Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Education Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Mary John O’Hair


To prepare students for an increasingly interconnected world, P-12 teachers must be trained to infuse intercultural and global perspectives into their teaching practice. However, teacher education programs (TEPs) have been criticized for their lack of global perspectives in the curriculum and have been found to be the least internationalized programs at United States (U.S.) universities. Though university senior international officers (SIOs) play a large role in developing a strategic approach toward curriculum internationalization, there is a paucity of research on their perspectives on this process.

In this explanatory sequential mixed methods study, TEP leaders and SIOs at universities in the U.S. were surveyed on their knowledge of research-backed frameworks to internationalize teacher education toward global competency for teacher candidates as well as whether these strategies are included in their TEPs’ strategic plans. Most TEP leaders were somewhat familiar with these strategies and more than half of the SIOs were somewhat or very familiar with them. Most TEP leaders reported that the strategies were included in their program’s strategic plan while nearly half of SIOs did not know whether they were included. Selected leaders then participated in semi-structured interviews to elaborate on their perspectives of the strategic planning and internationalization processes.

The data was examined through the theoretical framework of loose coupling, which illuminated the degree to which the separate university, internationalization, and TEP strategic planning processes at U.S. universities are responsive to each other while maintaining some autonomy. SIOs and TEP leaders both acknowledged that external factors other than strategic planning such as accreditation and teacher licensing standards most affected their internationalization strategies. These factors also sometimes served as barriers to internationalizing. Additionally, SIOs see university strategic plans as vague on internationalization, and they are unconcerned with directly addressing every component of the plan in their own internationalization strategic planning process. These findings indicate that the university and internationalization strategic planning processes appear to be loosely coupled while the internationalization and TEP strategic planning processes are largely decoupled. Insights regarding how SIOs can better support internationalization within teacher education programs are provided.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)