Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Taylor, Leonard

Committee Member

Cutts, Qiana M.

Committee Member

Molina, Danielle K.

Committee Member

Morse, David T.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Other Advisors or Committee Members

Blackbourn, Richard L.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Educational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


The internationalization of higher education curriculum, including programs in educational leadership, in the United States is increasing, and with the increase in graduate interest in study abroad, this study predicted graduate students pursuing a graduate degree in higher education administration or student affairs (HESA) at institutions in the southeastern United States intent to study abroad short-term. The Theory of Planned Behavior was used to frame the study, which identified the behavioral beliefs (future job prospects), normative beliefs (family expectations), and control beliefs (administrative support) of graduate students that were related to study abroad. Future job prospects, family expectations, and administrative support formed one variable, willingness to pay, which was hypothesized to influence intent to study abroad. Desire and affordability were also hypothesized to influence intent to study abroad. The Theory of Planned Behavior and each variable were assumed to be important to short-term study abroad intent. However, this was an initial study focused on solely graduate students in an education discipline regarding study abroad intent to use the Theory of Planned Behavior and the chosen variables. A survey was emailed to all graduate students in a HESA program at 15 institutions in the southeastern United States. There were 171 students that fully completed the survey. In this study, I found that future job prospects had a positive relationship with willingness to pay. Thus, hypothesis 2 was supported. However, family expectations and administrative support did not have a positive relationship with willingness to pay indicating that hypotheses 3 and 4 were not supported. Regarding intent to study abroad, both desire and affordability positively influenced intent to study abroad with path coefficients of .62 and .24, respectively, while willingness to pay did not indicating that hypotheses 5 and 6 were supported while hypothesis 1 was not supported. The data were analyzed using a structural equation model (SEM) to create a structural model to understand the strength of the relationship of each variable by the resulting path coefficients and variance. Understanding the beliefs and intentions of such students provided implications to establish or improve existing study abroad programs focusing on graduate students.



graduate students||intent to study abroad||structural equation model||Theory of Planned Behavior