Impacts of the International Cultural Service Program at University of Oregon: A Mixed Methods Program Evaluation
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In this study, I conduct a program evaluation of the International Cultural Service Program (ICSP), a scholarship program at University of Oregon which provides international students tuition remission in exchange for students giving presentations about their home country and culture in the local community and on campus. Through interviews, observations, and quantitative data, I assess ICSP’s impact on the community as well as the international students who participate in the program. After highlighting the research-based impacts of ICSP, as well as the program’s strengths and weaknesses, I provide recommendations for program improvement. This evaluation demonstrates that ICSP increases cultural awareness among ICSP students and community partners, positively impacts international student retention rates, and ultimately contributes to promoting peace across cultures—among a plethora of other benefits. This study incorporates best practices in program evaluation, and I conclude by providing a critique of the assessment process and suggestions for future studies.