The GLOSSARI Project: Initial Findings from a System-Wide Research Initiative on Study Abroad Learning Outcomes


  • Richard C. Sutton
  • Donald L. Rubin



Report, Assessement, Learning Outcomes, Study Abroad


This article is a first report from a system-wide initiative to document learning outcomes accruing from participation in study abroad. It focuses on one element of that initiative, a comparison of several outcomes between study abroad participants and non-participants attending sixteen varied public institutions within a state university system.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Richard C. Sutton

Richard C. Sutton is Director of International Programs and Senior Advisor for Academic Affairs for the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. He held prior academic affairs positions with the Iowa Board of Regents and the University of Wisconsin System Administration. He also served as Director of International Education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from 1984 to 1995. A Russian historian by training, he earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University and his A.B. from Duke University.

Donald L. Rubin

Donald L. Rubin received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1978. He holds a joint appointment as Professor in the Departments of Speech Communication and Language Education and in the Program in Linguistics at the University of Georgia. His teaching and research pertain primarily to intercultural communication, especially perceived intelligibility and competence of international instructors and others who speak nonmainstream North American English. He currently edits the journal Communication Education.


Allan, J. (1996). Learning Outcomes in Higher Education. Studies in Higher Education,

, 93-108.

American Council on Education (2002). Beyond September 11: A Comprehensive National Policy on International Education. Washington, D.C.: American Council on Education.

Bennett, M. J. (1986). A Developmental Approach to Intercultural Sensitivity Training. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 10, 179-196.

Bogue, E.G. (1998). Quality Assurance in Higher Education: The Evolution of Systems and Design Ideals. New Directions for Institutional Research, 25:3, 7-18.

British Columbia Centre for International Education (2002). Study abroad impact outcomes report. Victoria, BC: British Columbia Centre for International Education.

Cambridge, B.L. (1996). The Paradigm Shifts: Examining Quality of Teaching through Assessment of Student Learning. Innovative Higher Education, 20, 287-297.

Carlson, J.S., Burn, B.B., Useem, J., & Yachimowicz, D. (1990). Study Abroad: The Experience of American Undergraduates. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press.

Carlson, J.S., & Widaman, K.F. (1988). The Effects of Study Abroad during College on Attitudes toward Other Cultures. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 12, 1-17.

Cash, W.R. (1993). Assessment of Study-Abroad Programs Using Surveys of Student Participants. Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research, Chicago.

Chenoweth, N. A., Hayes, J. R., Gripp, P., Littleton, E. B., Steinberg, E. R.. Van Every, D. A. (1999). Are Our Courses Working? Measuring Student Learning. Written Communication, 16, 29-50.

Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (2000). 1998 Criteria for Accreditation. Decatur, GA: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. ; accessed August 14, 2002.

Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Summary of the Survey on EnhancingIinstitutional Effectiveness through Student Outcomes Assessment at the Undergraduate Level. ; accessed August 14, 2002.

Fantini, A.E. (1995). Assessing Intercultural Competence: A YOGA Form. Brattleboro, VT: School for International Training.

Freed, B. F. (1995), editor. Second Language Acquisition in a Study Abroad Context. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Gillespie, J., Braskamp, L., & Braskamp, D. (1999). Evaluation and Study Abroad: Developing Assessment Criteria and Practices to Promote Excellence. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 5, 101-127.

Ginsberg, R.B. (1992). Language Gains during Study Abroad: An Analysis of the ACTR Data. National Foreign Language Center Working Papers, Washington, DC: Johns Hopkins University.

Handel, B., & Grove, N. (1986). International Student Exchange Programs—Are the Educational Benefits Real? NAASP Bulletin, 84-90.

Hutchings, P. & Shulman, L.S. (1999). The Scholarship of Teaching: New Elaborations, New Developments. Change, 31:5, 10-15.

Institute of International Education (2003). Open Doors 2003: Report on International Educational Exchange. New York: Institute of International Education.

Juhasz, A.M., & Walker, A.M. (1988). The Impact of Study Abroad on University Students’ Self-esteem and Self-efficacy. College Student Journal, 22, 329-341.

Lathrop, B.J.J. (1999). The Influence of Study Abroad Programs on United States Students’ Psychological

Development. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Georgia.

Laubscher, M.R. (1994). Encounters with Difference: Student Perceptions of the Role of Out-of-Class Experiences in Education Abroad. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press.

McDaniel, E.A., Felder, B.D., Gordon, L., Hrutka, M.E., & Quinn, S. (2000). New Faculty Roles in Learning Outcomes Education: The Experiences of Four Models and Institutions. Innovative Higher Education, 25, 143-157.

Milleret, M. (1990). Evaluation and the Summer Language Program Abroad: A Review Essay. Modern Language Journal, 74, 483-488.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators & Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange (2003). Toward an International Education Policy for the United States. Washington: NAFSA.

Nash, D. (1976). The Personal Consequences of a Year of Study Abroad. Journal of Higher Education, 47, 191-203.

Palomba, C., & Banta, T. (1999). Assessment Essentials: Planning, Implementing, and Improving Assessment in Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Paige, R.M., Cohen, A.D., Kappler, B., Chi, J.C., & Lassegard, J.P (2002). Maximizing Study Abroad: A Students’ Guide to Strategies for Language and Culture Learning and Use. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.

Rivers, W.P. (1998). Is Being There Enough? The Effects of Homestay Placements on Language Gain during Study Abroad. Foreign Language Annals, 31, 492-500.

Rubin, D.L., & Lannutti, P. (2001). Frameworks for Assessing Contact as a Tool for Reducing Prejudice. In V.H. Milhouse, M.K. Asante, and P.O. Nwosu (Eds.), Transcultural Realities: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Cross-Cultural Relations (pp. 313-326). Beverly Hills: Sage.

Rubin, D.L., & Sutton, R.C. (2001). Assessing Student Learning Outcomes from Study Abroad. International Educator, X:2, 30-31.

Ryan, M.E., & Twibell, R.S. (2000). Concerns, Values, Stress, Coping, Health and Educational Outcomes of College Students who Studied Abroad. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 24, 409-435.

Schneider, A.I. (2003). Internationalizing Teacher Education: What Can Be Done? Washington: A.I. Schneider.

Sideli, K. (2001). Outcomes Assessment and Study Abroad Programs: Commentary on the Results of a SECUSSA/IIE Electronic Sampling. International Educator, X:2, 30.

Sell, D.K. (1983). Research on Attitude Change in U.S. Students who Participate in Foreign Study Experiences: Past Findings and Suggestions for Future Research. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 7, 131-147.

Vande Berg, M. (2001) The Assessment of Learning Outcomes in Study Abroad. International Educator, X:2, 31.

Veguez, R. (1984). The Oral Proficiency Interview and the Junior Year Abroad: Some Unexpected Results. Paper presented at the Annual Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, New York. [EDRS #ED253075].

Wellman, J.V. (2001). Assessing State Accountability Systems. Change, 33:2, 47-55.

Yager, K. (1998). Learning Spanish in Mexico: The Effect of Informal Contact and Student Attitudes on Language Gain. Hispania, 81, 898-913.

Zernike, K. (2002, August 4). Tests are not Just for Kids: Accountability Hits Higher Education. New York Times Education Supplement (Section 4A), 26-29.




How to Cite

Sutton, R. C. ., & Rubin, D. L. . (2004). The GLOSSARI Project: Initial Findings from a System-Wide Research Initiative on Study Abroad Learning Outcomes. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 10(1), 65–82.