The purpose of this study is to determine factors influencing the academic engagement of upper-division undergraduate international students at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMTC). In keeping with the conceptualization of engagement as a "joint proposition"� (Davis & Murrell, 1993, p. 5), the research questions emphasize student-driven and institutional aspects of academic engagement. Bourdieu's (1986) forms of capital theory is employed to organize relevant literature and the study findings. The researcher utilized a mixed-methods research design. Data collection was primarily qualitative in nature and conducted via 20 semi-structured interviews; data were supplemented with the results from a quantitative on-line quantitative survey (n = 116) that provided broader coverage of the study themes. The researcher independently developed the survey instrument and the interview protocol. The study results are organized into individual and institutional factors affecting the academic engagement of upper-division undergraduate international students at UMTC. Key findings include the influence of campus-based relationships, including those among peers and with professors and teaching assistants, on students' academic engagement. Inductive coding of qualitative data also uncovered pedagogical supports for academic engagement including instructional clarity, opportunities for participatory and hands-on learning, guidance for group work, instructor feedback, and support for classroom inclusion and participation. Cultural factors and their relationship to international students' academic transitions are also included in the analysis and emerged as key factors influencing academic engagement of study participants.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2015. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisors: Gerald Fry, Deanne Magnusson. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 306 pages.
O'Brien, Mary Katherine.
Factors Influencing the Academic Engagement of Upper-Division Undergraduate International Students: A Case Study of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
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