Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Michele Devlin

Second Advisor

Sarah Montgomery


Service learning--Nicaragua--Case studies; Community development--Nicaragua--Case studies;


The purpose of the study is to explore how students on short-term international service-learning programs in Nicaragua interact with local communities by analyzing the structure of the programs as evidenced by course syllabi and website content. After extensive online research of international service-learning programs offered in Nicaragua, seven programs became the focus of the study. The four research questions included: 1) In what ways do the international service-learning programs support key components of service-learning, such as academic connections and reflection? 2) In what ways do the international service-learning program structure the time in the host country for service and tourism? 3) In what ways do the international service-learning programs show evidence of partnerships and reciprocity with the local communities? 4) In what ways do the international service-learning programs promote an asset-based community development approach, where local community members are driving initiatives to better themselves and their community? Through this study, it was expected that programs will have varying levels of interaction with local communities. By looking further at the four research questions, methods of increasing meaningful interaction with local communities will surface. Based on these findings, recommendations for future program leaders and students of international service-learning programs will be given to adopt in the planning and implementing of future service projects with local communities in less-developed countries.

Year of Submission



School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services


Department of Health Promotion and Education

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (54 pages)



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