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NAFSA 2007. What Role do Educational Institutions Play in Intercultural Success?. Basic phenomenon of interest.
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Basic phenomenon of interest • This discussion attempts to discern what personal characteristic students possess that contribute to success at educational institutions in the United States, and what services secondary schools, colleges and universities can provide to enhance scholastic and social success. These services include, but are not limited to, cultural-specific programmatic efforts and expansion of the role of faculty and staff to include awareness programs reviewing the common troubles experienced by sojourners
Colleges and universities have determined which characteristics and variables contribute to scholastic success for non-immigrants and immigrants in the United States and subsequently provide resources to foster recruitment and retention. Immigrants and non-immigrant visa holders represent a viable source of enrollment which contributes rents and adds funding and diversity to post-secondary institutions. Despite representing a sizeable portion of enrollment figures for colleges and universities, this group presents unique problems and challenges particularly relating to language and socialization issues.
From: Reversing the Tide: A Complex Visa Process Has Contributed to a Decline in the Number of International Students Coming to the Country since 9/11, By: Chandler, Dahna, Black Issues in Higher Education, 0742-0277, Investment in the U.S.: Though comprising just 4.6 percent of the U.S. higher education population, these nearly 600,000 international students and scholars contribute approximately $13 billion to the U.S. economy. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the American education system is the country's fifth largest service sector export. Moreover, two-thirds of international students and scholars are self-funding, with nearly 75 percent of all international student-funding coming from sources outside of the United States
International students studying in the United States contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. economy every year through their tuition, fees and housing expenses. According to the Institute for International Education (IIE), in 2005/2006 the net contribution to the United States economy by foreign students and their families was $13,491,000,000.
Student Success Defined • Success defined as persistence. • Success defined as graduation rates. • Success defined by students on a Likert scale.
Hypotheses • H01: Scholastic success is positively associated with a strong support person(s). • H02: Scholastic success is positively associated with English speaking ability. • H03: Scholastic success is positively associated with self-efficacy. • H04: Success is positively associated with the campus-based programmatic offerings.
Misconceptions: • Some communities do not care about the success of education and consequently do not get involved in the educational process. • Many times, community members and families feel unwelcome and intimidated by schools, consequently avoiding getting involved. Communities and families are aware of the importance the educational institution has on the future and welfare of its citizens and seek ways of becoming engaged. The responsibility of the institution is to create the avenues of opportunity and the vision for engaging communities in ways that strengthen those relationships and create nurturing environments that lead to happy and creative young people • Development Through Engagement: Valuing the “At-Promise” Community by Rosana Rodríguez, Ph.D and Abelardo Villarreal, Ph.D.
Common Current Practices • Preparation in advance for English speaking and writing (English as a Second Language ESL or English Language Learners ELL). • ESL support services which may include Supplemental Instruction, programmatic offerings or an academic writing center which may provide information on how to do PowerPoint, how to complete a resume, how to write a research paper. • Actual programs with the idea of integrating international students with United States students, integrative programs designed to connect students with others. • Orientations as to why international education is important • Mentoring
ESL • Current practices at your institution
Orientations • What is your college/university doing? • Creative • Innovative • What about resources?
Strong Support Person • What is your institution doing?
Programmatic offerings • What programs, if any, is your institution offering for visa holders.
Variables contributing to Student Success Sedlacek and Boyer (1989) identified variables which have been found to be related to academic success. The variables are: • Positive self-concept • Realistic self-appraisal • Preference for long-term goals over short-term, immediate needs • Availability of a strong support person • Successful leadership experience • Demonstrated community service
Seymour and Messinger (1995) • On many campuses students from culturally different backgrounds quickly link socially with similar others. Even in globally cosmopolitan contexts, American and international students live in separate societies, hardly brushing by each other on sidewalks.
Thomas & Choi (2006) • Findings underscored the importance of stability in immigrant families in coping with the stress of the acculturation process. • (social support)
Tinto’s Student Integration Model (1993) • Retention and persistence is related to the ability of the student to leave his or her previous life and become integrated into the academic and social life of the institution.
Tinto & Institutional Adaptability (2005) • “As the study of retention has developed, so too has awareness that each institution must tailor retention to fit the specific needs of its students and the context of the particular institutional environment”
Murphy (2006) • Factors Affecting the Retention, Persistence, and Attainment of Undergraduate Students at Public Urban Four Year Higher Education Institutions. • Assimilation theory may be a better fit than retention theory for explaining successful outcomes.
Bean’s Student Attrition Model (1980) • Students may leave school for many of the same reasons that employees leave organizations. • May be viewed as “institutional fit”. • Institutional commitment may be strongly related to proximity to family and community for immigrants particularly if the family language is not English (English as a predictor)
Ladd & Ruby (1999) The results of their Learning Style Inventory for international students was summarized as: • They wanted to pursue goals related to their immediate and specific interests. • They desired warm, personal relations with their instructors. • They might imitate behavior and work habits of the instructor. • They anticipated doing excellent or superior work.
Culture Shock • 1. The Honeymoon Stage During this stage a person may feel pleased with and excited about all new things one sees. One is excited that a dream to come to the United States has fulfilled. One is full of spirit and enthusiasm to learn about and get acquainted with everything around. • 2. Dissatisfaction Stage This stage is characterized by discontent, sadness, anger, frustration and feeling of incompetence. A person is trying to adapt to a new culture, however, this is not so easy. Communication problems and lack of others’ understanding may create hostility toward the new environment. • 3. Adjustment stage It is the stage of gradual understanding of the new culture. The person finally realizes that every culture has good and bad things. A sense of humor and relaxation may be experienced. One is not as lost in the new environment and gains a feeling of direction. The person understands a new culture and wants to belong to it. • 4. Integration stage The person develops a strong sense of wanting to belong to the new culture. Despite the homesick one still has, the person is well adjusted and establishes new goals in the new environment.
Fighting culture shock • 1. Try to get in contact and keep in close touch with the international students. Most of them have gone through the same process you are undergoing, so they will be compassionate and helpful. Participate in on campus events – that’s the easiest way to make friends and receive information. • 2. Adjust your expectations. While in your home country envisioned how things would be in the U.S., but the reality turns to be different and you realize that it takes a lot of effort and hard work to be successful. • 3. Don’t try too hard to adapt to the new environment and to become like the people you see around. You have not changed – it is the environment that is new and different. • 4. Don’t feel stressed if things don’t go as smoothly as you have expected. Don’t be afraid to turn to others for help and advice. • 5. Make your new home environment comfortable for you. • 6. Keep in close touch with your family and friends.
How to be a successful student • It is normal that newly arrived international students are uncertain of themselves when they arrive here in the United States. They may wonder if they made the proper decision to study here. International students should realize that it is natural to have questions, feel concern about proper etiquette and the processes for accomplishing tasks such as grocery shopping or banking. Here is a list of things, albeit incomplete, which we hope will help:. • • Attend class • • Participate in class • • Ask questions • • Utilize library and computer resources • • Communicate in English • • Recognize that culture shock does exist • • Stick to a regular study schedule • • Participate in Clubs such as the International Club • • Avoid “plagiarism”
• Integrate with the school and the community • • Utilize on-campus tutoring centers • • Obtain knowledge about academic policies and deadlines • • Be committed to completing your degree • • Get the proper amount of sleep and eat nutritiously • • Recognize difficulty with different foods • • Be physically active • • Attend the new student orientations • • Don’t be afraid to approach instructors and professors