Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


In the face of globalization, educational institutions the world over have developed institutional learning outcomes that seek to graduate students who are culturally competent. To accomplish this goal, colleges and schools must have a faculty who is prepared to facilitate student growth in this regard or provide the faculty with professional development opportunities to achieve that end.

Concordia Language Villages, an intensive language and culture education program sponsored by Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, is intentional in its mission to prepare young people for responsible citizenship and has professional development opportunities available to personnel in their programs and educators; however, teachers in the Concordia Language Villages' abroad programs have additional professional development needs that heretofore have not been fully addressed. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the professional development needs for teachers in the Study Abroad programs at Concordia Language Villages, which take place every summer in Argentina, Cameroon, China, France, Germany, Japan, and Spain.

The research questions were: (1) What professional development activities are currently taking place in Concordia Language Villages' Study Abroad programs? (2) What are the professional development needs of teachers in Concordia Language Villages' Study Abroad programs? (3) How should professional development opportunities be delivered to teachers employed in Concordia Language Villages' Study Abroad programs?

A case study with mixed-methodology design was used to evaluate the professional education needs of teachers for Concordia Language Villages' Study Abroad programs, which was carried out online, through e-mail and survey tools, and in person at the Concordia Language Villages in Bemidji, Minnesota, during the spring of 2008. Document analysis of existing professional development materials, a survey of 55 members of Concordia Language Villages' leadership staff, and a focus group yielded the identification of core competencies, skills, and abilities valued by the organization and appropriate to the abroad setting. A model of intercultural competence served as the conceptual framework to examine the competencies identified, which in addition to intercultural competence included knowledge of the institution, its mission statement, guiding principles of language teaching, and youth development, and application of that knowledge to target cultures.

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Psychology Commons