Date of Award





Doctor of Education

Degree Type



Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

First Advisor

Jennifer L. Brown

Second Advisor

Victor Salazar

Third Advisor

Eric Spears


The participation rate of Black higher education students in education abroad programs has been significantly compared to their White peers. The purpose of this concurrent mixed methods research study was to examine the participation rate of Black higher education students in education abroad programs by exploring student perceptions relative to barriers and motivations, utilizing the Cultural Approach as the conceptual framework, specifically the economic, social, and intellectual cultural spheres of influence. A web-based questionnaire with quantitative and qualitative items was completed by 248 Black participants and 206 White participants. The quantitative data were analyzed using two logistic regressions, and the qualitative data were analyzed using memoing, segmenting, coding, enumeration, and theme generation. Institutional Factors was the only predicting variable that was statistically significant. The qualitative results suggested that higher education students consider location of program, pacing relative to graduation, program costs, family and employment obligations, length of program, topic of study, and desired learning targets, when deciding whether or not to participate in education abroad programs. Furthermore, participants perceived that higher education students often do not have access to information relative to education abroad programs. Implications include utilizing needs-based financial assistance and specific institutional data in order to design appropriate initiatives to improve equity and provide the benefits associated with education abroad programs to disadvantaged students. In addition, higher education institutions could develop policies and procedures to meet student needs relative to barriers and motivation to improve participation rates for Black higher education students.