The use of MAP-Works to examine adjustment and retention in undergraduate international students

Date
2016-01-01
Authors
Simpson, Lindsay
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Linda S. Hagedorn
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Altmetrics
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Education
Abstract

Over the past several decades, United States institutions of higher education have experienced increased enrollment from international students. However, researchers have long acknowledged that many international students experience problems adjusting to life and studying in the United States, including culturally, academically, socially, and psychologically. These difficulties related to international student adjustment can easily translate into compromised academic performance, decreased mental health, and the potential for dropout. This study addressed the undergraduate international student adjustment and retention gap by examining data from MAP-Works™, a comprehensive student retention platform, to better understand if and how adjustment predicted undergraduate international student retention in a large, Midwestern research university in the United States.

The study used data from first-year undergraduate student participants from the MAP-Works™ retention system from 2008-2011. All participants completed the MAP-Works™ survey in the early part of the fall semester of their respective freshman years. Descriptive analysis, logistic regression analyses, and t-tests of regression weights were conducted to answer the research questions. Results of this study indicated that gender, homesickness, and social integration predicted two-year retention in undergraduate international students, while gender and basic academic behaviors predicted four-year retention in international students. No significant differences in significant predictors of retention existed between international and domestic students.

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