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The Center for Global Education promotes international education to foster cross-cultural awareness, cooperation and understanding. Living and working effectively in a global society requires learning with an international perspective.

We promote this type of learning by collaborating with colleges, universities and other organizations around the world.

California Community College Student Outcomes Abroad Research Project


U.S. Community Colleges

The importance of study abroad in the community college has been recognized nationwide. The American Association of Community Colleges and Association for Community College Trustees 2006 Joint Statement stated: "rededication to global education is required that will inspire and shape new educational strategies initiated to promote the shared goals of global connectedness and understanding."

According to IIE Open Doors 2005, 5,776 community college students studied abroad. In IIE's annual Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, the number of students participating in study abroad for academic credit has grown substantially in recent years and in 2005/06, over 223,000 students studied abroad for credit - a 150 percent increase over the past ten years.

According to Rosalind Raby, an expert in the field: "research confirms that the predominant issues preventing community college students from studying abroad is not student interest, inability to travel, or program costs. Rather, it is a shortage of program offerings, a lack of awareness of existing programs and an absence of long-term planning. Community college students do have an interest to study abroad; however, the limited or non-existing options to study abroad must be addressed and rectified in order to provide community college students with the full educational programs that they deserve."

Community colleges give access to minority groups and non-traditional students, who often are first-generation college attendees, with 25% or more of all high school graduates of color enrolling in community colleges as a way to begin their foray into higher education (Edsource, 2008). Hispanic Americans make up the second largest study abroad population at the Community Colleges at 10% versus the 5% at other institutions. Additionally, compared to all institutional types in general, community colleges have a larger proportion of students of color studying abroad (Open Doors, 2005).

Student Demographics in Study Abroad, 2000/01 vs. 2005/06 (IIE White paper on study abroad 2007).

Community Colleges National Average
Race/Ethnicity 2000/01 2005/06 2000/01 2005/06
White/Caucasian 79.1% 69.0% 80.0% 83.0%
Hispanic/Latino(a) 11.5% 13.1% 5.3% 5.4%
Multiracial 0.8% 9.1% 3.5% 1.2%
African-American 4.3% 5.0% 3.4% 3.5%
Asian-American/Pacific Islander 4.3% 3.4% 5.3% 6.3%
Native American/Alaskan Native 0.1% 0.5% 0.5% 0.6%

According to Open Doors 2007, in the academic year 2005/06, 114 community colleges reported offering credit-bearing study abroad programs to 6,321 students. Since 2000/01, the number of community colleges that reported offering education abroad programs has increased 34 percent (Open Doors 2007). The IIE Whitepaper (2007) also documents that 70% of community colleges programs are short term versus the 42% of study abroad programs at 4-year institutions.

Student interest in study abroad is growing rapidly; however, community college study abroad still accounts for less than 3 percent of the U.S. total. (IIE Whitepaper September 2008)

Associate's Institutions that Reported Sending 100 or More Education Abroad Students, 2005/06 (IIE Whitepaper 2008)

Institution State Total
College of Dupage IL 256
Cabrillo College CA 229
St. Louis Community College MO 203
SUNY Broome Community College CA 200
Santa Barbara City College CA 180
Citrus College CA 180
Sierra College CA 175
Chaffey College CA 171
Glendale Community College CA 164
City College of San Francisco CA 142
Santa Monica College CA 128
Napa Valley College CA 118
Pasadena City College CA 118
Riverside Community College CA 114
Mesa Community College AZ 107
Brookdale Community College NJ 107
Kirkwood Community College IA 106
Ann Arundel Community College MD 100

Organizations that support study abroad at community colleges (as documented in the IIE whitepaper series Meeting America's Global Education Challenge September 2008):


  1. Accrediting International Education Programs
    Carroll, C.M.
    Community College Journal, Vol. 69, No. 2, 1998, 38-42.
  2. The Globalization of Community Colleges
    Falcetta, F. M. (2001). In M. Tillman (Ed.), Study abroad: a 21st century perspective, volume II, the changing landscape (pp. 7-9). Stamford, CT: American Institute for Foreign Study Foundation.
  3. International Education Study Abroad Programs: A Level I Review, Florida Community College System: Putting Minds to Work Furlong, T. & Hardin, S. (2000).
    ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 440 715.
    This report presents the results of a study that was conducted to determine the extent and types of international education programs offered in the Florida Community College System (FCCS). The study provides an overview of the structure and content of international education travel programs offered by each college. Institutional and business partnerships, international consortia memberships, and international development initiatives are also discussed. A survey on international education programs was distributed to all 28 community colleges. An in-depth case study of the Seville, Spain program offered by Broward Community College was conducted. Survey results indicated sixty-seven different international travel courses or programs in at least seventeen countries. Nine major sections are included in the report: (1) international education travel programs in Florida's community colleges; (2) program structure; (3) consortium membership; (4) international development initiatives; (5) Florida linkage institutes; (6) faculty development; (7) case study of Seville, Spain program; (8) issues for consideration; and (9) summary. Appendices include FCCS international education program offerings, linkage institute contact list, support organizations for global education, and study abroad program review survey.
  4. Increasing Effectiveness of the Community College Financial Model: A global perspective for the global economy.
    Editors: Stewart E. Sutin, Dan Derrico, Rosalind Latiner Raby, and Edward J. Valeau
    (Palgrave Publishers) TBP: 2010
    CHAPTER ON Study Abroad at Borough of Manhattan Community College
  5. Expanding Education Abroad at U.S. Community Colleges.
    IIE Study Abroad White Paper Series 3 (September 2008).
    New York: Institute for International Education Press.
  6. International Reform Efforts and Challenges in Community Colleges. Edited by Edward Valeau and Rosalind Latiner Raby.
    New Directions In Community College Series, No. 138: Jossey-Bass: San Francisco (Summer, 2007).
  7. Internationalizing the Community College Curriculum: Theoretical and Pragmatic Discourses.
    2000 Juried Paper Series.
    NAFSA: Association of International Educators: New York (2000).
  8. Dimensions of the Community College: International and Inter/Multicultural Perspectives
    eds. Rosalind Latiner Raby and Norma Tarrow,
    Garland Studies in Higher Education Volume 6 Vol. 1075,
    Garland Pub., Inc.: New York. (1996)
  9. "Collaboration Aids International Education Programs"
    Community College Times, March 2, 2004
  10. "Internationalizing the Curriculum: New Perspectives in Implementation"
    Resources in Education March 1996
  11. "Creating Global Citizens: The Democratization of Community College Open Access" with Robert Frost in The Handbook of Practice and Research in Study Abroad: Higher Education and the Quest for Global Citizenship.
    Edited by Ross Lewin.
    Routledge Publishers: New York (2009)
  12. "Internationalizing the Curriculum: On- and Off-Campus Strategies." in International Reform Efforts and Challenges in Community Colleges.
    Edited by Edward Valeau and 15. Rosalind Latiner Raby.
    New Directions In Community College Series, No. 138: Jossey-Bass: San Francisco (Summer, 2007).
  13. "Community Colleges and Study Abroad" in NAFSA's Guide to Education Abroad for Advisers and Administrators: 3rd Edition.
    William Hoffa and John Pearson (editors).
  14. "Internationalizing the Curriculum in Community Colleges" in A Manual of Best Practices in Global Education for Community Colleges.
    ACIIE, Washington D.C. 2003 - Print and CD versions.
  15. "Myths About Community College Study Abroad" in A Manual of Best Practices in Global Education for Community Colleges.
    ACIIE, Washington D.C. 2003 - Print and CD versions.
  16. "Study abroad increases access, opportunities"
    Gary Rhodes
    Community College Times (May, 2006)
  17. "Study Abroad in Community Colleges"
    Community College Times (June 21, 2005): Page 10.

We look forward to collaborating with others who share similar research goals. For further dialogue, please Contact Us.

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