Comparing Graduate Student Civic Engagement Outcomes in Chile Among Private For-Profit and Public Universities

Lisa R. Brown


This mixed-methods research examined civic engagement in Chilean public and private for-profit universities and its representation among study volunteers. Focus groups of graduate students along with in-person interviews with university administrators were conducted. The study also used an online survey, which was completed by 202 participants who had at minimum completed their título (first university degree). The mean age of participants was 32.5 with a standard deviation of 7.1 years. The theoretical framework in this study, spiral dynamic theory (SDT), helped guide the research as data was organized by worldview categories. Findings were that civic engagement, broadly conceptualized, was not well integrated into the Chilean higher education mission. Additionally, the key civic engagement study variables were statistically lower among the participants within the for-profit university environments. Participants also evidenced more higher order thinking and individualism at the for-profit universities based on the SDT memetic indicator classifications.

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