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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

College and Career Choices of International Graduate Students in the United States: A Focus on STEM
by Gao, Shuai Janet, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2021, 188; 28318204
Abstract (Summary)

This study addressed the college and career choices of international graduate students in the United States, particularly those in the STEM fields. International graduate students receive a large percentage of STEM advanced degrees earned at U.S. colleges and universities. The international demand for higher education in the United States creates a focus on the financial bottom line; there is little attention to the determinants of international STEM graduate students’ college and career choices. Recruitment and retention require knowledge of the characteristics of the students attending U.S. higher education institutions. Little research exists on international STEM graduate students in U.S. higher education and the factors associated with their choices. The purpose of this study was to address the gap in the literature on this population to contribute to efforts to recruit and retain them and subsequently enhance their contribution to universities and the labor pool in the United States. Perna’s integrated model of student college choice combined with the push-pull migration model guided data collection from the National Survey of College Graduates to understand the factors in international graduate students’ college and career choices. Policymakers and institution leaders could use this study’s findings to inform recruitment strategies and student programs to increase STEM enrollment and career participation. A binary logistic regression analysis tested direct paths from both individual and contextual factors to the outcomes. This study’s findings showed statistically significant associations between the individual and contextual factors, major choice, institution choice, and major-job relevance. This study filled the gap in the literature and contributed to the research on STEM international graduate students in the United States. Administrators and policymakers could use this study’s findings to inform postsecondary institution changes and direct international students toward success.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Klasik, Daniel
Commitee: Streitwieser, Bernhard, Gesing, Peggy, Okahana, Hironao , Rutledge, Janet
School: The George Washington University
Department: Higher Education Administration
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Higher education, Mathematics education, Science education
Keywords: Career choice, College choice, International graduate students, STEM fields, STEM enrollment
Publication Number: 28318204
ISBN: 9798582526094
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