Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Michael Wischnowski

Second Supervisor

Timothy Madigan

Third Supervisor

Mindy J. Hopper


Research has indicated that a global education, including study-abroad programs, is increasingly crucial in today’s world and offers intercultural, personal, academic, and career-related benefits to participants. However, there has been a paucity of academic research on best-class and study-abroad program designs for the deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The research to date has not included the experiences and perceptions of deaf students who participated in study-abroad programs. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived supports and barriers to study-abroad experiences of deaf students. Information gathered from the unique perspective of deaf study participants was used to assist in designing optimal classes and study-abroad programs that consider the cultural, visual, and linguistic needs of these students. This study incorporates Yosso’s community cultural wealth theory and investigates how deaf study participants develop social, familial, aspirational, linguistic, navigational, intercultural, and/or resistant capital, which are components of community cultural wealth (Listman, Rogers, & Hauser, 2011; Yosso, 2005, 2006). The researcher employed a qualitative methodology, specifically, phenomenology. Interviews were conducted with participants who are deaf students and have experienced study-abroad programs using the direct signing model. The phenomenon of interest is the sign-accessible Chile abroad experience of deaf students. Interview questions exploring the development of various capital were also asked (Listman et al., 2011; Yosso, 2005, 2006). At the conclusion of the study, the researcher viii recommends best practices in class- and study-abroad program designs from the deaf students’ perspectives.

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