Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Aaron Hughey (Director), Sandra Ardrey, Blair Thompson

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


Global citizenship is an elusive concept that spans a multitude of disciplines and is coming to the forefront of conversations at institutions of higher learning, as colleges and universities grapple with training and shaping their student body into scholars useful and sensitive to the needs of our society and world in the 21st century. Morais and Ogden (2011) captured the essence of global citizenship in three tenets, which are social responsibility, global competence, and global civic engagement. Using the three tenets of Morais and Ogden (2009), as well as a definition developed based on research, this researcher sought to discover the dispositions of African American undergraduate students regarding global citizenship and how, if at all, this student population connects to the world at large. An exploratory research initiative, this researcher utilized qualitative methodology under the interpretive paradigm to charter new territory in this vein. Interviewing 15 undergraduate students who self-identified as African American or Black, six themes were uncovered through the constant comparative method of analyzing data. Themes “Interconnectivity,” “Levels of Interest and Knowledge,” “Transforming the Black Image,” “Ripple Effect,” “Self and Others,” and “Connecting to Others,” helped to shed light on why participation and interest in global learning and global affairs is at such a low within this community of learners. This study and its findings are useful for multiple stakeholders within colleges and universities including administration, faculty, student services, international or global education practitioners, and formal and informal mentors to Black students. Although focused on Black students, the findings supersede boundaries of color and are helpful to those who have a passion for opening the eyes of any young scholar. At the conclusion of the study, suggestions are made on how to implement these findings into a university’s internationalization plan in order to expand the vision of creating the globally-minded and passionate scholar and graduate.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Education | Educational Leadership | Higher Education | International and Comparative Education