Title

Promoting Diversity: Recruitment, Selection, Orientation, and Retention of International Students

Date of Degree

8-2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program

Education

Advisor

Patricia A. Watkins

Advisor

Louis J. Agnese

Advisor

D. Reginald Traylor

Advisor

Richard A. Gray

Abstract

The number of international students attending U.S. higher teaming institutions has decreased over the past decade from 40 percent to 30 percent. These students are an important resource for the U.S. and their native countries in terms of education, culture, and economy. Differences between international and domestic students currently enrolled in a private university were assessed using a new American College of Testing Survey of Student Opinion combined with a sociocultural adaptation scale. Those analyzed results were incorporated into a customized 18 question survey and interview process to assess international and domestic students who had not graduated. These analyzed assessments identified and increased the understanding of needs—academic and non-academic—so that recommendations could be made to the university on how to better satisfy those needs and thereby recruit and retain more international students. A total of 136 surveys and interviews were analyzed. Significant differences between international and domestic students in sociocultural adaptation and financial security and other notable differences in international graduate and undergraduate students exist. Recommendations focused on improving programs and services—orientation, advising, counseling. sociocultural, student governance, and support—to better integrate and promote diversity in meeting academic and nonacademic needs.

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