Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Leadership and Policies

First Advisor

Christian K. Anderson


The aim of this dissertation is to analyze the emergence and development of study abroad program providers as a distinct model of study abroad program through archival research and interviews. This particular focus will allow scholars and international educators to understand how program providers emerged, evolved, and responded to the changing nature of education abroad. The combination lock theory and institutional theory provide a lens through which we can reconstruct the historical underpinnings of study abroad program providers. There is scant research on the historical aspects of the development of program providers. In this way, this research offers scholarly significance. Additionally, it allows education abroad professionals to develop a fuller sense of the history of education abroad and how study abroad program providers fit within that history. As special attention is paid to motivations for – and intentions behind – their emergence into the field, these findings provide guidance on how to make more meaningful and intentional decisions about partnerships between higher education institutions and study abroad program providers, ensuring that values, goals, and priorities are mutually aligned.