The current global economy has created a new middle class around the world, making higher education more accessible to a wider population. The increasing diversity in U.S. higher education is not only the result of minority American students, but also due to the increasing enrollment of international students. This study examined the factors influencing retention from fall 2006 to fall 2007 of international undergraduate students (N = 454) in two public statewide four-year university systems. The model used in the study was based on a combination of retention models by Tinto (1975) and Astin (1970), and revisions made by Tierney (1992) and Pascarella and Terenzini (1980).
The data in this study were analyzed using stepwise binomial logistic regression as the primary statistical technique. The findings of this study showed that the results were consistent with other retention studies where there was no single factor or model to predict the persistence of postsecondary students in U.S. higher education institutions. Results for most variables studied were either unclear or inconsistent. Only academic achievement was consistently shown to have a statistically significant and positive effect on persistence into the second year of international students in this study.
The difference in the results of this study, in comparison to studies of factors affecting the retention of domestic students, is intriguing. In a way, this study raises more questions than it answers. In conclusion, this study indicated that variables, such as spring semester GPA, credit hours attempted, and on-campus employment have a positive effect on retention into the second year of international undergraduates.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. January 2010. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: Professor Darwin D. Hendel. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 195 pages, appendices A-C.
Kwai, Chee Khei (C.K.).
Model of international student persistence: factors influencing retention of international undergraduate students at two public statewide four-year university systems.
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