YSEALI Institute on Civic Engagement Spring 2023 Evaluation Report

Yiwei Zhang, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Allison Hoden, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Susan Reay, University of Nebraska at Omaha


Program Description

The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Institute on Civic Engagement at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is an “educational and cultural exchange program to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community” (YSEALI website). The program consists of academic coursework, cultural activities, and educational study tours, all of which focus on the areas of civic engagement, leadership, communication, and teamwork.

Program Objectives

1. Advance participant and beneficiary cross-cultural competence and global perspective 2. Increase the impact that participants and alumni have on their communities/countries 3. Strengthen engagement among participants, alumni, beneficiaries, and institutions 4. Strengthen a regional/multi-country ASEAN identity among participants and alumni 5. Strengthen personal, professional, and technical abilities and aptitudes of participants and beneficiaries 6. Increase the contribution of exchange programs to local economies in the U.S., and engagement of U.S. businesses, non-governmental organizations, and educational institutions in ECA programming 7. Enhance the quality and effectiveness of ECA programs by leveraging the Bureau’s resources, policy, and stakeholder relationships 8. Increase knowledge of Americans about countries and cultures in the ASEAN region


STEPs evaluated the key performance indicators, learning outcomes, satisfaction, and overall experiences of the Spring 2023 cohort at UNO and Arizona State University (ASU). STEPs collected data in collaboration with the YSEALI team in May and June 2023 to evaluate the YSEALI program. Data collection included two surveys (one for foreign participants and one for American participants) to collect primarily quantitative data and four participant focus groups (2 groups per institution) to collect qualitative data.