Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Education

Degree Name



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Sheila Gregory

Second Advisor

Dr. Moses Norman

Third Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner


The purpose of this study was to investigate the state of internationalization at the private Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCUs), and to identify select factors that drive or restrain the internationalization process at these particular institutions. The problem of practice explored by this study was that despite the research in U. S. higher education on internationalization, unique conditions exists, which impact comprehensive internationalization at private HBCUs. The problem of research addressed by this study was that although the literature indicates a wide array of approaches to internationalization in higher education, it does not include a study that specifically examines the unique challenges internationalization present to private HBCUs, or the applicable internationalization strategies given their unique institutional missions, cultures, histories, and priorities.

This mixed methods multi case study employed philosophical assumptions, the combined use of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and a sequential explanatory research strategy to examine the state of internationalization at private HBCUs. As a result of the quantitative phase, an Internationalization Index was created to select two private HBCUs (one Highly Active and one Less Active) institutions engaged in internationalization. Data were collected by on-line surveys, interviews, document analysis and qualitative observations and analyzed through within-case and cross-case examinations.

The findings indicate that four of the eight dimensions of internationalization introduced in this study were the least utilized strategies for achieving comprehensive internationalization at private HBCUs. The study revealed that the absence of assessment of global learning outcomes, foreign students, an internationalization review and an internationalized curriculum as strategies severely restrained the ability of the private HBCUs of this study to successfully achieve comprehensive internationalization. The conclusion drawn from the findings suggest that it is critical for private HBCUs to integrate the goals of all eight dimensions (internationalization strategies) into one comprehensive strategic plan to achieve sustainable internationalization, and subsequently, aligned with other institutional priorities.

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