Fostering Global Mindedness in Short-Term Community-Based Global Learning Programs: The Importance of Strategic Design, Collaboration, and Reflection


  • Carolyn Matheus Marist College
  • Kevin M. Gaugler Marist College



global mindedness, community-based global learning, service-learning, short-term study abroad


Trends toward short-term academic service-learning abroad necessitate programs designed to maximize effectiveness and measurement of outcomes. The current study sought to strategically foster and measure increases in global mindedness during an immersive community-based global learning program abroad. University students studying either Computer Science or Spanish collaborated to design curriculum and host a technology summer camp for junior-high students in the Dominican Republic. The semester before the two-week travel experience included extensive pre-departure preparation, collaboration, reflection, and communication among students, program directors, on-site program coordinators, and stakeholders in the host community. Results of pre- and post-tests using the Global Mindedness Scale indicate perceptions of five dimensions of global mindedness (i.e., responsibility, cultural pluralism, efficacy, global centrism, and interconnectedness) were significantly increased after participating in this program. Pre-departure activities, curricular design, and logistical elements of the program are discussed, along with recommendations for future research.

Abstract in Spanish

Las tendencias en los estudios en el extranjero a corto plazo que incluyen el aprendizaje a través del servicio en la comunidad requieren un diseño que maximice la eficacia y medida de los resultados. Este estudio midió un crecimiento en la mentalidad sobre asuntos globales entre participantes en un programa a corto plazo en el extranjero. Estudiantes universitarios con concentraciones en informática y en lengua española colaboraron para diseñar un currículo y ofrecer un campamento tecnológico de verano para estudiantes de una escuela secundaria en la República Dominicana. El semestre antes del programa, que duró dos semanas, incluyó la preparación extensiva, la colaboración, la reflexión y la comunicación entre los estudiantes universitarios, los directores del programa, los coordinadores del programa in situ y miembros de la comunidad local. Los resultados de los cuestionarios antes y después del programa fueron creados con una escala de mentalidad global (Global Mindedness Scale), indicando percepciones en cinco dimensiones de tal mentalidad (responsabilidad, pluralismo cultural, eficacia, centrismo global e interconectividad); se concluyó que la mentalidad fue aumentada significativamente después de participar en el programa. Se examinan aquí las actividades antes del comienzo del programa, el diseño del currículo y los elementos logísticos mientras se recomiendan investigaciones posibles para estudios futuros.


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Author Biographies

Carolyn Matheus, Marist College

Dr. Carolyn C. Matheus is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at Marist College. Her coursework and research focus on data quality and leveraging technology for interdisciplinary applications. She designed and co-led an annual community based global learning program in which technology students collaborated with Spanish students to host a technology summer camp for elementary and junior-high students in the Dominican Republic.

Kevin M. Gaugler, Marist College

Dr. Kevin M. Gaugler is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Marist College where he specializes in computer-assisted language learning and Spanish language, literature, and culture. He has designed and co-taught a service-learning course in the Dominican Republic.


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How to Cite

Matheus, C., & Gaugler, K. M. (2020). Fostering Global Mindedness in Short-Term Community-Based Global Learning Programs: The Importance of Strategic Design, Collaboration, and Reflection. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 32(3), 156–181.



Research Articles