Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad has published Ph.D. student India Luxton’s research article “High Impact Learning in a Short-Term Study Abroad Program.” Co-authors are Dr. Rodolfo Valdes-Vasquez and Dr. Mehmet Egemen Ozbek (both Construction Management, CSU) and Laura Thornes (Education Abroad, CSU). This research is the outcome of a grant India received in 2018 to conduct in-depth interviews, ethnographic observations, and social network analysis in order to assess student outcomes of participating in a study abroad program located in Costa Rica.


This study examines a short-term study abroad program in Costa Rica. The goals of the study are to (1) investigate the link between high impact learning practices (HIPs) and program learning outcomes and (2) capture the relation between program structure, program facilitation, and student learning networks. The methodology includes ethnographic observations, student interviews, and social network analysis. The implementation of three HIPs in the program (applied learning, project-based, and cultural-learning) drives the change in student network structure. The article places scholarly attention on how HIPs incorporated into the program structure influence changes in student learning and support networks as well as influence student reported learning outcomes.