conclusion, the researchers were shocked to find that only fourteen of twentyone participants were aware of the General Global Requirements of the University. This is a surprising number because these are requirements that are drilled into the heads of
34 students from the moment they first meet with an academic advisor. While faculty and staff are making some attempts to endorse global awareness, this finding seems to show that many students are very uncaring in regards to internationally focused studies. Many students who were aware of multiple global resources chose to not use them because they did not see a need to do so. It seems that a lack of understanding exists about the potential benefits of using such resources exists amongst the students. The programs are never fully explained to students, and conclusions are drawn about them, many times false, that downplay the positive outcomes of their use. An interesting aspect of the results of the interviews was in regards to the study abroad and exchange programs on campus. This was the only resource known to all of the interviewees, yet not a single student had used it. In addition, only one said he or she planned to use it. It seems that study abroad and exchange programs have become so widespread that it is assumed, among students, that such programs exist on their campus. Yet it seems the details of such programs, such as the cost and potential benefits of participation, are never fully explained, creating a lack of understanding and, therefore, a lack of caring, about these programs. Other than the cost, the only reasons given for not using such programs were not seeing a point in doing so and the lack of desire to travel outside the United States. Although it is impossible to say for sure, this may just be due to the fact that many of the participants are from small Southern towns and feel more comfortable within the borders of this country or, in some cases, the state. It may also
35 reflect Southern politics and its somewhat negative view of foreigners and foreign affairs. Based on the survey data, it seems that residence may be one of the most accurate predictors in relation to the utilization of on campus global resources. The researchers in this study came to the conclusion that, overall, students are not highly knowledgeable in regards to the global resources available to them. It seems as if faculty members, administrators, and advisors should be pushed to inform the students of such resources, including details and benefits of using them, and encourage them to utilize them. Another possible predictor of whether or not students will use a particular resource may be the physical location of that resource on campus. As seen in the interviews, a resource that is located at a central point on campus, as is the MRC, is going to have more frequent visitors, even if it is for the wrong reasons. There are two ways to look at this situation. One is that any exposure, even if it is for unintended reasons, is better than no exposure. This would suggest that all resources would be better off if located in more frequented areas simply to increase knowledge of its existence. The other view may show that students are uninterested in becoming globally aware, leading them to use these resources in other, more secondary ways. This is a more pessimistic view, although perhaps more realistic. This second view reflects the need for more research such as this, involving more global resources than just study abroad programs. The researchers in this study had difficulty finding such reports. Seeing as how study abroad programs were one of the
36 least frequently utilized resources, it seems that academics are stressing the wrong points. Research tends to place an emphasis on students actually traveling internationally when it may be possible that the need is for an emphasis on global awareness here in the United States, especially within the academic walls of higher education.
37 Table 2.1 Item 1. Have lived on campus N 25 5 % 72.6
Table 2.2 Descriptive Statistics Mini mum 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Maxi mum 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 Std. Deviatio n .909 .808 .766 .617 .697 .903 .773 .684 1.081 1.518 1.566 .781 .837 1.037 1.467 .822
Multicultural Resource Center International Week Friday Fests Other I.S.A Activities Other International Clubs Study Abroad and Global Exchange Programs International Studies Programs International Internships/Work Study Programs Language Courses (Russian, German, Japanese, Chinese) Romance Language Courses (French, Italian, Spanish) Sociology: Global Social Problems Courses Business: International Business Courses Global Economics Courses Greek Civilization/Latin Civilization Programs Other General Global Requirement (GL/GN marker classes) Lloyd International Honors Courses Valid N (listwise)
N 353 352 354 354 353 354 353 352 351 353 353 351 351 353 351 352 333
Mean .57 .45 .36 .30 .32 .47 .37 .26 .54 1.36 1.83 .33 .39 .56 1.66 .27
Table 2.3 Have you ever lived on campus? * Utilization Cross-tabulation utilization mid high 64 9 Total
low 1. Have you ever lived on campus? no Count 19 % within 1. Have you ever lived on campus? Count % within 1. Have you ever lived on campus? Count % within 1. Have you ever lived on campus?
20.7% 24 10.3% 43 13.2%
69.6% 168 71.8% 232 71.2%
9.8% 100.0% 42 234
17.9% 100.0% 51 326
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40 Guang-Lea Lee, Louis Janda. 2006. “SUCCESSFUL MULTICULTURAL CAMPUS: Free from Prejudice toward Minority Professors.” Multicultural Education. Vol. 14, Issue 1. Retrieved September 5, 2007. ProQuest document ID:1229798161 Hadis, B. (2002) Why are They Better Students when They Come Back? Determinants of Academic Focusing Gains in the Study Abroad Experience. The Frontiers Journal: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, (57-70). Kitsantas, Anastasia. 2004. “Studying Abroad: The Role of College Students’ Goals on the Development of Cross-Cultural Skills and Global Understanding.” College Student Journal. Vol. 38, Issue 3. Retrieved September 5, 2007. Academic Search Premiere document ID: 14669496 McMahon, M. E. (December 1992). Higher Education in a World Market. Higher Education, 24(Number 4) Rogers, E.M. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations (5th Ed.). New York: Free Press. Tucker, Jan L. 2001. “Developing a Global Dimension in Teacher Education: The Florida International University Experience.” Theory Into Practice. Vol. 21 Issue 3. Retrieved September 5, 2007. Academic Search Premiere document ID: 5200539.
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