Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An Inquiry in to Chinese Alumni Attitudes Toward Their University of Pittsburgh Experience
by Moersch, Elise S., Ed.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2018, 79; 13819973
Abstract (Summary)

Over 300,000 Chinese students are studying in the U.S., making China the top country of international origin with 31.2 percent of all U.S. international students (IIE, 2015). In addition, 2015 saw a 10 percent increase in international students in the U.S., a statistic that underscores the assumption that globally mobile students regard the U.S. as a destination of choice (IIE, 2015). In the fall of 2015, 1,758 Chinese students were studying at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) (University of Pittsburgh Fact Book, 2016).

The number of Chinese alumni will increase as these matriculated students graduate from U.S. universities. However, Chinese alumni university philanthropy has lagged behind domestic and international alumni philanthropy (Zi, 2014). The need for private philanthropy is clear. Higher education in the United States is in a financial crisis. Decreased funding from state and federal governments combined with rising costs have led higher education institutions to enhance efforts to raise funds from private philanthropic sources (Pew Charitable Trust, 2015).

In order to develop a philanthropic relationship between Chinese students and their U.S. host institutions, it is necessary to understand their student experience. Very little is known about this population by university departments that regularly interact with Chinese students, including the Office of International Services (OIS) at Pitt. OIS works closely with all international students during their tenure at university and is responsible for securing a student’s Optional Practical Training (OPT) following graduation. Institutional Advancement (IA), the fundraising arm of a university, also has a vested interest in better understanding Chinese students.

This study employs a mixed-methods research design that employs a survey with Likert-style and open-ended responses. It asks Pitt’s Chinese alumni about their experiences as undergraduate or graduate students. The findings may help universities better serve Chinese students and develop strong alumni ties. The two key findings from this study found that predictors of Chinese students’ overall satisfaction and thus future engagement potential were (1) tied to students’ ability to gain work or career building skills through their classes, a university teaching experience, and/or internships, and (2) students’ satisfaction with their interaction with OIS is tied to the amount of time allocated to their appointments.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ferketish, Jean
Commitee: Creamer, Jennifer, Ferketish, Jean, McClure, Maureen
School: University of Pittsburgh
Department: Administrative and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 80/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Higher education
Keywords: Chinese alumni, Chinese students, Office international services
Publication Number: 13819973
ISBN: 9780438777200
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