Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Case Study Exploring International Student Engagement at Small, Private Colleges
by Sullivan, William Danny, Jr., Ph.D., Northwest Nazarene University, 2017, 167; 10287823
Abstract (Summary)

Higher education institutions in the United States continue to face increased scrutiny to better monitor student persistence rates and to develop better strategies to retain more students through the attainment of a degree. Student retention work has become a major force among higher education professionals, and an entire industry has developed from the need to better create, monitor, and track retention efforts on campus. As federal and state regulations regarding funding and student aid continue to tighten, almost all the work toward retention study in higher education has been focused on domestic student populations. Retention studies on international students, one of the fastest growing populations of students, are limited and largely focused on large public universities. The purpose of this study was to better understand the persistence patterns of international students attending three small, private four-year colleges in the southeastern United States. Using a case-study approach, the researcher conducted individual interviews with students and international student officers and collected campus documents and resources at each institution. Themes from semi-structured interviews revealed the international students were formally and informally engaged in academic and social activities on campus. Further, engagement was promoted by formal campus-sponsored activities, international staff members’ personal involvement, and through faculty and staff interaction. The students became aware of campus resources through college programming, faculty and staff interaction, and peer interaction with other international students. This study found that international students utilized programs and resources that were generalized for the entire campus but that there is also a need to develop specialized programs and resources to address the issues unique to these students on campus.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Werth, Loredana
Commitee: Cooke, Carey, Kerstetter, Philip
School: Northwest Nazarene University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Idaho
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education
Keywords: International students, Retention, Student engagement, Student retention
Publication Number: 10287823
ISBN: 978-0-355-02743-3
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