During the first round of IN/CO Grant submissions, the Alliance received three extremely strong proposals on global education from faculty at James Madison University and Elon University. Given that all three proposals dealt with engaging difference and effectively evaluating students’ experiences, the Alliance Provosts’ Council asked these three groups to participate in a Think Tank, aimed at developing one common research outcome.
The Think Tank was a success, and resulted in a $40,000 IN/CO Grant award for the combined team’s project, “Engaging Difference: A Deep Dive Into the Assessment of Transformative Learning.”
The field of global education fosters increasing emphasis on understanding the impact of study abroad and away for multiple reasons: student growth and learning, educational pedagogies and policies, financial implications, and many more. The study will address the complex interaction between student characteristics (demographic variables providing information about who the students are) and the experiences they have during or after the study abroad/away.
Participants in all off-campus study programs offered at James Madison University and Elon University will be invited to participate in the study in the first year to maximize response rate. In the subsequent years, additional CAA institutions will be invited to participate in the project. Semester-long and short-term for-credit study abroad and study away programs will be included in the study.
To broaden the potential impact of this project, the research team will partner with Dr. Craig Shealy, Executive Director of the International Beliefs and Values Institute and Professor of Graduate Psychology at James Madison University. Dr. Shealy works with the IBAVI’s Executive and Advisory Boards to lead and coordinate a wide range of scholarly, educational, and service activities and partnerships with individuals and organizations in the United States and internationally, including Cultivating the Globally Sustainable Self, a multi-year, multi-institution Summit Series hosted by James Madison University. Several members of the grant team (below) will have opportunities to attend and participate in the Summit Series.
This grant will also be supported by Core Collaborative International research methodologists Jennifer Wiley, ABD, and Emi Iwatani, Ph.D.
Project Team Perspectives on IN/CO
“The CAA IN/CO grant enabled the research team at Elon to partner with colleagues at James Madison University on a large-scale study of global engagement experiences, utilizing an innovative research tool, the Beliefs, Events, and Values Inventory (BEVI). This collaborative research opened up avenues of exploration related to how students engage difference while studying off campus, and how these experiences may influence their identity, worldview, future pathways, and ways of interacting with others upon return to the home campus. We are grateful for the opportunities afforded by the grant to collaborate with leading scholars and look forward to disseminating outcomes that will influence the field of global education.”
~Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, Elon University