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International Graduate Students

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022010/00001

Material Information

Title: International Graduate Students Choice of Academic Majors and Academic Performance
Physical Description: 1 online resource (148 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: academic, choice, graduate, international, majors, performance, students
Educational Administration and Policy -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Higher Education Administration thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The increasing number of international graduate students has been a sizeable segment of the student body in the U.S. higher educational system. However, this is an understudied population in the educational literature. The majority of the research either focused solely on international undergraduate students or did not distinguish between international undergraduate students and international graduate students. Research has been limited on international graduate students as an isolated population. Therefore, this student population has not completely been understood by higher education administrators and faculty, and their diverse needs have not been met by existing services on campuses. International graduate students were studied as an isolated population in this study, which was conducted at a large southeastern four-year public university. This study examined reasons for international graduate students' choice of academic majors, factors associated with their academic performance, differences in teaching and learning methods in their home countries and in the United States, and learning and study strategies they used in the United States. Used in this study was the researcher's model of international graduate students' choice of academic majors and academic performance. The findings of the study may assist higher education administrators and faculty to better understand this population, and to provide appropriate and supportive services for them. This study also suggests policies, services, and programs to meet this population's unique needs and to assist their academic success in the United States.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Hagedorn, Linda.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022010:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022010/00001

Material Information

Title: International Graduate Students Choice of Academic Majors and Academic Performance
Physical Description: 1 online resource (148 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: academic, choice, graduate, international, majors, performance, students
Educational Administration and Policy -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Higher Education Administration thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The increasing number of international graduate students has been a sizeable segment of the student body in the U.S. higher educational system. However, this is an understudied population in the educational literature. The majority of the research either focused solely on international undergraduate students or did not distinguish between international undergraduate students and international graduate students. Research has been limited on international graduate students as an isolated population. Therefore, this student population has not completely been understood by higher education administrators and faculty, and their diverse needs have not been met by existing services on campuses. International graduate students were studied as an isolated population in this study, which was conducted at a large southeastern four-year public university. This study examined reasons for international graduate students' choice of academic majors, factors associated with their academic performance, differences in teaching and learning methods in their home countries and in the United States, and learning and study strategies they used in the United States. Used in this study was the researcher's model of international graduate students' choice of academic majors and academic performance. The findings of the study may assist higher education administrators and faculty to better understand this population, and to provide appropriate and supportive services for them. This study also suggests policies, services, and programs to meet this population's unique needs and to assist their academic success in the United States.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Hagedorn, Linda.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022010:00001


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1 INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDENTS: CHOICE OF ACADEM IC MAJORS AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE By JIA REN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Jia Ren

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3 To those I love(d) and those who love(d) me

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First, I would like to extend my deep appreciation to my advisor Dr. Linda Serra Hagedorn, who offered incredible support and guidance on my research. Her wisdom and patience encouraged me to overcome challenges and difficulties. Dr. Hagedorn convinced me ould like to thank my supervisory committee me mbers, Drs. Dale Campbell, Katherine Gratto, and E. Jane Luzar, for their tremendous assistance and understanding throughout my years of graduate study at the University of Florida. Much appreciation goes to Dr s. Linda Behar Horenstein and Lawrence Tyree for their great advice and assistance during my graduate studies. I also than k my colleagues and friends, Robert Amason, Conferlete Carney, Christopher Coogan, Craig Davis, Jennifer Kerkhoff, Anne Kress, Susan H errera, Christopher Mullin, Syraj Syed, and Yanmei Zhang, and other faculty and staff members in our department and college who made my experience at the University of Florida impressive and enjoyable. I also would like to thank the staff members in the li brary, In stitutional Research Office, International Center and the technology department for facilitating this research. Many thanks go to the international graduate students who participated in this study. I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to Drs. William Bozeman, Rosemarye Taylor, and LeVester Tubbs at the University of Central Florida for understanding, supporting, and guiding me during my first year of study in the United States. That successful first year experience gave me confidence to o btain a doctoral degree in the United States. Last, but not least, I am grateful to my husband, mother, parents in law, and brothers for their love, encouragement, and support all of which motivated me to complete this study. I would

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5 like to express specia l appreciation and love to our son, Benjamin, and daughter, Hanna, who continually bring us joy and happiness.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 9 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 11 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTI ON ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 14 Background ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 14 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 17 Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 18 Definition of Terms ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 19 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 22 2 REVIEW OF THE L ITERATURE ................................ ................................ ........................ 24 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 24 International Students in the United States ................................ ................................ ............. 24 ................................ ....................... 25 ................................ ................................ ....... 27 Language Bar rier ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 27 Academic Advisement ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 28 Educational System ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 29 Collegial A tmosphere ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 29 Teaching and Learning Methods ................................ ................................ ..................... 30 Culture Differences ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 31 Factors Associated with Academic Performance ................................ ................................ ... 32 English Language Proficiency ................................ ................................ ......................... 32 Learning and Study Strategies ................................ ................................ ......................... 33 Interaction with Faculty and Peers ................................ ................................ .................. 34 Social Influences ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 35 Social Interact ion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 36 Self Efficacy Beliefs ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 36 Academic Climate ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 37 Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 39 Multi Dimensional Factors ................................ ................................ .............................. 40 Factors Associated with Choice of Academic Majors ................................ ............................ 40 Academic Preparation ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 40 Social and Cultural Influences ................................ ................................ ......................... 41

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7 Gender Stereotype ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 42 Academic Climate ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 42 Value Systems ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 43 Multi Dimensional Factors ................................ ................................ .............................. 43 Expectancy Value Theory ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 44 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 46 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ........................... 49 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 49 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 49 Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 49 The Setting ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 50 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 50 Questionnaire Survey ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 50 Focus Group Interview ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 51 Conceptual Framework ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 52 Operational Definition of Variables ................................ ................................ ....................... 53 Dependent Variables ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 54 Independent Variables ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 54 Instrumentation ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 56 Questionnaire Survey ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 56 Focus Group Interview ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 57 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 59 Questionnaire Survey ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 59 Focus Group Interview ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 60 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 61 Statistical Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 61 Domain Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 63 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 64 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 70 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 70 Descriptive Statistics ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 70 Quantitative Results ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 72 Research Question One ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 73 Research Question Three ................................ ................................ ................................ 78 Research Question Four ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 82 Qualitative Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 84 Research Question Two ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 84 Research Question Five ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 87 Research Question Six ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 88 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 95 5 CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS ................................ ................................ .............. 109

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8 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 109 Summary of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 109 Findings and Discussions ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 111 Research Questions One and Two ................................ ................................ ................. 111 Research Question Three ................................ ................................ ............................... 114 Research Questions Four and Five ................................ ................................ ................ 116 Research Question Six ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 117 Implications ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 118 Contributions ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 123 Recommendations for Further Study ................................ ................................ .................... 125 APPENDIX A ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE PROTOCOL ................................ ................................ ........ 130 B FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEW PROTOCOL ................................ ................................ ...... 134 C RE PRINT PERMISSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 136 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 138 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 148

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9 LIST OF TABLES Table pag e 3 1 ....................... 66 3 2 major distribution by native region .......................... 66 3 3 Dependent variables, description, measures, and question numbers ................................ 66 3 4 Independent variables, description, measures, and question numbers ............................... 67 4 1 Number and proportion of participants by length of time in the U.S. ............................... 96 4 2 Mean, median, standard deviation, and range of length of time in the U.S. ...................... 96 4 3 Number and proportion of participants by length of weekly study time ........................... 96 4 4 Mean, median, standard deviation, and range of length of weekly study time .................. 96 4 5 Number and proportion of participants by proportion of time using native language ....... 96 4 6 Mean, median, standard deviation, and range of proportion of time using native language ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 96 4 7 Number and propo rtion of participants by proportion of time using three study methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 97 4 8 Mean, median, standard deviation, and range of proportion of time using three study methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 97 4 9 Number and proportion of participants by reasons for choice of academic majors .......... 97 4 10 Mean, median, standard deviation, and range of reasons fo r choice of academic majors ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 97 4 11 choice of academic majors ......... 98 4 12 Signi ficant independent variables and F values in the hard/pure academic majors .......... 98 4 13 Comparisons of significant factors in the hard/pure academic majors .............................. 98 4 14 Significant independent variables and F values in the hard/applied academic majors ...... 99 4 15 Comparisons of significant factors in the hard/applied academic majors ......................... 99 4 16 Significant independent variables and F values in the soft/pure academic majors .......... 100 4 17 Comparisons of significant fac tors in the soft/pure academic majors ............................. 100

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10 4 18 Significant independent variables and F values in the soft/applied academic majors ..... 101 4 19 Comparisons of significant factors in the soft/applied academic majors ........................ 101 4 20 ................................ ................... 101 4 21 ................. 102 4 22 ........................ 103 4 23 ................................ .... 105 4 24 ................................ ................... 105 4 25 ................. 105 4 26 mic performance factors ......................... 106 4 27 ................................ ..... 108 5 1 Significant factors asso ciated with choice of academic majors by type of academic majors ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 127 5 2 Significant factors associated with academic performance by graduate level ................. 129

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11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 value model of achievement motivation .................... 48 3 1 academic majors and academic performance ................................ ................................ .... 69

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12 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDENTS: CHOICE OF ACADEMIC MAJORS AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE By Jia Ren May 2008 Chair: Linda Serra Hagedorn Major: Higher Education Administration The increasi ng number of international graduate students has been a sizeable segment of the student body in the U.S. higher educational system. However, this is an understudied population in the educational literature. The majority of the research either focused solel y on international undergraduate students or did not distinguish between international undergraduate students and international graduate students. Research has been limited on international graduate students as an isolated population. Therefore, this stude nt population has not completely been understood by higher education administrators and faculty, and their diverse needs have not been met by existing services on campuses. International graduate students were studied as an isolated population in this stud y which was conducted at a large southeast ern four year public university This study examined reasons academic performance, differences in teaching and learning methods in their home countries and in the United States, and learning and study strategies they used in the United States Used in this study was t and academic p erformanc e The findings of the study may assist higher education administrators and faculty to better understand this population, and to provide appropriate and supportive

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13 services for them. This study also suggests policies, services, and programs to meet this po

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14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background The United States has become a major host country to international students. According to the Open Doors report (2006) 564,766 internatio nal students studied in American higher educational institutions in the 2005 2006 academic year (approximately 3.9% of the total post secondary enrollment), including 259,717 students in graduate programs (approximately 46% of the total international stude nts). Although the number of international students decreased 3.7% since September 11, 2001, the United States remains one of the major host counties. The total number of international students in the 2005 2006 academic year was 24.5% higher than the numbe r in 1995 1996 and 65.1% higher than the number in 1984 1985. The number of international graduate students increased 36.6% in 1995 1996 and 112.1% in 1984 1985 (Open Doors, 2006). The presence of international students increases diversity on American camp uses. academic and personal goals, but also an instrument in the economic, social and political pointed out that international students bring a multi students increase awareness and understanding of diverse cultures, values, beliefs, religions, customs, festivals, and political issues among American students. In the long term, it is generally believed that universal understanding of diversity benefits international business, culture exchange, interna tional relations, and world peace.

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15 International students also constitute a source of revenue for American higher educational institutions. Since international students at public institutions pay full unsubsidized tuition rates and have few opportunities t o receive financial aid from federal or state governments, the total economic contribution of international students in the United S t ates was more than $13 billion in 2005 2006 (Open Doors, 2006). Thus, the success of international students may be a predic tive may encourage others from their home countries to become economic contributors. nsures American sources at the undergraduate level were personal and family funds (81.5%), 11.4% of these funds were from U.S. colleges or universities (Open Doors, 20 06). At the graduate level, the primary funding source of international graduate students was U.S. colleges or universities (46.5%), which was even higher than personal and family funds (46.1%) in 2005 2006 (Open Doors, 2006). Therefore, the academic succe ss of international students, especially at the graduate level, directly affects the investment of the students as well as U.S. institutions. International graduate students play important roles in teaching assistance and research assistance in American hi gher education. When the class size is large, professors frequently teaching assistants, international graduate students provide more office hours to assist students in labs and after class. Some international graduate students are selected as instructors to ensure that courses and assistance are available to students. In addition, international research assistants work in experimental labs, libraries, and offices to s upport professors in research projects, patent applications, and development of publications. Chellaraj, Maskus, and Mattoo (2005) stated that

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16 percent increase in the number of foreign graduate students would raise patent applications by 4.7 percent university patent grants by 5.3 percent and non university patent maintain or improve university research prestige, but may also help the United States maint ain The increasing number of international graduate students has been a sizeable segment of the student body in the U.S. higher educational system. They make significant contributions to iversity, revenue, investment, research, and teaching. Research, however, has showed that the existing campus services are designed primarily for domestic students, and many of the needs of international students are not met by these services (Davis, 1999) It is not clear how universities can best assist international graduate students to achieve academic success, and only a little support has been provided to assist them. As a result, Shen and Herr (2004) suggested that educators and administrators face t his challenge and provide effective services for international needs. achievement are complex language proficiency and learning and study strategies were associated with international as pects. He recommended additional research to explore other factors associated with Previous research addressed only the choice of majors among American students (e.g., Galotti, 1999; Malgwi, Howe, & Burnaby, 20 05). However, existing research has not explored

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17 understanding is needed in how international graduate students select their academic majors in the United States. factors associated with academic performance, practitioners in higher educational institutions can aving a better understanding enables administrators to provide appropriate support services for international students to ensure their success in graduate study. Administrators can also help faculty members to assist these students in overcoming academic d ifficulties and achieving academic success. Purpose of the Study Th is study had four purposes: (a) to investigate the reasons for the choice of academic majors among international graduate students; (b) to identify the factors associated with international teaching and learning methods differ in the home country and the Un ited States; and (d) to explore the learning and study strategies that international graduate students utilize in the United States. In addition, the study may assist practitioners in higher education to better understand international graduate students. The study also provides suggestions and implications for policymakers, administrators, faculty, and staff to help this population of students be a cademically successful in the United States. To achieve these purposes, the six research questions of this study are: 1. What factors are associated with the choice of academic majors among international graduate students? 2. Wha t reasons for choosing academic majors are reported by international graduate students? 3.

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18 4. Do learning and teaching methods differ between the United States and internatio nal 5. What learning and teaching methods in the United States and the home country are reported by international graduate students? 6. What learning and study strategies are reported by international graduate students? Significance of the Study This study contributes to educational literature, knowledge, and practice. First, the study adds to the limited research on international graduate students. Due to the unique admissions requirements of U.S. universities for international students the specialized nature of graduate level study, and the critical contributions they make to the U.S. institutions, international graduate students need to be studied in isolation (Poyrazli, Arbona, Nora, McPherson, & Pisecco, 2002). International graduat e students have been understudied as a component of the graduate student population on American campuses. The population of international graduate students is a relatively new targeted population for the study on the choice of academic majors and academic performance. Previous research on choice of majors focused mainly on American undergraduate students (e.g., Galotti, 1999; was not found. International student Stoynoff, 1996, 1997); however, the focus of study was on international undergraduate students. solely on undergraduate students or did not distinguish between undergraduate and graduate students (e.g., Abel, 2002; Light, Xu, & Mossop, 1987; Selvadurai, 1998). Only a few researchers studied international graduate students as a separate group (e.g., Nelson, Nelson, & Malone, 2004; Poyrazli et al., 2002). Therefore, this present study adds to the literature and

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19 study also extends the existing research on internationa performance and learning and study strategies. This study extended the existing research on factors associated with international graduate language proficiency, learning and study strategies, and cross cultural adjustment. However, dimensional (Kuncel, Hezlett, & Ones, 2001). The study investigated other factors of academic performance of international graduate students. In addition, researchers have indicated that Fletcher & Stren, 1989; Shih & Brown, 2000). T he study added the demographic factors of gender, age, graduate level, native region, and length of time in the United States. Findings of the study may be of interest to practitioners in higher educational institutions with large international graduate st udent populations, as well as to those institutions that wish to attract a larger number of international graduate students. The study provides quantitative and acad performance, differences in learning and teaching methods in the home country and the United States, and the learning and study strategies used in graduate study in the Unit ed States. The study informs institutional faculty and administrators how to better understand this particular population and the ir academic needs. The study lead s to new policies, services, programs, and resources that particularly support international g raduate students in American institutions of higher education. Definition of Terms Various terms were used in this study These terms are defined in the alphabetical order.

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20 Academic major: The academic field that a student chooses to study. This study appl ied (Hativa & Marincovich, 1995, p. 19). Biglan used multi dimensional scaling to classify academic imilarities among various disciplines: (1) time use (research, teaching, consulting time); (2) scholarly output (monographs); (3) funding source (private, state, federal); and (4) attitudes (conservative view, attitude toward scholarship and application). paradigm development paradigm disciplines (i.e. theoretical disciplines (i.e., physical sciences and humanities) Practical disciplines (i.e., In this study, academic majors are classified into four categories of two dimensions: hard/pure, hard/applied, soft/pure, and soft/applied (Biglan, 1973a, 1 973b). The hard/pure category includes disciplines in natural sciences; the hard/applied category includes disciplines in agriculture and forestry, engineering, and health sciences; the soft/pure category includes disciplines in the humanities and arts an d the social sciences; the soft/applied category includes disciplines in architecture and design, business, communications and journalism, education, law, and public affairs. rea. It is typically measured by grade point average (GPA). English language proficiency: A non language skills. Typically American university admissions offices require a score of 550 (paper

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21 based) or 213 (com puter based) or 80 (Internet based) on TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) as a satisfactory score for English language proficiency in academic study. tasks eit her in the immediate or long term future ( Eccles Parsons, Adler, Futterman, Goff, Kaczala, Meece, & Midgley, 1983). decision. International student: A student who is not a U. S. citizen or a permanent resident and who holds a non immigrant student visa for the purpose of seeking a degree at a U.S. higher educational institution. Welcome of international students: the quality and state of acceptance and welcome that an internati onal student experiences and feels. of the English language Learning and study strategies: A variety of approaches that a student uses to facilitate learning, to acquire new knowledge, and to perform well on course assignments and exams, for example, learning method, study style, and length of study time. as Africa, Central and Sout h America, Central and South Asia, East and Southeast Asia, Europe, Middle East, North America, and Oceania. Subjective values: The attainment value (the importance of doing well on a given task), intrinsic value (the enjoyment one gains from doing the tas k), and utility value (how a task fits Parsons et al., 1983).

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22 Limitations One of the limitations of this study was the relatively low response rate of the online survey. The online survey was sent to 2,112 registe red international graduate students at the Institutional Research, and 607 online survey emails were bounced back. However, 505 responses were collected after the original survey email and two follow up emails. The response rate was 33.5%. Several reasons for this relatively low response rate occurred. First, Sheehan and some survey response rate is between 25% and 30% (Kittleson, 1997). Second, confidentiality and Internet security was a concern for many participants. Some respondents were hesitant to reply to a request for participation over the Web (Sills & Song, 2002), although the informed consent emphasized that the answers were confidential and anonymous. Third, the online survey link was accounts. Some students did not check this university email account often, and they may have missed the response deadline or they did not read these emails. Fourth, due to the increasing amount of junk emails, students might have deleted the survey emails directly as junk emails or may never have had the chance to read the emails categorized in the junk email file. Since the online questionnaire and the focus group inte rview were completely confidential and anonymous, the researcher had no way to confirm the accuracy of the answers. Therefore, the study assumed that all the answers were accurate. However, if some participants answered the questionnaire and/or interview q uestions inaccurately for various reasons, the validity of the results might be impacted.

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23 The results of the study may not be generalizable to other institutions. The study was conducted in a southeastern public university with an enrollment of approximate ly 50,000 students. The number includes more than 3,000 international students, 2,100 of whom are in graduate programs. Since the participants were from one institution, the study results may be applicable only to public universities with a large number of international graduate students who are demographically alike.

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24 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERA TURE Introduction In this chapter, a review of relevant literature is presented. An overview of the following topics are presented: (a) international students i n the United States; (b) American graduate factors associated with academic performance; (e) factors associated with choice of academic majors ; and (f) expectancy val ue theory This chapter concludes with a summary. International Students in the United States The number of international students in the United States has consistently increased since the 1950s (Open Doors, 2006). Although the number of international stud ents has decreased during the past several years due to the September 11 2001 event, the United States is still one of the top countries attracting international students. According to the Open Doors report (2006) 564,766 international students studied i n American higher educational institutions in 2005 2006 (approximately 3.9% of the total post secondary enrollment), including 259,717 students in graduate programs (approximately 46% of the total international students). Business and management, engineeri ng, physical and life sciences, social sciences, and math and computer science were the top five academic fields in which international students studied. Approximately 55% international students came from Asia. India, China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan were t he top five regions that international students came from (Open Doors, 2006). Enrollment of international students has enriched U.S. higher education spiritually, f in the universal value of education and seek to further international understanding and good will

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25 educational institutions have increasingly depended on the enro llment of international graduate students, especially in doctoral programs. The steady decline of U.S. doctoral students in certain disciplines resulted in the increasing number of international students (Davis, 1999). According to the Open Doors report (2 006) international graduate students represented approximately 10% of graduate enrollment in U.S. higher educational institutions. term goals varied. Some students planned to return to their homes immediately after finishing their studies in the United States because they had commitment s a sense of security, family ties, and /or a promise of a career promotion in their home countries. Others planned to stay in the United States indefinitely du e to family expectations, professional growth, a satisfying salary, living and working environment, a sense of job dignity, and lack of job opportunities in their home countries. The location of a satisfying job tended to be the main reason that some stude nts had uncertain plans about leaving or staying in the United States upon graduation. Leppel, Williams, and Waldauer (2001) suggested that educational choices and career choices were essentially linked, and educational decisions were a step toward career decisions. Hence, the long term goals may affect Patrycia Gajdzik (2005) indicated that research on postsecondary students has focused primarily on Logan & Issac, 1995). It is estimated that 25% of college graduates go to graduate schools either immediate ly after only half of enrolled doctoral students actually graduate (Bowen & Rudenstein, 1992). Golde (1998) summarized five reasons that contributed to doctoral s out. The first reason

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26 was dissatisfaction with doctoral lifestyle which was the most common reason. The second reason was a lack of overall balance between personal life and academic life. The third reason was a perceived mismatch between per reason was a lack of desirable job prospects. The fifth reason was feeling that individual expectations cannot be met. hey may deal with academic adjustment getting familiar with departmental and graduate norms, exploring areas of emphasis, and understanding degree requirements (Weidman, Twale, & Stein, 2001). On the other hand, they may experience life changing events, su ch as a change in a job or job status, a change in financial status, and a change in social relationships (Gajdzik, 2005). Many graduate students, especially first year students, experienced stress due to dealing with these loads. Problems and challenges f off between attending undergraduate and graduate school, task overload, taxing family and community obligations, full time employment and lack of opportunities to interact with other students in simi In addition, Polson (2003) pointed out that graduate students played multiple roles unlike traditional undergraduate students. They pursued satisfactory academic grades, prepared for comprehensive examinations, and c ompleted a thesis or dissertation project. In addition, some graduate students were also expected to be research assistants or co researchers in research projects or teaching assistants or instructors for undergraduate courses. Some of the graduate studen ts had family obligations, or they were part time or full time employees. Multiple roles

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27 establishing priorities, time management, family and university supports, and the wise use of International graduate students encounter many of the same common problems that American graduate students confront (Gajdzik, 2005). Pedersen (1991) stated th at international graduate students faced more problems and challenges than their American peers when they enrolled in American higher education and these obstacles may lower their academic achievements. The Un ited States has been a major host nation to international students. However, studies indicated that international students face various challenges and problems when they study in the United States (e.g., Angelova & Riatzantseva, 1999). Moreover, researcher s have pointed out that the difficulties faced by international students in the United States remain unchanged despite the fact that the population of international students has grown dramatically (Selvadurai, 1998). These problems include language barrier s, insufficient academic advisement, incomplete knowledge of a different educational system and different teaching methods, a foreign collegial atmosphere, and cultural shock. Language Barrier Studies have indicated that the first barrier encountered by in ternational students is language proficiency (Mori, 2000). A substantial proportion of these students do not speak English as their home language. Although most international students were able to pass standardized English proficiency examinations (e.g., T OEFL), they still have difficulties in understanding lectures, expressing ideas, writing reports, taking notes, reading academic literature, and understanding informal language (Angelova & Riatzantseva, 1999).

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28 International students had difficulties in lis tening and speaking areas (Kim, 2005). I n study ( 2002) a survey was conducted by using a simple measure of (FSE). The results showed that local stud ents scored significantly higher than international students, and similarly, in their academic results, local students achieved significantly higher scores than international students. Academic Advisement Charles and Stewart (1991) pointed out that the obj ectives of academic advisement important but difficult job. Inadequate academi c advisement for international students contributed to poor academic performance and failure to graduate on schedule (Charles & Stewart, 1991). Although not all academic advisement was poor, Charles and Stewart (1991) pointed out that many international st udents faced multiple issues. First, academic advisors may not have cultural sensitivity to understand different world views, so their advisement may not help international students understand and adjust to American academic demands. Second, academic advis appropriate advisement on language support courses to help them overcome the language barrier. advisors may not be aware of adjustment issues that these students confront, so they may misguide them to advisors may not know academic restrictions made by t he U.S. immigration laws and/or their home governments. International students must take minimum academic credits each semester to

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29 keep their student visas in the United States, and/or pursue a certain academic major in a limited time to continue their fin ancial sponsorship provided by the home government. International students may have problems if these requirements are not met. Educational System Many international students have been faced with difficulties in adjusting to the American educational system and educational environment (Ward, Bochner, & Furnham, 2001). Most of these students have received their early education in other educational systems that differ in practice, content, and context from the educational system of the United States (Dunphy, 1 999). the educational system was perceived as more distant from the U.S. perceived their academic experiences as more stressful than did students from countries having mo re similar education al Rosenblatt and Christensen (1993) found th at the adaptation was even harder for international graduate students. The universities assumed that graduate students knew what they should do, so the graduate school, the departments, or academic programs seldom provided orientation programs to address g experienced the same confusion as new undergraduates with no previous experience in American higher education. Collegial Atmosphere The difficulties of adjustment to American classroom atmosphere and faculty student rapport have also been reported. Gulgoz (2001) found that the relationships with ot her students and professors and the size and atmosphere o f the classroom were usually different from

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30 American classroom principles, values, and practices, and be unfamiliar with classroom discourse patterns and expectation s (Kim, 2005). In some cultures, classroom interaction was not expected, unless students were asked to speak (Marin, 1996). However, American students and teachers unconsciously share these assumptions and expectations about classroom conduct and practices to international students, such as classroom participation, discussion contribution, and critical questions (Robinson, 1992). The informal student faculty interactions often confused international students who experienced a greater distance between facult y and students in their home countries (Edwards & Tonkin, 1990). In addition, international students who were used to cooperative learning styles may feel uncomfortable in a competitive environment in American classrooms (Edwards & Tonkin, 1990). Teaching and Learning Methods American classrooms emphasize d interaction between the student and the teacher. Therefore, coaching and problem solving teaching methods were used often in the United States (McKeachie, 1994). Lectures with individual student participa tion and lectures with group discussion we re the preferred teaching styles (Beishline & Holmes, 1997). However, these teaching methods we re different than those in other countries where students were note takers or memorizers, and the teacher was seen as t he sole authority (Bilal, 1990). Liu (1995) also indicated that students from other cultures expected students to be quiet in the class and not to critique outside the study in the United States. Ladd and Ruby (1999) discovered that most international students changed their learning method from memorizing to problem solving in order to adju st to the change in the teaching met hod, that is, from lecture to an active learning environment.

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31 Beets and Lobingier (2001) found that the relationship between the teaching style and the learning style preference of the individual student influenced the s performance. They also indicated that student attitudes were better if the teaching and learning style matched. Onwuegbuzie, Bailey, and Daley (2000) noted that when the learning style matched the teaching style, student achievemen t score s were higher than those when the learning style did not match the teaching style. They suggested that the instructors pay attention to all students, especially those with different learning styles. Culture Differences Cultural shock is another common chal lenge that international students face. International students may not understand American culture, religion, values, and political attitudes when they first arrive in the country. Homesickness, loneliness, and confusion were experienced by most internatio nal students who were from different cultures (Pedersen, 1991). Sandhu and Asrabadi (1994) reported that Americans lacked multi cultural sensitivity and awareness. Therefore, international students often felt it was difficult to communicate or socialize wi th Americans. Selvadurai (1998) concurred that international students may have a positive academic and personal experience when they have satisfactory contacts with the host community. ture of the United was similar to the American culture, he had less difficulty adapting. In contrast, those having a different culture had more problems in adap ting (Gareis, 1995). Most international students who were from cultures with close family ties, collectivism, distinct patterns of etiquette, and strong liberal c ulture with emphasis on independence and individualism (Selvadurai, 1998).

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32 Factors Associated with Academic Performance performance. For international graduate students, these factors included, but were not limited to, English language proficiency, learning and study strategies, interaction with faculty and peers, social influences, social interac tion, self efficacy beliefs, academic climate and demographic information Other f actors were also discussed in previous studies. English Language Proficiency Researchers found a positive relationship between language proficiency and academic achievement among international students. Dodge (1990) reported that in the first semester, int ernational students from non English speaking countries struggled more than those who speak English as their first language. Stoynoff (1997) stated that one predictor of the academic success of international students focused on English language proficiency measured widely by the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Many studies (e.g., Abadzi, 1984; Burgess & Greis, 1984; Riggs, 1982) reported that TOEFL scores were positively correlated with GPAs (grade point averages). However, Roemer (2002) stat ed that TOEFL scores may not be an accurate measure of English language proficiency. Nelson and colleagues (2004) found that TOEFL scores were not a predictor of program completion. Researchers found that TOEFL and GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores we re reliable measures for predicting international student success in American graduate schools. Ayres and Quattlebaum (1992) and Nelson and colleagues (2004) found that the TOEFL score had predictive power in determining graduate grade point average (GGP A). Light and colleagues (1987) found that the overall TOEFL scores were significantly correlated with international TOEFL scores, the more graduate credit hours th at student was able to earn in the first semester

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33 (r = .19, p < .01). However, some researchers have asserted that their studies did not find clear their academic success as measured by GGPA (e.g., Neal, 1998; Yan, 1995; Yule & Hoffman, 1990). Others have found that GRE scores we re a significant indicator of international graduate student success in terms of program completion. Malone, Nelson, and Nelson (2001) fou nd that the verbal portion of the GRE (GRE V) was a reasonable predictor of success, as defined by program completion. Nelson and colleagues (2004) discovered that GRE scores are generalizably valid predictors of first year GGPA and final GGPA. However, Ne al (1998) showed that only GRE quantitative and analytical scores and GGPA were positively correlated. Language skills also play a prominent role in graduate study. Cummins (1980) distinguished between basic interpersonal communication skills and cognitiv e academic language proficiency. He noted that mastery of appropriate communication skills for academic success was a complex and formidable task for international students. The language skills requirement may vary by academic disciplines and different col leges and universities in which international students study (Light et al., 1987). Academic performance in the natural sciences, which requires more quantitative competencies, was less affected by English language proficiency than academic achievement in t he humanities and social sciences (Light et al., 1987). They showed a stronger relationship between academic performance and language skills for humanities/fine arts/social science s students than for natural science s /math/business students (Light et al., 1 987). Learning and Study Strategies

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34 997, p. 63). Studies reported that some factors those that have important effects on the academic achievement of international students were different from the abilities measured by TOEFL scores (Boyer & Sedlacek, 1988; Light et al., 1987). Cognitive psych ologists have developed a conceptualization of learners as active and engaged participants in the learning process (Wittrock, 1986). Weinstein and Mayer (1986) emphasized the importance of active learners developing their own learning strategies and then a ctively organizing and adjusting their study behaviors. They revealed that active students were capable of controlling the ways in which they learn, and they use a variety of strategies to organize, implement, monitor, and adjust their learning behavior. A bel (2002) Stoynoff (1997) discovered that LASSI (Learning and Study Strategy Inventory) scale scores were correlated with internati GPA. The highest correlations for each scale were obtained during the first academic semester, and the correlations were significant for the motivation, self testing techniques, and test taking strategi es scales. Stoynoff (1997) also stated: More academically successful students better manage their study time, were better able to prepare for and take tests, were better at identifying the main ideas in spoken and written discourse, made better use of soci al support systems, and spent more time studying than less academically successful students. (p. 64) Interaction with Faculty and Peers Pascarella (1985) indicated that student interactions with faculty and peers influenced Studies showed that the student peer culture was a potentially significant influence on individual academic behavior (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1982). Peer interactions including activities in and out of classrooms had a strong positive effect on college stu

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35 was not the only agent of socialization on campus with implications for student achievement. Students also had an extended series of interactions with faculty in bo th formal classroom and informal, non classroom settings. Classroom instructional experiences and their influence on specific course content learning constitute interactions with faculty in less formalized, non classroom situations appeared to influence a wide range of outcomes (Pascarella, 1980). Kuh and Hu (2001) indicated that fa culty generally attached substantial value to student behaviors which increase academic achievement and learning. They also showed that faculty influence on student values and behaviors was usually enhanced through informal contact beyond the classroom. Th us, student faculty interaction both in and out of classrooms is a potentially important influence on student achievement. Social Influences well being (Sandhu, 19 social influences were from family, peers, and mentors. These influences were significant to stment as that international students who had a stronger social support network in their new academic environment tended to feel less stressful than those who did not have a strong social support network. academic success is an essential factor, but social assistance is worth additional exploration. He also pointed out that a relate d issue was the extent to which seeking social assistance leads to a

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36 formal mentoring process that permitted international students to successfully cope with the academic demands of their courses and helped them to negotiate the educational system despite limitations in language ability and differences in cultural background (Stoynoff, 1997). Social Interaction Many international students experienced anxiety, loneliness, or feelings of isolation in the new environment (Pedersen, 1991). Studies found that so cial interaction with local people was States (Chen, 1999). Boyer and Sedlacek (1988) indicated that international students who socialize frequently with host p eople often experience easy adjustment and attain academic success. However, Gajdzik (2005) also showed that graduate status and the language barrier limited aca demic demands required a large amount of time but left international graduate students little time for socializing (Chapdelaine & Alexitch, 2004). In addition, an inadequate language skill is another obstacle for social interaction with Americans. Crawford (2000) indicated that Americans often appeared to be impatient with foreign students who speak with a strong accent and limited communication vocabularies. Hence, little or no social interaction may affect d academic life in the United States. Self E fficacy Beliefs Self 391). Coffm an and Gilligan (2003) have found that self efficacy was positively correlated with college student adjustment and satisfaction with life. Leund and Berry (2001) studied self efficacy beliefs of international and host students at a Canadian university. The y discovered that

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37 international students reported lower self efficacy compared to host students. They also found that higher self efficacy beliefs were correlated with better adjustment among international students. Maddux and Meier (1995) noted that self They pointed out that international students who have strong beliefs about their academic ability and competency tended to set higher academic goals and strive for a better adaptation to reach the goals. efficacy likely helps international students feel that they have the ability and competence to deal with academic believed that their English was adequate encountered less academic difficulties than those who Academic Climate Tinto (1997) indicated that the academic climate in higher educational institutions had was correlated to student academic outcomes. Academic climate includes critical mass and academic sub environment. Critical mass Hagedorn, Chi, Cepeda, and Mc Newman and Exum (1998) and Laden and Hagedorn (2000) indicated that the lack of a critical mass caused feelings of loneliness, isolation and discrimination among under represented student groups. In contrast, minority students felt supported and comfortable in the environment with a critical mass (Etzkowitz, Kemelgor, Neuschatz, Uzzi & Alonzo, 1994).

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38 Although Hagedorn and her colleagues (2007) studied Hispanic students at community pointed out the importance of critical mass. Those studies suggested that the critical mass may in higher education. Nevarez (2001) suggested that increasing the numbers of minority students and minority faculty mem both the level of minority students and the level of minority faculty had a positive rel ationship faculty on campus increased a critical mass and academic success (Hagedorn et al., 2007). The crisis mass may have the similar influences on international s tudents. Academic sub environment Pike and Killian (2001) stated that the academic sub environment was related to student learning. Astin (1993) analyzed longitudinal data from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program He found that majoring in the s ciences was positively related to gains in critical thinking and problem solving, but majoring in the arts was negatively related to gains in critical thinking. In addition, doctoral student research cultures between non science and science fields were com pared. In laboratory based science subjects, doctoral students were often attached to research teams that included post doctoral researchers and members of the research staff. The dissertation topic and often its funding were normally derived from a team b ased project (Delamont, Parry, & Atkinson, 1997). However, in social science fields, students usually chose their own topics and were rarely attached to a research team. Funding for full time students was not usually tied to the research grants held by sup

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39 majority of academics were more likely to see the process of achieving a doctorate in terms of the doctor and becoming a member of a disciplinary culture, one of whose distinguishing characteristics was its i in different academic fields, even in the same institution, experience different sub environments which may affect their academic achievement. Demographics The relationship between acade mic performance and gender has been studied. Scanlon measured by GPA and gender female students achieved better grades than males. Other studies, however, found that f emale students had greater problems than male students (Gordon & Wyant, 1994; Phongsuwan, 1996). But the authors pointed out that women may be more likely to express their feelings about problems and concerns than men do. However, Park, Hayes, and Foster ( 1994) reported that they did not find a significant difference between female students and academic performance Ganz and Ganz (1988) academic success the older the studen t, the better the grades. Naidoo (1990) also discovered that students below 30 years of age had more academic problems than those more than 30 years old. On the contrary, Roongrattanakool (1998) reported that older students faced more problems than you nger students Saisuphaluck (1997) indicated that age was not related to international academic success Length of time stay in the United States was another demographic factor studied. Ali (1991) and Phongsuwan (1996) revealed that international stu dents who spent less time in the United States experienced more academic problems than those who had stayed longer.

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40 Multi D imensional Factors Kuncel, Hezlett, and Ones (2001) pointed out that graduate school performance was multidimensional. Although the T OEFL and GRE were critical elements of international rceptions of their own success, were also important contributors to international indicated that time management, classroom dynamics, and social and educational assistance were additional factors of academic success. beliefs, achievement expectancies, and measured by their GPA. H e found that the combin ation of academic background, self belief and achievement expectancies explained a significant proportion of the variance in their first year GPA in college. Factors Associated with Choice of Academic Majors Porter and Umbach (2006) showed that studies on the choice of academic majors have emphasized academic preparation, academic climate, value systems, social and cultural influences, and demographic attributes of students and how they affect choice of college majors. Studies also di scussed the impact of combination of factors. Academic Preparation Students entered specific academic majors in post secondary education because they had coursewo rk track and academic achievement, as measured by standardized test scores, can be

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41 used to reflect academic preparation. In other words, the higher the coursework track and the Research majors. Simpson (2001) noted that the more math preparation a student receives in high school, the more likely this student chooses a technical related major. Lackland and De L isi (2001) also pointed out that student selection of courses and majors was based on their previous academic performance and expectancies. Social and Cultural Influences and choices. Zea, Jarama and Bianchi (1995) found the social support that a student receives from his education significantly impacted their educational attitude and college plans. Simpson (2001) indicated that parental ties a and achievement, but also affected their selection of academic majors. Chao (1996) stated that Asian American parents place considerable value on education, and closely monitor their childr In addition, Shih, Pittinsky, and Ambady (1999) indicated that the influence of socio cultural stereotypes on individual performance was powerful. Song and Glick (2004) pointed out family, cultures, and traditions. Therefore, these students were more likely to choose typical Asian college majors, such as science related and technology related majors (Tang, Fouad, & Smith, 1999). Song and Glick

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42 (2004) also found that Asian women were more likely to choose nontraditional female majors and careers than their female counterparts. Gender Stereotype Several studies (e.g., Turner & Bowen, 1999) noted that gender role identification yder and Hoffman (2000) pointed out that education and nursing majors were dominated by female students, while engineering and science majors were over represented by males. In addition, Turner and Bowen (1999) found that academic ability measured by SAT ( Standard Aptitude Test) scores did not explain the different choice of majors among male and female students. Lackland and De Lisi (2001) explained that English, education, and nursing majors were dominated by women because of their traditional female role of majors in m athematics, engineering, and natural sciences. Previous studies have shown that gender role socialization (e.g., nurturing and involvement with people) and family responsibi lity (e.g., pregnancies and child rearing) were the was positively related to the nontraditional major choice of their daughters, that is, female students whose mothers work in nontraditional fields were more likely to choose nontraditional majors than those whose mothers are in traditional fields. Academic Climate Kante r (1993) found that women tended to study in the fields that enroll a large number of females rather than studying in fields with few women. Sandler and Hall (1986) explained that a from an under representation of women in natural sciences and engineering majors. The small proportion of female students in the classes caused discomfort and

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43 a feeling of lack of support in the learning environment. Thus, Porter and Umbach (2006) oices of academic fields. Etzkowitz and colleagues (1994) studied academic culture for women in the fields of number bring about qualitative improvement in conditions and accelerates the dynamics of departmental culture, and this change influences the academic performance and choices of female graduate students who usually see female faculty as their role models. Value Systems Lackland and De Lisi (2001) used the expectancy value model (Wigfield & Eccles, 2000) to predict college s value systems were significant predictors of choice of academic majors. For example, they found that selection of a helping profession major was associated with a humanitarian concern, but selec tion of a science major was not associated with that kind of concern. However, the utility value was highly ranked among science majors, especially in male students. The study also indicated that students selected courses of study based on their value syst ems, and in turn the experience in the selected courses tended to affect their value systems. Multi D imensional Factors Lackland and De Lisi (2001) indicated that institutional factors and academic ability play a role in the selection of academic majors, b Turner and Bowen (1999) found that difference in the academic preparation especially pre college level mathematics performance was one of the main factors that influence academic choices among women and men. They asserted that men tend to take more advanced math

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44 courses in high school than their female counterparts, and then they may exceed women in math inte rest in the subject, the availability of jobs, and the potential earnings related to the major (Kim, Markham, & Cangelosi, 2002; Malgwi et al., 2005). However, studies found some differences among genders. Malgwi and colleagues (2005) also indicated that w omen were strongly influenced by their beliefs, while men were more influenced by expectations. Eccles, Adler, and Meece (1984) also found that females tend to have lower estimates of their abilities, performance, and expectations for future success than m ales in specific tasks. Women expected to do less well than men on male typed academic tasks (e.g., mathematics and sciences), but do better on female typed tasks (e.g., English) (Eccles, Adler, & Meece, 1984) The authors also pointed out that individ ual differences on subjective task values were influenced by social stereotypes, parents, teachers, and peers. Due to the different socialization experiences, Eccles and her colleagues (1984) explained that gender differences in academic cho ice and achieve ment are from gender differences in the subjective value attached to various achievement activities. Expectancy Value Theory Wigfield and Eccles s (2000) e xpectancy v alue t heory of achievement motivation was developed on Eccles Parsons and her colleagues (1983) expectancy value model of achievement performance and choice. This theory was originally developed to understand elementary and secondary school students performance and choice of academic activities. In the expectancy value model (Figure 2 1) s tudent s academic related choice s are influenced by subjective task values and expectation of success. Wigfield and Eccles (2000) proposed three major components of subjective values: attainment value, intrinsic value, and utility value. Eccles Parsons and her colleagues (1983) defined these values individually: (1)

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45 attainment value was the importance of doing well on a given task; (2) intrinsic value was the enjoyment one gains from doing the task; and (3) utility value or usefulness referred to how a task fits into an individual s future plans. Expectation of suc cess was defined by Eccles Parsons and her colleagues (1983) as people s beliefs about how well they will do on upcoming tasks, either in the immediate or longer term future. Both values and expect ations are directly influenced by individual s goals and beliefs according to the model. Achievement goals were defined as the broad purposes people have for learning or doing different activities (Eccles Parsons et al., 1983). It includes short term and long term goals. Short term goals may be a choice of a certain course or gain a higher grade in the course. Long term goals include career plans and goals. Ability beliefs were defined as the individual s per ception of his current competence at a given act ivity (Wigfield & Eccles, 2000). A conceptual distinguish between expectation of success and ability beliefs was made by Wigfield and Eccles (2000): expectation of success focuse s on the fut ure, but ability beliefs focuse s on present ability. They also poi nted out that this distinguish was also discussed by Bandura (1997) who used terms self efficacy and outcome for ability beliefs and expectation of success respectively. Self efficacy was defined as people s judgments of their capabi lities to organize and execute courses of action required to attain designated types of performances (Bandura, 1986, p. 391). Bundura (1997) defined outcome expectancies as the belief that a given action will lead to a given outcomes. Although the constru ct of goals and beliefs influence subjective values and expectation of success, it is also influenced by individual s interpretations of experience and perception of socializer s beliefs, expectations, and attitudes The construct of individual s interpret ations of

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46 experience previous achievement related experience diff erential aptitudes, and cultural milieu The construct of cultural milieu which includes gender role and cultural stereotypes influences the constructs of individual s perception of socialization influences behaviors and pr evious achievement related experiences are influenced by the concepts of differential aptitudes. Summary International graduate students have comprised a substantial component of student population in American graduate schools. However, factors associated with international choice of academic majors and academic performance are complex. Due to their dual status as graduate students who come from other countries, international graduate students may face common problems that both American g raduate students and international undergraduate students confront. The literature showed that the dropout rate of American graduate students was high because these students were not satisfied with graduate life, they played multiple roles, and they experi enced double loads from academic study and personal life. International students encountered a language barrier, inappropriate academic advisement, a different educational system, an unfamiliar c ollegial atmosphere, different teaching and learning methods, and culture adaptation problems. Previous studies found that language proficiency, learning and study strategies, academic climate, and social influences were the major factors influencing international student academic performance. Social and cultural in fluences, academic preparation, academic climate, value systems, and gender stereotype were the important factors associated with American student academic performance and choices. No research has been found on factors associated with academic performance and choice of academic majors,

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47 specifically among international graduate students. The present study bridges the gap. The expectancy value theory of achievement motivation (Wigfield & Eccles, 2000) is also reviewed in this chapter.

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48 Figure 2 1. Wigfield value model of achievement motivation 1 1 R eprinted from Contemporary Educational Psychol ogy, 25 Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J. S. Expectancy value theory of achievement motivation, 68 81, 2000 with permission from Elsevier

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49 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Introduction This chapter includes research questions, research design, and a description of the research methodology. The research methodology includes the r esearch setting, sampling procedure and participants, conceptual framework, description of relevant variables, instrumentation, and procedures for data collection and analysis. This chapter concludes with a summary. Research Questions The six research ques tions of this study are: 1. What factors are associated with the choice of academic majors among international graduate students? 2. What reasons for choosing academic majors are reported by international graduate students? 3. What factors are associated with inter 4. Do learning and teaching methods differ between the United States and international 5. What learning and teaching methods in the United States and the home country are reported by int ernational graduate students? 6. What learning and study strategies are reported by international graduate students? Research Design The study included a questionnaire plus follow up focus group intervi ews. This questionnaire collected the primary data to inv estigate factors associated with international academic performance, differences in teaching and learning methods in the home country and the United States and learning and study strategies used in the Unit ed States The follow up focus group interview s w ere used to support and enhance knowledge in the areas covered by the questionnaire.

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50 The Setting This study was conducted at a public, comprehensive, land grant, research university in southeastern United St ates. The university consists of 16 colleges, more than 100 undergraduate majors, almost 200 graduate programs, and more than 4,000 faculty members. The university enrolls approximately 50,000 students annually, including approximately 3,000 international students from more than 100 countries /areas The graduate student is about 18% of the total enrollment at the university; approximately 2,100 international students are in graduate programs. Participants Questionnaire Survey The targeted population is int ernational students who enrolled in graduate programs at a southeastern four year public university in Spring 2006. The Web based survey was sent to an email list of 2,112 international graduate students in Spring 2006. An email list of Spring 2005 enrolle Research. Approximately 600 emails were not in service. Finally, 505 responses were received after the original survey email and two follow up emails were sent Th e response rate was 33.5%. One hundred and thirty in doctoral programs. Three hundred and six (60%) participants were male. The age of the participants ranged from 21 to 46 (M = 27.9). Four h undred and sixty nine (93%) participants self reported that English was not their first language. The length of time that participants have been in the United States varied. The majority of the participants (57.9%) have stayed in the United States between 1 and 5 years.

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51 The participants reported being from 72 countries /areas Students who resided in most frequently cited countries /areas included India, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey. The countries /areas were subsequently divided into eight regions: Africa, Central and South America, North America, Central and South Asia, East and Southeast Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Oceania. The majority of the participants were from East and Southeast Asia, followed by Central and South Asia. This distribution r epresents the total distribution of international graduate student population on campus. The majority of the participants were majoring in the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, health sciences, education, agriculture, business, and humanities and arts. The academic majors were divided into four categories: hard/pure, hard/applied, soft/pure, and soft/applied (Biglan, 1973a, 1973b). The hard/pure category includes disciplines in the natural sciences; the hard/applied category includes disciplin es in agriculture and forestry, engineering, and health sciences; the soft/pure category includes disciplines in the humanities and arts and social sciences; the soft/applied category includes disciplines in architecture and design, business, communication s and journalism, education, law, and public affairs. Table 3 1 Most of the participants majored in the hard/applied category, and they were from East and Southeast Asia Focus Gro up Interview The convenience sampling method was used in focus group interviews. Participants were self selected volunteers who responded to the focus group interview invitation email. This email was sent to the email list that the questionnaire survey ema il was sent to. Sixteen participants (5 males and 11 females) were interviewed in three focus groups. Four between 25 and 37 years old (M = 29.75). All 16 participan ts reported that English was not their

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52 first language. The length of time the participants stayed in the United States varied The majority of the participants (68.75%) have stayed in the United States between 1 and 5 years. The participants of focus grou p interviews were from 10 countries /areas 5 regions The majority of the participants were from East and Southeast Asia, and no participant came from regions of Africa, North America, and Oceania. The participants reported 14 majors. classification of academic disciplines (Biglan, 1973a, 1973b), Table 3 2 The focus group participants represented the questionnaire participants. Most of the foc us group participants were also majored in the hard/applied category and they were from East and Southeast Asia. Conceptual Framework Expectancy Value model of achievement motivation (Figure 2 1) based on the nature of international students. The conceptual framework includes eleven constructs: demographics, English language proficiency, family influence, welcome of international students, educational and work experiences, English language ability belief, learning and study strategies, expectation of success, subjective values, choice of academic majors, and academic performance. Figure 3 1 is the conceptual model which demonstrates the relationship among the 11 constructs. Two constructs on the right of the model academic performance and choice of academic majors are influenced by international graduate subjective values. The definitions of expectation of success and subjective valu es were adopted for this study. Expectation of success was defined by Eccles Parsons and her colleagues (1983) or long term future. Wigfield and Eccles (2000) p roposed three major components of subjective

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53 values: attainment value, intrinsic value, and utility value. Attainment value refers to the importance of doing well on a given task. Intrinsic value refers to the enjoyment one gains from doing the task. Utili plans (Eccles Parsons et al., 1983). English language ability belief impacts expectation of success and learning and study strategies, and learning and study strategies impact sub jective values of internati onal graduate students A conceptual distinction between expectation of success and ability belief was made by Wigfield and Eccles (2000) expectation of success focuses on the future, but ability belief focuses on present ability capabilities, but expectation of success of outcomes in the future. The left side of this model demonstrates that English language ability belief an d learning and study strategies are influenced by five constructs: demographics, English language proficiency, family influence, welcome of international students, and educational and work experiences. These terms were defined in Chapter 1. Operational Def inition of Variables This study has two dependent variables : c hoice of academic majors and academic performance. Gender, age, native region, graduate level, length of time in U.S., English language proficiency, continuity of academic majors, undergraduate GPA, relevance of academic background, relevance of previous work experience, welcome of international students, f amily influence, English language ability belief, expectation of success, opportunities, major learning method, length of weekly study time, studying alone, studying with home country students, and studying with other country students were independent variables. Tables 3 3 and 3 4 demonstrate dependent and independent variables, description, measures, and question numbers.

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54 Dependent Variables was measured by self reported current academic majors in Survey Question 15. Academic performance is report of learning accomplishment in the selected study area. This variable was measured by a continuous ordinal scale of self reported current GPA in the Survey Question 7. Independent Variables The construct of d emographics include s g ender, age, native region graduate level, and length of time in the United States. Gender and graduate level were measured by nominal scales in Survey Question 9 (male or female) and Survey Question 13 (master or doctoral), respectively. Age and native co untry /area were self reported in Survey Questions 10 and 11, respectively. Length of time stay in the United States was measured by a continuous ordinal scale in Survey Question 16. English language proficiency is a non f English language skills. Since a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score was academic study, this variable was not measured by TOEFL score s. It was measured by a continuous ordinal scale (0%, 1% 20%, 21% 50%, and 51% 100%) in Survey Question 5 students self reported proportion of time they use their native language in academic related activities. The construct of e ducational and work experi ences include s ndergraduate GPA, continuity of academic majors, relevance of academic background and relevance of work experience. Undergraduate GPA was measured by a continuous ordinal scale (Survey Question 7). Undergraduate and graduate maj ors were self reported in Survey Questions 14 and 15. If a

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55 current graduate majors were in the same category, according to the Biglan classification scheme hard/pure, hard/applied, soft/pure, and soft/applied, the student contin ued his academic major Three Survey Question 8. values on a student s decision. Welcome of international students means the quality and state of welcome and acceptance that an international student experiences and feels. English language ability belief is a in English language skills. Expectation of success by three The construct of l earning and study s trategies include s the major learning method, the length of weekly study time, and study styles that a student uses to facilitate learning process. The major learning method was measured by a nominal scale (reading, listening, or discussion) in Survey Ques tion 2. The length of weekly study time was measured by a continuous ordinal scale (from less than 10 hours to more than 71 hours) in Survey Question 4. The proportion of time using three study styles (studying alone, studying with students from the home c ountry, and studying with students from other countries) was measured by continuous ordinal scales (0%, 1% 20%, 21% 50%, and 51% 100%) in Survey Question 6. The construct of s ubjective values include s rank, p level scales

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56 Instrumentation This study used a researcher developed questionnaire that was based on the literature and findings of n umerous previous studies. This instrument was used to collect the primary data in the study. A follow up focus group interview protocol was then developed based on the responses of the questionnaire to confirm and support the survey findings. Questionnaire Survey The questionnaire survey was conducted online. It included four pages (Appendix A). The (IRB). It briefly described the purpose of the survey, the time need ed for answering the survey, confidential and voluntary policy, and contact information. At the bottom of the page, the participants had an opportunity to decide whether or not to participate in the survey. If they did not agree to participate, they jumped survey Web page. If they chose to participate, the survey started on the second page. Pages 2 and 3 were the survey questions. Nominal, ordinal, and interval scales were used in the questionna ire. Expert panel review An expert panel was used to ensure that the content of this instrument sufficiently jors, factors associated with their academic performance, and teaching and learning methods. Five experts, including three faculty members and two graduate students, were invited to review the survey protocol. These experts had research experiences and rel evant knowledge in the fields of educational research methodology, student development, or higher education administration. They reviewed and commented on the survey construction, operationalization, wording, format, and question flow, and they provided re

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57 added and deleted questions to make sure that all constructs were covered, and changed some scales to ensure that the items were measured appropriately. Pilot test The purpose of the pilot test was to determine that the participant was able to complete the survey and understand the questions (Creswell, 2005). The pilot test was conducted one semester prior to the delivery of the survey so the researcher had enough time to revise the su rvey. The researcher used the convenience sampling method (using friends and peers who meet the criteria) and the snowball sampling method (asking participants to refer the researcher to other potentially willing and available participants) to select 23 in ternational graduate students at the institution. The researcher sent the survey as a Microsoft Word document attachment via emails. The cover letter and informed consent were in the content of the email. The purpose of this pilot test and confidentiality were stated in the cover letter. The informed consent indicted that only those who agreed to participate in the pilot test should open and answer the questionnaire. The participants in the pilot test were asked to complete the survey and make comments on t he completed surveys were emailed back to the researcher. This pretest served to identify any incorrect or misleading survey items and additional problems for research that were not present in the literature (Borg & Gall, 1989). After collecting ales from nominal scales to interv al scales, reorganized some question flows, and clarified q uestion wording. Focus Group Interview the focus group interview included an informed consent and a protocol approved by the

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58 time length of the interview, confidentiality, and contact information. The protocol included demographic statu s questions and seven open experience, academic motivation, and learning and study strategies. Expert panel review An expert panel was used to ensure that the content of this instrument sufficiently investiga reasons for the choice of academic majors and learning and study strategies based on the questionnaire responses. Four experts, including two faculty members and two doctoral students, reviewed the focus group interview survey questions, wording, format, and question flow. These faculty members and graduate students had research interests, experience, and relevant knowledge in the fields of educational research methodology, internationalizing edu cation, student affairs, or higher education administration. The expert panel reviewed content of the survey, and helped the researcher revise the focus group interview protocol before the pilot test was conducted. Pilot test The focus group inte rview pilo t test was conducted one semester after the questionnaire data were collected. The interview protocol was developed based on the responses of the Web survey. The purpose of the pilot test was to determine that the participant is able to understand and answ er the questions in the focus group interview (Creswell, 2005). One focus group interview was conducted as a pilot test. The researcher used the convenience sampling method to select six international graduate students to participate in the pilot test. The participants received an email including the purpose of the pilot study, the focus group interview meeting place and time, and a brief introduction of the procedure. After the six

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59 international graduate students gathered, they had a socialization time to get to know each other, signed the informed consent forms, agreed to be audio taped, and then answered the questions. Comments and feedback on the question content, clarity, wording, and organization were then discussed. This pretest served to identify any confusing or unclear questions, potential problems with the data collection procedure plus other additional areas of concern (Borg & Gall, further data analysis and some questions were re worded for the purpose of clarification. Data Collection up reported resp onses. Questionnaire Survey The questionnaire survey was conducted online in Spring 2006. After the researcher designed the survey on an online survey provider www.surveymonkey.com a survey link was created by t he online survey provider. The online survey was accessible through this link on any computer with Internet access. Three emails were sent to the international graduate student email list received from the initial email consisted of the introduction of the researcher, the purpose and instruction of the survey, confidential and anonymous policy, time consumption, the link to the questionnaire, and th e response deadline A follow up email was sent one week af ter the initial email was sent It included a short letter of encouragement, the survey link, the guaranteed level of confidentiality, and the last date for answering the survey. Another reminder email, which included a letter of encouragement and apprecia tion, the survey link, and the responding deadline, was sent three days before the las t day for answering the survey All three emails were sent to all participants because the survey was completely

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60 anonymous, and the researcher could not track which parti cipants did not answer the survey. After sending the three emails, 505 responses were collected resulting in a response rate of 33.5%, which was slightly higher than the expected 25% to 30% response rate for Web surveys (Kittleson, 1997) Focus Group Inter view Three follow up focus group interviews were conducted in Fall 2006, one semester after the questionnaire survey data were collected. The participants were self selected by responding to the res The invitation email was sent to the email list that the questionnaire survey was sent to. The invitation email included the link to the summary of the questionnaire results, the purpose and the introduction of focus group interviews, confidentiality statement, and three interview time periods. The voluntary participants were asked to select one of the three time slots that fit their schedules. Each group consisted of five to six participants focus group interview. The interview time and location and a brief introduction of the focus group interview procedure were included in the reminder emails Before the focus group interview started, the researcher arranged a socialization time to allow th e group members to get to know each other, to become relaxed in preparation for the focus group interview, and to feel comfortable sharing their actual experiences. The purpose of the focus group interview, length of interview time, confidentiality and vol unteer policy, and audio IRB. After the participants agreed to participate in the focus group interview and they signed the informed consent, they received the interview p rotocol. The interview protocol included eight questions on demographic status and seven open ended questions on educational experience, academic motivation, and learning and study strategies. Participants were asked to respond to

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61 eight demographic questio ns in writing before the following seven questions were answered orally. For the purpose of anonymity, each participant wrote a researcher assigned number on the demographic answer sheet instead of his name, and then recorded his assigned number when answe ring the open ended oral questions. Hence, the researcher was able to connect the demographic answers and the open ended answers. During the interviews, participants were asked to respond to the seven open ended questions in as much detail as possible. The ir answers were audio taped and transcribed afterwards by a transcriptionist. Each focus group interview lasted approximately one hour. The three focus groups had the same protocol and procedure. Two moderators were present during the focus group interview researcher attended and co facilitated all three focus group interviews, observing and assisting during the entir e procedure. During the interviews, the co researcher maintained balance between moderation and up questions, clari fied the research questions and statements for participants (because the co researcher had experience working with multi cultural people), and took notes. After each interview, the two researchers debriefed and summarized their notes. Data Analysis Statist ical Analysis After the data were collected through the online survey provider, the researcher exported the data into the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software program, which was

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62 used to analyze the data to answer Research Questions 1 3, and 4. For all tests, the a priori alpha was .05. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was performed to investigate academic majors. current academic majors, which were quantified using the Biglan classification scheme: hard/pure, hard/appli ed, soft/pure, and soft/applied. The independent variables were gender, native regions, age, graduate level, English language proficiency, welcome of international students, family influence, continuity of academic majors, relevance of academic background, relevance of work hoc test. What fa ctors are associated with international graduate The dependent variable their self reported current GPA. The independent variables were gender, age, native regions, length of time stay in the United States, English language proficiency, continuity of academ ic majors, undergraduate GPA, proportion of time of studying alone, proportion of time of studying w ith students from home country, proportion of time of studying with students from other countries, length of weekly study time, welcome of international stu dents, family influence, English language ability belief, expectation of success, and academic interest. Graduate level

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63 was first served as the interaction factor so the researcher examined whether or not a difference of academic performance occurred when graduate level was interacted. A multiple regression model was reported to determine how many and which independent variables were associated with the dependent variable by their current GPA. parametric tests were performed to compare three learning methods (reading, listening, and discussion), and two teaching methods square test was conducted based on the dichotomous nature of the variables. The researcher reported whether or not significant differences were found be tween the United States and the home country in three learning methods and two teaching methods. Means were compared as significant differences were found. Domain Analysis In this study, the follow up focus group interview data were analyzed to answer Rese arch Questions 2, 5, and 6. Domain analysis was used to analyze the se data. The focus group interviews were audio taped and were transcribed into Microsoft Word documents. Each transcription consisted of an introduction and the main protocol content. The introduction listed the interview date and location, the research topic, and demographic information of participants in the focus group. The main protocol content included the detailed records of the interaction between the researchers and participants. Ea ch line was numbered individually with two inch margins on the left side for coding. Open coding was used after data

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64 After transcripts were coded, the researchers started to do domain analysis. A domain was Spradley (1980) listed nine possible s emantic relationships for domain analysis: strict inclusion (X is a kind of Y); spatial (X is a place in Y, X is a part of Y); cause effect (X is a result of Y, X is a cause of Y); rationale (X is a reason for doing Y); location for action (X is a place fo r doing Y); function (X is used for Y); means end (X is a way to do Y); sequence (X is a step or stage in Y); and attribution (X is an attribute, or characteristic, of Y). The first step of domain analysis was the researcher selecting a semantic relationsh ip. The second step was the researcher filling out a domain analysis worksheet by the selected semantic relationship, a statement of the form in which it is expressed, an example sentence that has a cover term (Y), an included terms (X) that fit the select ed semantic relationship, and their locations on the transcripts. The third step was the researcher formulating questions about the relationship to check if the terms and the semantic relationship identified were correct. The repeat process was conducted f or different semantic relationships. The fourth step was the researcher listing all domains discovered, the relationships in these domains, and the structural finding s were based on the information from the domain analysis worksheet. Summary This study was conducted in a large southeastern public university. Six research questions are stated in this chapter. The research design included a web survey and follow up focus group interviews. Five hundred and five international graduate students participated in the Web survey, and 16 pa rticipants were recruited in three focus group interviews. The distributions of the participants in the Web s urvey and the focus group interview a re demo nstrated in Tables 3 1 and 3 2 respectively The s

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65 dependent variables, and independent variables are illustrated in Figure 3 1, Table 3 3 and Table 3 4 respectively. The instrument s, data collection procedures, and data analysis methods of the Web survey and the focus group interviews are described in this chapter. The findings and results of this study are reported in Chapter 4.

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66 Table 3 1 r distribution by native region Native region Hard/pure Hard/applied Soft/pure Soft/applied Africa 7 5 5 3 Central and South America 9 20 5 14 North America 0 3 3 0 Central and South Asia 31 95 5 7 East and Southeast Asia 54 102 24 33 Middle East 5 1 4 3 7 Europe 12 17 9 10 Oceania 2 1 0 0 Participants from North America were Canadian, and those from Oceania were Australian and New Zealanders. Table 3 2 native region Native region Hard/pure Hard/applied Soft/pure Soft/applied Central and South America 0 1 0 0 Central and South Asia 0 1 0 0 East and Southeast Asia 1 3 1 5 Middle East 0 1 0 1 Europe 1 1 0 0 Table 3 3 Dependent variables, description, measures, and question numbers Depen dent variable Description Measure Question number Academic performance Self reported current GPA 5 categories of continuous ordinal scale (4.0, 3.7 3.9, 3.4 3.6, 3.0 3.3, and < 3.0) Q7 Choice of academic majors Self reported current majors 4 categories using the Biglan classification scheme (hard/pure, hard/applied, soft/pure, and soft/applied) Q15

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67 Table 3 4 Independent variables, description, measures, and question numbers Independent variable Description Measure Question number Gender Self reporte d g ender Nominal scale (female or male) 9 Age Self reported a ge Self reported age ( classified as < 30 or ) 10 Native region Self reported home country/area Self reported country /area (classified as 8 native regions) 11 Graduate level Current en rolled g raduate level Nominal scale (master or doctoral) 13 Length of time in U.S. L ength of time stay in U.S. Continuous ordinal scale (4 categories from < 1 year to > 5 years) 16 English language proficiency P roportion of time using native language in academic activities Continuous ordinal scale (0%, 1% 20%, 21% 50%, and 51% 100%) 5 Continuity of academic majors Continuity of U ndergraduate and current academic majors 4 categories using the Biglan classification scheme (hard/pure, hard/applied, so ft/pure, and soft/applied) 14, 15 Undergraduate GPA Self reported undergraduate GPA 5 categories of continuous ordinal scale (4.0, 3.7 3.9, 3.4 3.6, 3.0 3.3, and < 3.0) 7 Relevance of academic background Relevance of previous academic background A three level scale (no, not sure, or yes) 8 Relevance of work experience Relevance of previous work experience A three level scale (no, not sure, or yes) 8 students Hospitable welcome of international students A three level scale (no, not sure or yes) 8 Family influence and values A three level scale (no, not sure, or yes) 8 English language ability belief Self assessment of English language ability A three level scale (no, not sure, or yes) 8 Expectation of success Expectation of academic success A three level scale (no, not sure, or yes) 8 Academic interest A cademic field of interest A three level scale (no, not sure, or yes) 8 A three level scale (no, not su re, or yes) 8 field A three level scale (no, not sure, or yes) 8 Job opportunities J ob opportunities upon graduation A three level scale (no, not sure, or yes) 8

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68 Table 3 4 Continued Independe nt variable Description Measure Question number Major learning method Major used learning method Nominal scale (reading, listening, or discussion) 2 Length of weekly study time Length of time s tudying every week Continuous or dinal scale (8 categories fr 10 hours to > 71 hours) 4 Studying alone Proportion of time studying alone Continuous ordinal scale (0%, 1% 20%, 21% 50%, and 51% 100%) 6 Studying with home country students Proportion of time studying with students from the home country Continuous ordinal scale (0%, 1% 20%, 21% 50%, and 51% 100%) 6 Studying with other country students Proportion of time studying with students from other countries Continuous ordinal scale (0%, 1% 20%, 21% 50%, and 51% 100%) 6

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69 Figure 3 academic major s and academic performance Choice of academic m ajor s English language ability b elief Learning and s tudy s trategies Subjective v alues Expectation of s uccess Academi c p erformance Family i nfluence Demographics English language p roficiency Educational and work experiences Welcome of

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70 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Introduction academi c majors and academic performance, differences in teaching and learning methods in the home country and the United States, and learning and study strategies used while studying in the United States. A focused and original questionnaire was used to collect the primary data to answer Research Questions 1, 3, and 4. The quantitative data were analyzed by the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software program Follow up focus group interviews were conducted to support and enhance knowledge for Research Questions 2, 5, and 6. The qualitative data were analyzed through domain analysis (Spradley, 1980). This chapter reports the findings from the descriptive statistics, as well as from the quantitative and qualitative analysis. The results of the st udy were guided by the following six research questions: 1. What factors are associated with the choice of academic majors among international graduate students? 2. What reasons for choosing academic majors are reported by international graduate students? 3. What 4. Do learning and teaching methods differ between the United States and international 5. What learning and teaching methods in the United States and the home country are reported by international graduate students? 6. What learning and study strategies are reported by international graduate students? Descriptive Statistics The length of time participants have been living in the United States was divided into six categories: from less than one year to more than five years. Table 4 1 provides the number and

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71 proportion of participants in each category. The largest proportion of the participants (26.7%) has lived in the United States for less than one year. Table 4 2 provides mean, median, standard deviation, and range of length of time that participants lived in the United States. The median of the length of time that participants stayed in the United States was two to three years. Participants reported the lengt h of weekly study time, which was divided into eight categories: from less than 10 hours to more than 7 0 hours. Table 4 3 provides the number and proportion of participants in each category. The majority of the participants (56%) spent 21 to 50 hours on st udy each week. Table 4 4 provides mean, median, standard deviation, and range of length of study time that participants spent each week. The median of the length of time that participants spent on study was 31 to 40 hours per week. The proportion of time t he participants used their native languages (non English) in academic study was reported. The proportions of time were subsequently divided into four categories: 0%, 1% to 20%, 21% to 50%, and 51% to 100%. Table 4 5 provides the number and proportion of pa rticipants in each category. Although the proportion of participants in each category was approximately 20% to 30%, the highest proportion was in the category of 1% 20%. Table 4 6 provides mean, median, standard deviation, and range of proportion of time that participants used their native languages (non English) in academics. The median of proportion of time that participants used their native languages was 1% to 20%. Participants reported the proportion of time they studied alone, studied with students from their home country, and studied with students from other countries. The proportion of time was divided into four categories: 0%, 1% to 20%, 21% to 50%, and 51% to 100%. Table 4 7 provides the number and proportion of participants in each category. Se venty eight percent of the participants reported they spent more than 50% of time studying alone; 45% of the participants

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72 reported they did not study with students from their home country; and almost 49% of the participants reported that they spent 1% to 2 0% of time studying with students from other countries. Table 4 8 provides mean, median, standard deviation, and range of proportion of time that participants studied alone, studied with students from their home country, and studied with students from othe r countries. The median of proportion of time that participants studied alone was in the category of more than 50 %, and the medians of proportion of time that participants studied with students from their home country or from other countries were 1% to 20% Participants reported ages from 21 to 46 years (M = 27.9); their ages were subsequently divided into two categories: younger than 30 years old and 30 years or older. Three hundred and fifty participants (69.3%) were younger than 30 years ol d, and one hun dred and fifty five participants (30.7%) were 30 years and older. Participants reported their undergraduate and current graduate majors. If a participant reported that his undergraduate and current graduate majors were in the same category, according to th e Biglan classification scheme hard/pure, hard/applied, soft/pure, and soft/applied, he was considered as continuing the type of his academic major. Three hundred and fourteen (75.5%) participants continued the type of academic major and one hundred and n inety one (24.5%) participants changed the type of academic major Quantitative Results The SPSS software program was used for data analysis. The a priori alpha for all tests was .05. Due to the fact that the proportion of students in the sample from speci fic countries of origin differed from the proportion on the campus, a weighting paradigm based on the country of origin was applied to correct for sampling bias. The weighting algorithm was calculated as follows:

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73 1. A table of the international student enroll ment by original country was received from the website 2. Percentages of international students from each region (eight regions) were calculated based on the table received in Step 1. 3. The product of each percentage, as derived in Step 2, and the total number of participants (n = 505) was then calculated for each region. 4. The product for each region, as derived in Step 3, was finally divided by the actual number of participants from this region. This calculated numbe r was the weight number for this region. The weighted data represented students from countries all over the world. Since the number of participants from North America (Canada) and Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) regions was far lower than those from ot her regions, data from these two regions were excluded. Research Question One What factors are associated with the choice of academic A three opinions on the factors current majors. Table 4 9 provides the number and proportion of participants in each scale of each factor. The majority of the participants (53.5%) answered that the factor of family influence did not influence their choice of academic majors. The majority of the participants answered that the factor of English language ability belief, relevance of academic background, relevance of work experience, academic intere opportunities influenced their academic choice. Table 4 10 provides mean, median, standard deviation, and range of factors that impact

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74 A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was performed to i nvestigate factors The dependent classified by the Biglan classification scheme: hard /pure, hard/applied, soft/pure, and soft/applied. The independe nt variables were gender, native regions, age, graduate level, English language pr oficiency, continuity of academic majors, welcome of international students, family influence, relevance of aca demic background, relevance of work experience, English language prestige, and job opportunities. The Tukey test was used as the post hoc test. The results of the MANOVA test revealed a statistically significant difference in every independent variable. Table 4 11 When the results of the four academic major categories were considered separate ly, a Bonferroni adjusted alpha level of .0125 was used. Significant independent variables and corresponding F values in MANOVA tests of between subjects effects for hard/pure, hard/applied, soft/pure, soft/applied majors are reported in Tables 4 12 4 14 4 16 and 4 18 respectively. The results of the MANOVA tests of between subjects effe cts revealed that native region family influence, and English language ability belief were the factors influencing international

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75 4 12 provides significant independent variables and corresponding F values in the category of hard/pure academic majors. The Tukey p ost hoc tests and means comparisons revealed that doctoral students and younger students (< 30 years old) were more likely to choose the hard/pure majors than their counterparts. African students were more likely to choose the hard/pure majors than Central and influence, or English language ability belief as the reason they chose their current academic majors were more likely to choose the hard/pure majors than those who were more likely to choose the hard/pure majors than thos 4 13 ). The results of the MANOVA tests of between subjects effects revealed that native regions, gender, continuity of academic majors, relevance of academic background, academic interest, ige, welcome of international students, and job hard/applied academic majors. Table 4 14 provides significant independent variables and corresponding F values in the category of hard/applied academic majors. The Tukey post hoc tests and means comparisons revealed that male students and students who continued their academic majors were more likely to choose the hard/applied majors than their counterparts. African studen ts were more likely to choose the hard/applied majors than Central and South American, East and Southeast Asian, Central and South Asian, or Middle Eastern students. Central and South Asian students were more likely to choose the hard/applied majors than s tudents from other regions. East and Southeast Asian students were more likely to

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76 ies as the reason they chose their current academic majors were more likely to choose the hard/applied majors than those who answered academic interest were less likely to choose the hard/applied maj ors than those who a 4 15 ). The results of the MANOVA tests of between sub jects effects revealed that nati ve regions, gender, English language proficiency, relevance of academic background, English language prestige, welcome of international students, job opportunitie s, and family influence were the Table 4 16 provides significant independent variables and corresponding F values in the category of the soft/pure academic majors The Tukey post hoc tests and means comparisons revealed that females were more likely to choose the soft/pure majors than males. Students from Africa were more likely to choose the soft/pure majors than Central and South American, Central and South Asian East and Southeast Asian or Middle Eastern students. Students from Europe were more likely to choose the soft/pure majors than Central and South American, Central and South Asian, or East and Southeast Asian students. Students who used 1% to 20% of time in their native language s (non English) in academics were more likely to choose the soft/pure majors than those who used 0% ability belief, academic rank, fa mily influence, or job opportunities as the reason they

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77 chose their current academic majors were more likely to choose the soft/pure majors than those were more li 4 17 ). Th e results of the MANOVA tests of between subjects effects revealed that native regions, age, graduate level, gender, continuity of academic majors, English language proficiency, relevance of work experience, expectation of success, academic interest, welco me of international students, family influence, and job opportunities were the factors influencing 4 18 provides significant independent variables and corresponding F values in the category of soft/applied academic majors. The Tukey post hoc tests and means comparisons revealed that 30 years change d their academic majors were more likely to choose th e soft/applied majors than their counterparts. Students from Central and South Asia were more likely to choose the soft/applied majors than students from other regions. Students from Central and South America were more likely to choose the pure/applied maj ors than East and Southeast Asian, or European students. Students from the Middle East were more likely to choose the soft /applied majors than East and Southeast Asians. Students who used 51% to 100% of time in their native language s (non English) in acade mics were less likely to choose the soft/applied majors than those who used 1% to 20% or 21% to 50% of time. Students who as the reason they chose their current academic majors were more likely to choose the s oft/applied majors than those who answered

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78 international students were more likely to choose the soft/applied majors than those who 4 19 ). Research Question Three What factors are associated with international gra duate A standard multiple regression analysis was performed to investigate the factors associated mic performance measured by their self reported current GPA. The independent variables were gender, age, native regions, English language proficiency, continuity of academic majors, length of time stay in the United States, undergraduate GPA, study alone, study with students from their home country, study with students from other countries, length of weekly study time, welcome of international students, family influence, English language ability belief, expectation of success, and academic interest. The res differed by graduate level. The graduate level was tested as an interaction factor. The result significant, p = .001. The data were therefore split and analyzed by graduate level s level GPAs The GPA score was divided into five grade unit s: 4.0, 3.7 to 3.9 3 .4 to 3.6, 3.0 to 3.3, and less than 3.0. Since a minimum of a 3.0 GPA is required for graduation by the Table 4 20 provides the number and proportion of particip ants in each category at the

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79 while the proportion of participants who Table 4 21 provides mean, median, standard deviation, and range of GPA scores that participants received at the undergraduate and maste level GPA was in the category of 3.4 to 3.6, which was lower than the median of the level GPA (3.7 3.9). The results of the multiple regression analysis revealed an overall adjusted R 2 = .167; F = 4.576 4 22 provides the correlation matrix of the error for the significant factors are reported in Table 4 23 s level, nine independent variables were significantly related with the dependent variable in decreasing order of absolute values of standardized coefficients (B) were study alone method, length of we ekly study time, Central and South Asia, Middle East, expectation of success, gender, welcome of international students, Europe, and undergraduate GPA. The factors of native the remaining five factors were positively related to the GPA. Compared to East and Southeast Asian students, students from Europe, Central and South lue in Table 4 23 is the highest followed by Europe; Central and South Asia b value i s the lowest. Specifically, students from the Middle East, Europe, and Central and South

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80 Asia received a .658, .493, and .388 lower GPA unit, respe ctively, than students from East and Southeast Asia. GPA (b = .312). Students who spent 10 more hours on study each week received a .127 GPA unit higher than students who did not study at the same i ntensity (b = .127). Students who received one Students who spent one more unit of proportion of time studying alone received a .480 GPA unit lower than students wh o did not study alone at the same intensity (b = .480). Students who expected their academic success received a .361 GPA unit higher than students who did not have the same expectation (b = .361). Students who f elt welcomed received .204 GPA unit higher t han students who did not have the same feeling (b = .204). Participants enrolled in doctoral programs reported their under graduate and doctoral level GPAs. The GPA score was divided i nto five categories: from 4.0 to less than 3.0. Table 4 24 provides the n umber and proportion of participants in each category at the undergraduate and the proportion at the doctoral level (28.8%). The proportions of the categories of higher than the proportions at the doctoral level. No p doctoral GPA, while 3.8% of the participants received an undergraduate GPA in this category. Table 4 25 provides mean, median, standard deviation, and range of GPA scores that participants received at the undergraduat e and doctoral levels. The median of undergraduate GPA (3.4 3.6) was lower than the median of doctoral GPA (3.7 3.9).

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81 At the doctoral level, the results of the multiple regression analysis revealed an overall adjusted R 2 = .163; F = 10.857, p = .000. Table 4 26 provides the correlation matrix of factors at the doctoral level. The standardized Beta (B), unstandardized beta (b), and standard error for the significant factors are reported in Table 4 27 At the doctoral level, nine independent variables were si gnificantly related with the dependent variable the doctoral level GPA. The significant influencing factors in decreasing order of absolute values of standardized coefficients (B) were Africa, undergraduate GPA, Central and South America, length of time st ay in the United States, study alone method, gender, length of study time, English language ability belief, and Europe. Compared to East and Southeast Asian students students from Africa and Central and South Asia received a lower doctoral GPA, but Europe an students received a higher doctoral 4 27 is the lowest .701); Central and negative (b = .334). Specifically, students from Europe receive d a .176 GPA unit higher than students from East and Southeast Asia; students from Africa and Central and South Asia received .701 and .334 GPA unit lower, respectively, than students from Eas t and Southeast Asia. GPA .129). Students who stayed in the United States one year longer received a .063 GPA unit higher than students who did not stay the same length of time ( b = .063). Students who spent 10 more hours on study each week received a .031 GPA unit higher than students who did not study at the same intensity (b = .031). Students who spent one more unit of proportion of time studying alone received a .218 GPA unit higher than students who did not study alone at the same intensity

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82 (b = .218). Students who received one unit higher undergraduate GPA received a .125 unit of higher doctoral GPA (b = .125). Students who believed their English language a bility received a .081 GPA unit of higher doctoral GPA than students who did not have the same belief (b = .08 1 ). Research Question Four Five non parametric tests were performed to compare three learning methods (reading, listening, and discussion) and two teaching methods (lecture and seminar) in the United States square test was conducted, based o n the dichotomous nature of the variables. Participants reported their major learning method in the United States and their home countries. The proportions that participants used reading as the major learning method in the United States and their home coun tries were the same: 66%. The mean of the reading method in the United States (M = .62) was slightly higher than that in their home countries (M = .61). No significant difference was found terms of reading as the major learning method, Chi square = .006, p = .937. Therefore, the participants remained using reading as their major learning method after arriving in the United States. The proportion of the listening method in the United States (13%) was lower than that in their home countries (18%). The mean of the listening method in the United States (M = .12) was lower than that in their home countries (M = .16). A significant difference was found between untries in terms of listening as the major learning method, Chi square = 4.691, p = .030. Therefore, fewer participants used listening as their major learning method in the United States than in their home countries.

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83 The proportion of the discussion with t eachers/peers method in the United States (21%) was higher than that in their home countries (16%). The mean of the discussion method in the United States (M = .19) was higher than that in their home countries (M = .15). A significant difference was found discussion with teachers/peers as the major learning method, Chi square = 4.009, p = .045. Therefore, fewer participants used discussion with teachers/peers as the major learning method in their home countries than in the United States. Participants reported the major teaching method they experienced in the United States and their home countries. The proportion of the lecture teaching method in the United States (83%) was lower than that in their home countries (96%). The mean of the lecture method in the United States (M = .78) was lower than that in their home countries (M = .89). A significant difference was found he lecture as the major teaching method, Chi square = 43.214, p = .000. Therefore, fewer participants reported that they received the lecture as the major teaching m ethod in the United States than in their home countries The proportion of the seminar teac hing method in the United States (17%) was higher than that in their home countries (4%). The mean of the seminar method in the United States (M = .14) was higher than that in their home countries (M = .03). A significant difference was found in the Unit teaching method, Chi square = 47.266, p = .000. Therefore, fewer participants reported that they received the seminar as the major teach ing method in their home countries than in the United States.

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84 Qualitative Results Three follow up focus group interviews were conducted to explore the reasons for home country and the United States, and the learning and study strategies international students used. The focus group interviews were audio recorded and transcribed afterwards. Domain analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. The researcher open coded the transcripts and then made domain worksheets based on the codes. The results of the qualitative data supported and extended the quantitative findings. Research Question Two international graduate s The domain worksheets revealed nine reasons for choosing academic majors, as reported by the focus group participants: academic interest, continuation of previous education, relevance of work experience, job opportunities, welcome of internationa l students, career goal approach, the home country, financial assistance opportunities, and personality suitability. The most frequently mentioned reason for the choice of academic majors was personal academic interest. Sever al participants insisted that no matter where they resided, they chose the current majors because they liked it. A student from Central and South America Continuation of previous education is another popula r reason for choosing the current major. The majority of the participants reported that they had the same academic major in their home countr ies and the United States. During the interviews, several participants said that their home countries had no gradua te program in academic fields in which they were interested.

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85 American higher educational institutions, however, offer various graduate programs which attract more international students to continue their education in the United States. Relevance of work ex perience was also reported by international graduate students. One participant changed her graduate major because of her work experience. She described her decision process: I spent one year teaching English in my home country. I started getting intereste d in the area when I taught English. Because of this experience, I decided to change my major. I Other participants reported similar experiences in choosing their current academic m ajors. Considering job opportunities was the realistic motivation for selecting academic majors. A former mathematics major changed her major to statistics after considering job opportunities upon graduation. She stated: Personally, I like mathematics, but getting a job after getting a mathematics degree is really statistics, and after that I took a couple of classes before I changed my major, and I liked it. International students also thought about career goals when choosing academic fields. A rsue for my transform a child into a good person. An academic m academic choice. One participant chose her major because it was a popular major in her home country. She said: lot of people who outside of the country to study this major.

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86 Although the participant did not mention why the major was popular in her home country at that time, it w as clear that the popularity of this academic major in her home country influenced her academic choice in the United States. International students also chose their current major for more financial assistance opportunities. An Asian student told the interv iewers that she decided to continue her undergraduate major because of more financial aid opportunities although she wanted to study in another field. She said: One reason I can come here is that I get a teaching assistan t position otherwise I could something else because I always want to try something new, different than my field. studied a major that she was interested in, but she felt that the professors in the department were not friendly toward international students. She then decided to transfer to a department that there [new department] are more friendly to international students. After changing my major, Personalit y suitability was also considered by international students when choosing academic majors. Prior to deciding an academic major, a doctoral student evaluated herself. She knew herself very well so she decided to choose a more suitable major to fit her perso nality. She was happy with her decision. Among these nine reasons for the choice of academic majors as reported by international graduate students, the following five reasons were also found in the quantitative results: academic interest, continuation of previous education, relevant work experience, job opportunities, and welcome of international students. In addition, the focus group interviews

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87 extended the questionnaire findings. The following four reasons for academic choice were reported by internation al graduate students: career goal approach, financial assistance enriched the understanding of internatio choice of academic majors Rese arch Question Five Teaching methods During the interviews, participants reported that the lecture was the major teaching method in their home country. In the United States, however, discussion and presentation were utilized more often in class. A student said: When I was in university in my country, not many discussions or presentations, just lecture professor is talking and exams. Here [United States] there are a lot of discussion and presentations, so I actually enjoy it a lot. In addition, the focus group interviews revealed that teaching in English in the home country helped international s speaking learning environment a Learning methods countries because understanding a lecture in their native language was not difficult. A student I just listen to teachers because I could fully understand the course of but not in their home countries.

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88 Reading textbooks was reported both in the home country and in the United States as the major learning method. A student said: In our country, it was focused on the textbooks. I also read a lot by myself [in the U.S.]. I separate my days into different chunks and then I force myself to read like how many pages is cannot finish my reading. The qualitative findings provided more evidence to the quantitative research findings. In the United States, the seminar was the major teaching method, while th e lecture was the major listening more in their home countries, but they used the strategy of discussion more in the United States. Reading was used both in the Un ited States and in their home countries. Research Question Six Participants reported their learning and study strategies in their home country as well as in the United States. Some of them reported that their learning and study strategies in the United States were the same as those used in their home country. However, more participants reported that they changed their learning and study strategie s in the United States. Various learning and study strategies were reported by international graduate students: studying with groups of international students, studyin g alone, studying alone plus group s tudy studying ha rder and longer, studying in librar i es reading more, review ing class recorded videos/audios, interacting with professors, focusing on lecture and notes, previewing and reviewing classes, using only English in academics, using native language in academics, managing time differently, and usin g a dictionary to polish their English.

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89 Studying with groups of international students Most participants reported that being part of a group study was one of the learning and study strategies used both in their home country and in the United States. Partic ipants said that they had friends or knew classmates so it was easy to find study groups in their home country. A had somebody to discuss about it. Actually it hel In the United States, international students also liked to study in groups. They were asked: only Americans, with other foreigners, with foreigners and Americans, and with Latin students, not Americans or students from their home countries international study group. But I found the international study g roup is much more helpful. The participants reported four reasons for studying with international students. First, the participants noted f ound the international study group is much more helpful to learn because Americans are prefer studying with students of their own nationality because they would use only their home language instead of English which is the official language in the academics. A Chinese student all the time, which I found hard

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90 that when studying together, international students focused more on study compared with American students. A doctoral student said: I found the international study group is much more hel pful to learn because international students have one goal to solve the problem to focus on the problem but American students usually talk about something else not focus on the problem. Then I started to only work with interna tional students. In short, most participants chose to study with a mixed group of students from various countries. Studying alone Many participants reported that they preferred to study alone. This learning strategy does not change no matter where they are However, several participants reported that studying alone is a new learning strategy they used in the United Stat es because they could not find study mates. A student stated: In my home country the group study is one of the strategies that I used; but actually in the U.S., I had a few experiences by studying in groups. I studied it myself here [U.S.] because I Participants also reported that they chose to study alone because their American colleagues alone ]. I think I pretty much follow the strategies that my colleagues, American colleagues, A doctoral student said that she wanted to increase her independent problem solving ability by studying alone. She said: When studying with others, you are g times as I can then I can solve the problems by myself. That is what is expected from a Ph.D. graduate.

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91 Stud ying alone plus group study One doctoral participant reported that his learning strategy was to first study independently and then study with groups. He found this learning strategy fitted his learning style, which greatly helped his studying. He said: Lea study, and then a group discussion has always been helpful. I always like to study by myself before the group discussions. I can let the material sink in, and then a gr oup discussion is always helpful for me because I can get other points of view. Studying harder and longer Almost all participants reported that they studied harder in the United States than in their home countr ies One student said: In my first year in U. S., I did not have my life at all. I stay late almost every night to read Three reasons for studying harder and longer were mentioned during the interviews. The [U.S.] was almost s The participants also reported that a heavier graduate study workl oad was another reason for studying harder and longer. Graduate study required more time and energy. One student stated: my office, do research, do homework, do the l earning, go to classes. I basically spend the whole day at the university which is definitely different than what I did in my home country.

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92 The study motivation was also a reason for studying harder. A social science major said that the only reason s he studied harder was that she was interested in the courses she took. She Studying in libraries Many participa nts said that they like studying in the libraries. A participant r eported that he used the libraries library. I get very focused and I Reading more More reading helped learning in the United States. Several participants reported that they read more in the United States than in their home countries, read more than their colleagues do, and read more carefully. One stud ent said: I read it very, very carefully and make notes and try to connect to what I have already known with the new information. I read two or three times so I can construct the whole structure in my mind. Reviewing class recorded videos/audios Sinc reported that they often reviewed recorded audios or videos after classes to catch up. One student nternet provided by my Interacting with professors Interacting with professors was one of the effective learning strategies that participants used in the United States. Several participants told the interviewers that they interacted with profe

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93 Focusing on lecture and notes Although participants said that reading the textbook helped their academic achievement, some of them emphasized that focusing on the lecture and their notes was more important in the y to copy as much as I could. Here [U.S.] Previewing and reviewing classes Previewing classes and reviewing classes were common learning and study strategies that int ernational students used. Participants reported that this strategy was a learning habit they developed since childhood, so they used it in their home country and in the United States. Using only English in academics Participants reported that they preferre d using only English in their studies because it helped their academic success in the United States. One participant said: For the academic study, I use English 100 percent. I think preparing everything in English is better than in my own language because basically think, write and talk about things in academics in English only. I think it helps a lot in study and after a while it basically becomes your first language anyway. Some participants, however, said they were passive English users because no one spoke reported tha t they used English because they did not know the academic terms in their home languages.

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94 Using native language in academics On the contrary, some participants reported that using their home language in studying helped their academic achievement. It is eas ier to master the knowledge in their home language and solve academic problems. One Chinese student said: Thinking in my native language helped to solve my homework problems and exam ds in Google Mandarin, so I can get an idea about what the reading is about. Many participants reported that they preferred using their home language rather than using English in math related academic activities. They said that it is more efficient to do m ath in their home language s A Germa n student said: written on the paper. Mana ging time differently In order to achieve academic success, international graduate students managed time differently, compared to how they studied in their home countries. Most participants reported that they had more leisure time in their home country tha n in the United States. In addition, they reported that they spent time studying on a regular base. An Indian student described the difference in his home country and in the United States: Here in the U.S. you had to keep a continuous effort on the semeste your homework, you have pop up quizzes. It was less effort but on a regular basis. But in my home country, we used to focus more on the last month, about 90% effort of the whole semester. Using a dictionary to polish their En glish Since English is the second language for the participants, they reported that they used an

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9 5 actually required a dictionary. I feel pretty confiden Summary In this chapter, six research questions were examined to investigate: (a) reasons for international grad hard/applied, soft/pure, and soft/applied; (b) factors associated with international graduate a nd teaching methods between the United States and their home country; and (d) learning and study strategies used by international students in the United States. A questionnaire was used to collect the primary data that were analyzed by the SPSS software pr ogram. Research Question 1 was analyzed by MANOVA models; Research Question 3 was analyzed by standard multiple regression models; and Research Question 4 was analyzed by McNemar Chi square tests. The qualitative data were collected by follow up focus grou p interviews whose findings support ed and extended the quantitative findings. Research Questions 2, 5, and 6 were analyzed by the domain analysis method. The quantitative and qualitative results are reported separately. The interpretations and implications of these results are presented in Chapter 5.

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96 Table 4 1 Number and proportion of participants by length of time in the U.S. Length of time (year) Number of participants (n) Proportion of participants (%) < 1 135 26.7 1 2 97 19.2 2 3 8 1 16.1 3 4 73 14 .5 4 5 41 8.1 > 5 78 15.4 Table 4 2 Mean, median, standard deviation, and range of length of time in the U.S. Mean Median S.D. Min. Max. Length of time 3.04 3.00 1.767 1 6 Table 4 3 Number and proportion of participants by length of weekly study time Weekly study hour Number of participants (n) Proportion of participants (%) 27 5.3 11 20 71 14.1 21 30 92 18.2 31 40 99 19.6 41 50 92 18.2 51 60 64 12.7 61 70 36 7.1 24 4.8 Table 4 4 Mean, median, standard deviation, and range of length of weekly study time Mean Median S.D. Min. Max. Weekly study hour 4.23 4 .00 1.809 1 8 71 hours. Table 4 5 Number and proportion of participants by proportion of time using native language Proportion of time Number of participants (n) Proportion of participants (%) 0% 104 20.6 1% 20% 160 31.7 21% 50% 133 26.3 51% 100% 108 21.4 Table 4 6 Mea n, median, standard deviation, and range of proportion of time using native language Mean Median S.D. Min. Max. Proportion of time 2.28 2.00 1.21 1 4

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97 Table 4 7 Number and proportion of participants by proportion of time using three study methods Proportion of time Study alone Study with home students Study with other students 0 1 (0.2%) 227 (45.0%) 128 (25.3%) 1% 20% 14 (2.8%) 175 (34.6%) 247 (48.9% ) 21% 50% 95 (18.8%) 92 (18.2%) 109 (21.6%) 51% 100% 395 (78.2%) 11 (2.2%) 21 (4.2%) Table 4 8 Mean, median, standard deviation, and range of proportion of time using three study methods Mean Median S.D. Min. Max. Study alone 3.75 4.00 .508 1 4 S tudy with students from home country 1.78 2.00 .818 1 4 Study with students from other countries 2.04 2.00 .794 1 4 Table 4 9 Number and proportion of p articipants by reasons for choice of academic majors No Not sure Yes English language ability belief 52 (10.4%) 79 (15.9%) 365 (73.7%) Relevance of academic background 24 (4.8%) 10 (2.0%) 462 (93.2%) Relevance of work experience 133 (26.7%) 71 (14.3%) 292 (59.0%) Academic interest 14 (2.8%) 32 (6.5%) 450 (90.7%) 101 (20.4%) 157 (31.7%) 238 (47.9%) Expectation of success 14 (2.8%) 102 (20.5%) 380 (76.7%) 90 (18.2%) 108 (21.7%) 298 (60.0%) Family influence 265 (53.5%) 153 (30.8%) 78 (15.7%) 72 (14.5%) 140 (28.2%) 284 (57.3%) Job opportunities 83 (16.6%) 150 (30.3%) 263 (53.1%) Table 4 10 Mean, median, standard deviation, and range of reasons for choice of academic majors Mean Median S.D. Min. Max. English language ability belief 2.63 3.00 .664 1 3 Relevance of academic background 2.88 3.00 .446 1 3 Relevance of work experience 2.32 3.00 .869 1 3 Academic interest 2.88 3.00 .402 1 3 2.28 2.00 .780 1 3 Expectation of success 2.74 3.00 .498 1 3 2.42 3.00 .781 1 3 Family influence 1.62 1.00 .741 1 3 2.43 3.00 .733 1 3 Job opportunities 2.36 3.00 .752 1 3

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98 Table 4 11 choice of academic majors Independent variable F Native regions 10.727** Gender 19.850** Age 11.561** Graduate level 36.149** Academic major continuity 26.832* English language proficiency 3.200** English language ability belief 9.359** Relevance of academic background 12.170** Relevance of work experience 2.661* Academic interest 9.377** 10.956** Expectation of success 5.951** Pr 12.991** Family influence 12.375** 9.290** Job opportunities 10.498** *p < .01; **p < .05. Table 4 12 Significant independent variables and F values in the hard/pure academic majors Independent variable F Native regions 4.255** Graduate level 45.856** Age 16.822** Academic interest 7.940** 13.695** English language ability belief 10.279** Family influence 17.287** 10.017** Table 4 13 Comparisons of significant factors in the hard/pure academic majors Significant factor Pairwise comparison Native regions Africa (+) vs. Central and South Asia* Age ** Graduate level Doctoral (+) vs. mas ter ** Yes (+) vs. no** Family influence Yes (+) vs. no** English language ability belief Yes (+) vs. no** No (+) vs. yes* Academic interest Not sure (+) vs. no* group is more likely to choose this type of academic major than the other group.

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99 Table 4 14 Significant independent variables and F values in the hard/applied academic majors Independent variable F Native regions 23.812** Gender 44.183** Academic maj or continuity 53.001** Relevance of academic background 22.773** Academic interest 13.551** 8.244** 6.482* 11.007** Job opportunities 7.643** Table 4 15 Comparisons of significant factors in the hard/applied academic majors Significant factor Pairwise comparison Native regions Africa (+) vs. Central and South America** Africa (+) vs. Central and South Asia** Africa (+) vs. East and Southeast Asia** Africa (+) vs. Middle East* Central and South Asia (+) vs. non Central and South Asia** East and Southeast Asia (+) vs. Europe* Gender Male (+) vs. female ** Academic major continuity Yes (+) vs. no ** Relevance o f academic background Yes (+) vs. no** Academic interest No (+) vs. yes* Yes (+) vs. no** Yes (+) vs. no* Job opportunities Yes (+) vs. no** Not sure (+) vs. no** group.

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100 Table 4 16 Significant independent variables and F values in the soft/pure academic majors Independent variable F Native regions 9 .300** Gender 12.001** English language proficiency 4.273* Job opportunities 7.643** English language ability belief 18.105** Relevance of academic background 22.107** Academic interest 6.118* 28.528** Expectation of success 8 .818** 25.481** Family influence 13.862** 9.817** *p < .0125; **p Table 4 17 Comparisons of significant factors in the soft/pure academic majors Significant factor Pairwise comparison Native regions Africa (+) vs. Central and South America** Africa (+) vs. Central and South Asia** Africa (+) vs. East and S outheast Asia** Africa (+) vs. Middle East* Europe (+) vs. Central and South America** Europe (+) vs. Central and South Asia** Europe (+) vs. East and Southeast Asia* Gender Female (+) vs. male ** English language proficiency 0% vs. 1% 20% (+)* R elevance of academic background No (+) vs. yes** English language ability belief No (+) vs. yes* Academic interest Yes (+) vs. no* No (+) vs. yes** Yes (+) vs. no** Family influence No (+) vs. yes** Job opp ortunities No (+) vs. yes** Expectation of success Yes (+) vs. not sure* Yes (+) vs. not sure** group.

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101 Table 4 18 Significant independent variables and F values in the soft/applied academic majors Independent variable F Native regions 9.843** Gender 26.325** Age 24.881** Graduate level 83.307** Academic major continuity 57.660** English language proficiency 5.263** Relevance of work experience 5.681* Academic interest 10.443** Expectation of success 11.424** Family influence 11.778** 5.508* Job opportunities 26.601** *p < .0125; **p Table 4 19 Comparisons of significant factors in the soft/applied academic majors Significant factor Pairwise comparison Native regions Central and South America (+) vs. East and Southeast Asia** Central and South America (+) vs. Europe* Cen tral and South Asia (+) vs. non Central and South Asia** Middle East (+) vs. East and Southeast Asia* Age ** Graduate level Master (+) vs. doctoral ** Gender Female (+) vs. male ** Academic major continuity No (+) vs. yes ** Relevance of work experience Yes (+) vs. no* Expectation of success No (+) vs. yes** Family influence No (+) vs. yes* No (+) vs. yes** Academic interest Yes (+) vs. not sure** Job opportunities Yes (+) vs. not sure** English language proficiency 1% 20% (+) vs. 51% 100%** 21% 50% (+) vs. 51% 100%* *p < group. Table 4 20 Undergraduate GPA 4.0 7 (5.3%) 38 (28.8%) 3.7 3.9 56 (42.4% ) 42 (31.8%) 3.4 3.6 40 (30.3%) 38 (28.8%) 3.0 3.3 25 (18.9%) 13 (9.8%) < 3.0 4 (3.1%) 1 (.8%)

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102 Table 4 21 Mean Median S.D. Min. Max. Undergraduate level 3.28 3.00 .934 1 5 Master level 3.76 4.00 .976 1 5

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103 Table 4 22 Africa C&S America Europe C&S Asia Middle East Age Welcome Language proficiency Undergrad GPA Gender Master GPA .191 .024 .088 .128 .064 .111 .101 .003 .128 .162 Africa .090 .050 .107 .048 .110 .103 .170 .126 .214 C&S America .158 .3 36 .151 .329 .138 .108 .085 .083 Europe .187 .084 .197 .263 .092 .221 .235 C&S Asia .177 .299 .076 .083 .051 .231 Middle East .026 .027 .043 .301 .127 Age .005 .078 .108 .162 .048 .125 .007 Language proficiency .052 .128 Undergrad GPA .106 Gender Study alone Study home studts Study other studts Acadm major contnty Length of time U.S. Length of study time Family influence Lang ability belief Expect of success

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104 Table 4 22 Continued Study alone Study home studts Study other studts Acadm major contnty Length of time U.S. Length of study time Family influence Lang ability belief Expect of success Acadm interest Master GPA .072 .006 .030 .004 .145 .137 .024 .031 .158 .041 Africa .070 .042 .243 .290 .081 .011 .149 .073 .070 .066 C&S America .234 .258 .063 .218 .234 .075 .179 .119 .127 .036 Europe .176 .257 .133 .099 .039 .099 .177 .027 .152 .236 C&S Asia .151 .341 .002 .130 .198 .075 .062 .235 .040 .180 Middle East .306 .128 .278 .159 .056 .013 .049 .122 .117 .030 Age .055 .311 .068 .035 .445 .017 .071 .074 .009 .105 W .079 .121 .212 .129 .050 .007 .096 .105 .137 .105 Language proficiency .193 .281 .083 .062 .205 .134 .227 .127 .224 .338 Undergrad GPA .058 .009 .149 .023 .021 .025 .048 .153 .034 .056 Gender .066 .155 .056 .025 .203 .203 .057 .176 .147 .221 Study alone .290 .346 .069 .048 .148 .129 .092 .043 .044 Study home studts .144 .120 .211 .115 .189 .021 .018 .093 Study other studts .040 .010 .176 .036 .156 .049 .022 Acadm major contnty .153 .127 .0 89 .078 .0575 .063 Length of time U.S. .165 .180 .146 .082 .193 Length of study time .014 .252 .065 .011 Family influence .027 .135 .260 Lang ability belief .068 .125 Expect of success .360

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105 Table 4 23 S Significant factor B (b) S.E. Europe .137 ( .493) .248* Central and South Asia .178 ( .388) .164* Middle East .175 ( .658) .248** Gender .154 (.312) .129* Length of weekly study time .19 4 (.127) .038** Undergraduate GPA .111 (.118) .058* Study alone .243 ( .480) .132** Expectation of success .158 (.361) .130** .148 (.204) .075** Table 4 24 Number and proportion of doctoral participant Undergraduate GPA Doctoral GPA 4.0 23 (6.3%) 105 (28.8%) 3.7 3.9 145 (39.9%) 192 (52.7%) 3.4 3.6 107 (29.4%) 60 (16.5%) 3.0 3.3 75 (20.6%) 7 (1.9%) < 3.0 14 (3.8%) 0 (0%) Table 4 25 Mean, median, standard deviation, and range of doctoral pa Mean Median S.D. Min. Max. Undergraduate level 3.24 3.00 .978 1 5 Doctoral level 4.09 4.00 .722 1 5

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106 Table 4 26 Africa C&S America Europe C&S Asia Middle East Age Welcome Language proficiency Undergrad GPA Gender Doctoral GPA .231 .102 .102 .130 .081 .083 .028 .124 .162 .089 Africa .060 .071 .090 .053 .300 .033 .175 .173 .083 C&S America .092 .117 .068 .134 .033 .272 .173 .118 Europe .137 .080 .038 .039 .014 .022 .052 C&S Asia .102 .315 .026 .299 .210 .059 Middle East .064 .007 .023 .1 35 .046 Age .163 .023 .199 .047 .004 .134 .090 Language proficiency .070 .122 Undergrad GPA .086 Gender Study alone Study home studts Study other studts Acadm major contnty Length of time U.S. Length of study time Family influence Lang ability belief Expect of success

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107 Table 4 26 Continued Study alone Study home studts Study other st udts Acadm major contnty Length of time U.S. Length of study time Family influence Lang ability belief Expect of success Acadm interest Doctoral GPA .183 .017 .085 .029 .152 .021 .048 .004 .020 .031 Africa .059 .062 .085 .102 .005 .031 .099 .136 .071 .061 C&S America .074 .100 .035 .059 .109 .018 .149 .007 .061 .080 Europe .105 .153 .104 .050 .172 .026 .079 .101 .142 .048 C&S Asia .086 .073 .009 .013 .002 .248 .050 .207 .114 .026 Middle East .068 .099 .029 .050 .110 .131 .1 36 .009 .060 .025 Age .054 .101 .055 .067 .332 .140 .161 .216 .060 .024 .017 .029 .047 .006 .122 .045 .263 .280 .260 .169 Language proficiency .120 .307 .085 .097 .220 .167 .055 .175 .060 .121 Undergrad GPA .018 .084 .049 .033 .019 .041 .004 .044 .097 .055 Gender .045 .127 .167 .026 .089 .012 .113 .000 .091 .119 Study alone .143 .299 .064 .014 .100 .036 .102 .101 .022 Study home studts .065 .083 .096 .090 .145 .009 .065 .073 Study other studts .134 .027 .068 .107 .079 .042 .015 Acadm major contnty .040 .131 .106 .115 .012 .067 Length of time U.S. .010 .088 .057 .029 .032 Length of study time .121 .127 .086 .059 Family influence .196 .069 .087 Lang ability belief .332 .081 Expect of success .273

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108 Table 4 27 Significant f actor B (b) S.E. Africa .207 ( .701) .112** Europe .075 (.176) .076* Central and South Asia 17 0 ( .334) .071** Gender .090 ( .129) .046** Length of time stay in the U.S. .152 (.063) .014** Length of weekly study time .082 (.031) .012** Study alone .145 (.218) .048** Undergraduate GPA .175 (.125) .023** English language ability belief .080 (. 081) .034* *p

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109 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION AND IMPLI CATIONS Introduction This chapter presents the conclusion s and implications of the study This chapter includes (a) a summary of the study, (b) an interpretation of the answers to the research questions a nd conclusions based on the data analysis, (c) implications of the results, (d) contributions of the study, and (e) recommendations for future research. Summary of the Study The United States has become a major host country of international students whose numbers have been increasing since the 1950s (Open Doors, 2006). International graduate students consist of 46% of all international students who are approximately 4% of the total post secondary education enrollment (Open Doors, 2006). However, literature on international graduate students is limited. Most of the research does not distinguish between international undergraduate students and international graduate students, or the research focuses only on international undergraduate students. Only a few stud ies have been conducted on international Although international studen ts have become a large segment of the student population on university campuses, research has indicated that existing campus services are designed primarily (Davis, 1999). differences in teaching and learning methods in the home cou ntry and in the United States, and

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110 learning and study strategies that international graduate students used in the United States. The following six research questions were addressed in this study: 1. What factors are associated with the choice of academic majo rs among international graduate students? 2. What reasons for choosing academic majors are reported by international graduate students? 3. 4. Do learning and teaching methods d iffer between the United States and international 5. What learning and teaching methods in the United States and the home country are reported by international graduate students? 6. What learning and study strategies are reported by int ernational graduate students? Expectancy Value model of achievement motivation developed for domestic students, the researcher modified i t based on the nature of international graduate students. The conceptual framework, as presented in Chapter 3, consists of 11 constructs: academic performance, choice of academic majors, demographics, English language proficiency, educational and work expe riences, welcome of international students, family influence, English language ability belief, expectation of success, learning and study strategies, and subjective values. The study was conducted at a large southeastern four year public university offerin g almost 200 graduate programs; its enrollment consisted of approximately 2,100 international graduate students. The researcher designed an online questionnair e based on previous relevant studies to collect the primary data. The m ultivar iate analysis of v a riance (MANOVA) tests, the standard multiple regression analysis, and nonparametric tests were performed to answer Research Questions 1, 3, and 4, respectively. Three follow up focus group intervi ews were

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111 conducted to support and enhance the findings of th e questionnaire. The domain analysis method was used to answer Research Questions 2, 5, and 6. The findings of this study contributed to educational literature and theory, as well as American higher education administration and policy development. Findings and Discussions The findings of this study are presented in response to the six research questions. Research Questions One and Two Participants reported their current academic majors, which were subsequently classified by the Biglan classification scheme: hard/pure, hard/applied, soft/pure, and soft/applied. The MANOVA tests were used to investigate the factors associated with international graduate 1 summarizes the significant factors in each type of academic m ajor The results revealed significant differences by native regions. African students were more likely to choose hard/pure, hard/applied and soft/pure majors than Central and South Asian students. African students were more likely to choose hard/applied a nd soft/pure majors than Central and South American, East and Southeast Asian, or Middle Eastern students. Central and South Asian students were more likely to choose hard/applied and soft/applied majors than students from other regions. East and Southeast Asian students were more likely to choose hard/applied majors than European students. European students were more likely to choose soft/pure majors than Central and South American, Central and South Asian, or East and Southeast Asian students. Central and South American students were more likely to choose soft/applied majors than East and Southeast Asian or European students. Middle Eastern students were more likely to choose soft/applied majors than East and Southeast Asian students. Gender differences w ere found. Male students were more likely to choose hard/applied majors and females were more likely to choose soft / pure and soft/applied majors. Significant

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112 soft/applie d majors, and doctoral students were more likely to choose hard/pure majors. Age differences were found. Students younger than 30 years old were more likely to choose hard/pure majors, and 30 years and older students were more likely to choose soft/applied majors. Continuity of academic same type of undergraduate and graduate majors were more likely to choose hard/applied majors, while those with a d ifferent type of academic major were more likely to choose soft/applied majors. Significant differences occurred by English language proficiency. Students who used 1% to 20% of time in native language s (non English) in academics were more likely to choose so ft/pure majors than those who used 0% o f time. Students who used 51% to 100% of time in native language s were less likely to choose soft/applied majors than those who used 1% to 20% or 21% to 50% of time. changed the type of academic maj or and used 1% to 20% of time in native language s in academics were more likely to choose soft majors. Younger male doctoral level students who continued the type of academic major were more likely to choose hard majors. Hence, age, gender, graduate levels, continuity of academic choice. In addition, Central and South Asian students were more likely to choose applied majors; African students were more likely to choos e hard/applied and soft/pure majors; European students were more likely to choose soft/pure majors; and Central and South American students were more likely to choose soft/applied majors. Hence, the regional culture influenced

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113 age, gender, native regions, English language proficiency, continuity of type of undergradua te and graduate academic majors, and the degree they seek. Significant differences occurred in the MANOVA tests of between subjects effects. Academic interest and welcome of international students were found to be related to all categories of academic majo factor of job opportunities was related to the choice of hard/applied, soft/pure, and soft/applied oft/pure majors. Family influence was related to the choice of hard/pure, soft/pure, and soft/applied academic rank were related to the choice of hard/applied and soft/pure majors. Expectation of suc cess was related to the choice of soft/pure and soft/applied majors. English language ability belief was related to the choice of hard/pure and soft/pure majors. Relevance of work experience was related to the choice of soft/applied majors. In short, acad emic interest and welcome of international students were founded to be job choice of hard majors; job opportunities, expectation of success, and family influence were related to the choice of soft majors. The study suggests that departments and institutions that plan to attract international graduate students provide a friendly academic environment to this population in addition to offering high quality academic program s Academic programs that plan to attract more international s tudents may have various recruitment plans, according to the factors that impact their academic choice.

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114 The follow up focus group interviews revealed nine reasons for the choice of academic majors Five of them were validated by questionnaire findings: aca demic interest, relevant academic background, relevant work experience, job opportunities, and welcome of international students. The results of the focus group interviews expanded the questionnaire findings. Four additional reasons were reported by focus group interviewees: career goal approach, academic suitability. The study suggests that academic advisors not only be aware of the factors found in the questionnair e survey, but also keep these additional factors in mind when giving advice on the choice of academic majors to international graduate students. Research Question Three vel measured by the current grade point average (GPA). The data were therefore analyzed separately by graduate level s Nine factors were found to be significant a (Table 5 2) Six factors (native regions of Europe and Central and South Asia, gender, study alone method, length of weekly study time, and undergraduate GPA) were found statistically significant at both mas received a higher undergraduate GPA tended to receive a higher GPA at both levels. Students from Central and South Asia tended to receive a lower GPA than students from South and Southeast Asia at both levels. Students who came from Europe tended to receive a lower GPA than students from East tended to receive a higher GPA than students from East and Southeast Asia at the doctoral level. St udents who spent more time studying alone

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115 tended to receive tended to receive a higher GPA than students from East and Southeast Asia at the doctoral level. Female students tended to receive a higher GPA than mal e students at less well than male students at the doctoral level. The native region of the Middle East, welcome of international students, and expectation of success were the additional three factors only associate tended to receive a higher GPA. But students who came from the Middle East tended to receive a l ower GPA than students from East and Southeast Asia at the maste The native region of Africa, length of time in the United States, and English language ability belief were the additional three factors only Doctoral students who stayed longer in the United States or beli eved their English language ability tended to receive a higher doctoral GPA. But students who came from Africa tended to receive a lower GPA than students from East and Southeast Asia at the doctoral level. The findings provided evidence that factors assoc students and doctoral stud ents. For instance, doctoral students are expected to work i suggests higher education administrators distinguish international graduate students by graduate le vels when providing assistance to their academic success. For example, the universities may and female students who enroll in doctoral programs; students from Mid

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116 level and students from Africa at the doctoral level. In addition, universities may also help and help doctoral students strengthen t heir English language ability belief. Research Questions Four and Five The results of the questionnaire and focus group interviews concurred that the lecture was m ajor teaching method in the United States. The change of major teaching method made it more difficult for international students to achieve academic success in the United States. The results also revealed that listening was the major learning method in the home country, but discussion with professors and peers was the major learning method in the United States. their learning methods when the teaching methods in th e United States were different than those in their home countries. In the home country, the lecture was the major teaching method so students used listening as the major learning method. Focus group interviewees reported that they did not have any problems in understanding lectures in home languages. However, in the l earning method was switched to discussion with professors and peers Focus group interviewees reported they had more interaction with professors and colleagues in and out of classrooms, preferred to study in groups, and studied longer and harder. The study suggests that faculty and strategies, and provide interaction opportunities to international graduate students out of classrooms. International graduate stud ents should prepare for changes in teaching and learning methods and adjust their learning methods to match the teaching methods.

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117 Research Question Six The findings of the focus group interviews revealed that some international graduate students reported t hat they maintained their learning and study strategies used in their home country, but most of them reported that they changed their learning and study strategies to match the new teaching methods and strategies after arriving in the United States. The fo cus group interviewees reported various learning and study strategies they used in the United States: studying with groups of international students, studying alone, studying alone plus group study, studying harder and longer, studying in libraries, readin g more, reviewing class recorded videos/audios, interacting with professors, focusing on lecture and notes, previewing and reviewing classes, using only English in academics, using native language in academics, managing time differently, and using a dictio nary to polish their English. These strategies assisted international graduate students to achieve a better academic performance. The study suggests that the university provide workshops on effective learning and study strategies found in this study to int ernational graduate students who may use these strategies to quickly adjust to the new learning environment. In addition, two strategies (proportion of time studying alone and length of weekly study time) were found to be significantly related to internati graduate students who spent more weekly study time tended to receive a higher GPA at both gy of studying longer was shared by international students at both graduate levels. However, the studying alone strategy differed by graduate levels. dents who spent more proportion of time studying alone tended to receive a lower GPA. But doct oral students who spent m ore proportion of time studying alone tended to receive a higher GPA. Perhaps the individual nature of specific work related to the doctorate is such that

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118 it makes group study more difficult. Since the dissertation is a lonely proj ect and must represent original research, it may lend itself more freely to study alone. The study suggests that administrators and faculty need to re think how doctoral students can share and learn from each other, and how they can provide differential se to assist their learning. Implications International graduate students are a unique and increasing student population at American higher educational institutions. American higher education administrators an d faculty expect this population to assimilate and act like the American students. Limited services and policies have been provided to support them (Davis, 1999). However, it is suggested that international graduate students be acknowledged and respected a t universities and colleges in the United States. Based on the results of this study, universities may consider developing the following services, programs, and policies. inter national graduate students. S everal programs and services can be provided to meet students have difficulties in adjusting to American higher education. In a ddition to covering and offer information on the higher educational system, major teaching methods, educational expectations, and differential academic requiremen ts level s A series of ongoing orientation sessions should be arranged before and after international students enroll in academic programs International graduate students should be aware of and prepare for the new learning environ ment.

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119 Second, proficiency in spoken and written English is one of the contributing factors graduate students who receive satisfactory TOEFL and GRE scores required by m ost universities, they may still need additional English language assistance. Ren, Bryan, Min, and Wei (2007) reported that the high scored international students had difficulties in understanding lectures, communicating with faculty and peers, and writing reports and papers. Hence, the English as a Second Language program may be offered to international students who need it. academic year It provides international students an oppor tunity to support each other, maintain friendships, as well as make more connections with the university. An International Graduate Student Academic Awards ceremony may be held during the event to celebrate international emic achievements. The winners could be invited to share their learning experience and effective and successful learning and study strategies. These strategies may be helpful to other international graduate students, especially the newcomers. Fourth, the u same regions to have regular activities, such as African Nights and the Middle Eastern Club. These activities would assist students from certain regions to reduce the sense of lonel iness and to solve common problems (e.g., cultural shock) and academic difficulties (e.g., language de ficiency) that people from the same region face. students. The study found that international graduate st differentiated effect those associated with doctoral student

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120 academic performance. It is suggested that differential services and supports be provided to level based services may meet achievement. for international students and American students, such as an international friendship service learning program, an international culture festival, a global house, and the international week. These events and activities may help international students understand American culture and educ ational expectations, as well as facilitating American and international friendships. On the other hand, these opportunities enable American students to become aware of other cultures, meet and talk with people from other countries /regions and u nderstand international affairs, policies, and business. In addition, departments or colleges may cooperate with the and American colleagues to study and wor k together, providing faculty mentorship, and organizing academic discussions and research activities. All these activities not only assist welcomed on campus. The un iversity could provide workshops for faculty to enable them to understand advisement, and adjust their teaching methods and strategies. The workshop could includ e the

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121 students, and appropriate academic advisement and mentorship. These workshops also could provide faculty members an opportunity to share their experience of teaching and mentoring int ernational graduate students. This study suggests the following teaching strategies to assist handouts or slides to assist comprehension, avoid using slang or culture related words in class, help find study mates or discussion groups, provide more interaction opportunities after class, create opportunities to interact with American students, and h ave patience and respect for international students. This study suggests the following academic advising strategies: provide appropriate academic advisement on taking suitable courses and ds and difficulties; introduce the American graduate school system, degree requirements, and educational expectations of native culture, English language profic iency, con tinuity of academic majors and the degree they seek. Factors other than the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores could also be considered in the admissions process. The university admissi ons criteria for international graduate students usually include TOEFL and GRE scores. Light and colleagues (1987) found that the overall TOEFL score has a statistically es (2004) also asserted that the GRE score is a generally valid predictor of first year graduate grade point average (GGPA) and final GGPA. However, several researchers were not able to find clear evidence regarding the relationship between international s academic success, as measured by the GGPA in their studies (Neal, 1998; Simner, 1999; Yule & Hoffman, 1990). Therefore, GRE and TOEFL scores should not be used as the sole criterion

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122 during the admissions process. The finding s of this study revealed that other f actors are may appropriately assess international graduate students by graduate level of application. In addition to GRE and background and work experience, previous academic performance, and academic motivation. academic achievement in the United States. This study suggests that recruitment policies could be developed to balance student population across disciplines. The study found that the majority of international graduate students were in the hard/applied majo rs. For example, the engineering programs were nbalanced student population does not contribute to diversity at American universities. International students may feel lonely when the department is dominated by Americans. American students may have the same feelings when they study in a department domin ated by the international student population. Furthermore, it is unhealthy for a department Korean students in my department so we usually discuss in Korean, whi ch I found hard to solve International graduate students reported that they wanted to study with Americans and students from other countries. On the other hand, the unbalanced student population in certain disciplines may cause the lack of Americans in certain fields in the future (e.g., resulting in an engineer crisis) because many international students return to their home countries upon graduation. The recruiting

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123 officers may develop policies to attract international students to non hard/applied majors and under represented disciplines. The recruiting policies may include these suggestions: offering financial aid opportunities to international students who apply non hard/applied majors, providing research and work opportunitie s with a diverse student population in under represented departments, hiring international students from under represented regions as recruiting assistants in their home countries, and replacing selected admissions criteria by ant work and educational experience s Contributions This study contributes to educational literature, theory, practice, and policy development in choice of academic majors and academic performance in American higher educati on. First, the study added to limited research on international graduate students. International graduate students are an understudied population. The majority of existing research has focused on international undergraduate students, or it has not distingu ished between international undergraduate students and international graduate students. Due to the special academic requirements of graduate level study and unique academic difficulties that international students face, this study focused on international graduate students in isolation. The study of academic majors and academic performance based on academic performance (Figur e 3 1). This model was adapted from Expectancy Value model of achievement motivation (Figure 2 1 ). Considering the nature of international graduate students and adde d four new constructs in Figure 3 1: welcome of international students, English language proficiency, English language ability belief and demographics (native regions, graduate level, and length of time in the United States)

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124 Second, the study extended ex performance. Previous studies have examined such factors as English language proficiency, learning and study strategies, and cross cultural adjustment. However, researchers also indicated that in dimensional (Kuncel, Hezlett, & Ones, 2001). The study found that the graduate level was the interaction factor of us academic experience, doctoral degree requirements, and educational expectation of doctoral graduates may s Native regions, gender, length of time live in the United St ates, length of weekly study time, undergraduate GPA, expectation of success, welcome of international students, and English language ability belief were found to be performance. Third, the study co of academic majors were focused only of academic majors c hoice of academic majors Due to the nature of international graduate students, more factors of academ ic choice were found beyond the Value model. Native cultures, welcome of international students, English language proficiency, English language ability belief, academic ancial assistance opportunities were additional factors that were found related to internati choice of academic majors in the United States.

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125 Fourth, the results and implications of this study may be of interest to practitioners and p olicymakers in higher educational institutions with a large international graduate student population, as well as to those practitioners and policymakers in institutions who wish to attract a larger number of international graduate students. The study assi sted institutional faculty and administrators to better understand this particular population and their academic needs. It also suggested new policies, services, and programs to the university policymakers, the office of enrollment management, and the univ education. Recommendation s for Further Study The researcher suggests that future research investigate the rea sons for graduate level performance. The reasons for the differences in international and assist this population by graduate levels. evaluation methods in addition to their graduate GPA. Other evaluation methods may include length of program completion time, research productivities and contributions, and participation in academic activities. The combination of the evaluation methods may provide a more performance are complex. Future research may explore other factors to extend th

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126 (Figure 3 1) that was presented in Chapter 3. For example, f inancial assistance opportunities, career goals, and home country may be included in the construct of subjective values; influence of academic advisors/ mentors peers, and famil y may be included in the construct of social influence frequency of interaction with professors and peers may be considered as one of the learning and study strategies; and personality may be included in the construct of demographics

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127 Table 5 1. Significant factors associated with ch oice of academic majors by type of academic majors Significant factor Hard/pure Hard/applied Soft/pur e Soft/applied Native regions Africa (+) vs. Central and South Asia* Africa (+) vs. Central and South America** Africa (+) vs. Central and South America** Central and South America (+) vs. East and Southeast Asia** Africa (+) vs. Central and South Asia ** Africa (+) vs. Central and South Asia** Central and South America (+) vs. Europe* Africa (+) vs. East and Southeast Asia** Africa (+) vs. East and Southeast Asia** Central and South Asia (+) vs. non Central and South Asia** Africa (+) vs. Middle E ast* Africa (+) vs. Middle East* Middle East (+) vs. East and Southeast Asia* Central and South Asia (+) vs. non Central and South Asia** Europe (+) vs. Central and South America** East and Southeast Asia (+) vs. Europe* Europe (+) vs. Central and S outh Asia** Europe (+) vs. East and Southeast Asia* Age ** ** Gender Male (+) vs. female ** Female (+) vs. male ** Female (+) vs. male ** Academic major continuity Yes (+) vs. no ** No (+) vs. yes ** Graduate level D octoral (+) vs. master ** Master (+) vs. doctoral ** English language proficiency 0% vs. 1% 20% (+)* 1% 20% (+) vs. 51% 100%** 21% 50% (+) vs. 51% 100%* major than the other group

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128 Table 5 1. Continued Significant factor Hard/pure Hard/applied Soft/pure Soft/applied Relevance of academic background Yes (+) vs. no** No (+) vs. yes** Relevance of work experience Yes (+) vs. no* English language abili ty belief Yes (+) vs. no** No (+) vs. yes* Yes (+) vs. no** Not sure (+) vs. no** Yes (+) vs. not sure** No (+) vs. yes** Family influence Yes (+) vs. no** No (+) vs. yes** No (+) vs. yes* No (+) vs. yes Yes (+) vs. no* Yes (+) vs. no** Academic interest Not sure (+) vs. no* No (+) vs. yes* Yes (+) vs. no* Yes (+) vs. not sure** Yes (+) vs. no** No (+) vs. yes** Expectation of success Yes (+) vs. not sure* No (+) vs. yes** Job opportunities Yes (+) vs. no** No (+) vs. yes** Yes (+) vs. not sure**

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129 Table 5 2. Significant factors associated with academic performance by graduate level Significant factor Master B (b) Doctoral level B (b) Africa .207 ( .701) ** Europe .137 ( .493) .075 (.176) Central and South Asia .178 ( .388) 170 ( .334) ** Middle East .175 ( .658) ** Gender .154 (.312) .090 ( .129) ** Length of time stay in the U.S. .152 (.063) ** Length of w eekly study time .194 (.127) ** .082 (.031) ** Study alone .243 ( .480) ** .145 (.218) ** Undergraduate GPA .111 (.118) .175 (.125) ** English language ability belief .080 (.081) Expectation of success .158 (.361) ** n ts .148 (.20 4) **

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130 APPENDIX A ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE PROTOCOL Informed Consent Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Purpose of this study: The purpose of this study is to investigate intern ational gradate students academic performance, and learning experience in American higher education. What you will be asked to do in the study: You will be aske d to fill out a questionnaire. Approximate time needed: 10 minutes. Risks and Benefits and Compensation: There are no anticipated risks, compensation or other direct benefits to you as a participant in this survey. Confidentiality: Your answers will be com pletely CONFIDENTIAL and your identity will be ANONYMOUS. Your name will not be asked. The result will be released only as summaries in which no individual answers can be identified. Voluntary participation: Your participation in this study is completely v oluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Jia Ren, Department of Educational A dministration & Policy, University of Florida. Address: P.O. Box 117049, Gainesville, FL 32611. Phone: (352) 392 2391. Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, F L 32611 2250. Phone: (352) 392 0433. 1. I have read the procedure described above. *Answer required. Next

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131 Questionnaire Section I: Learning experience and academic performance 2. Please choose your major learning method. Reading Listening D i scussion with teachers/peer s In the U.S. In home country 3. Please choose the major teaching method. Lecture Seminar In the U.S. In home country 4. Please indicate the average length of your weekly study time (includin g all academic related activities) in the United States. 20 hours/week 30 hours/week 40 hours/week 50 hours/week 60 hours/week 70 hours/week 5. Currently, how much proportion do you use y our NATI VE language in all academic related activities ? 20% 50% 100% 6. On average, how much proportion of time do you use the following study methods in the United States? 0% 1 20% 21 50% 51 100% Study alone Study with students from home country Study with students from other countries 7. What are/were your GPA (grade point average) scores (including your current study)? 4.0 3.7 3.9 3.4 3.6 3.0 3.3 < 3.0 NA Undergraduate level Doctoral level Next

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132 Section II: Motivation of academic choice 8. Are the following reasons why you choose your current major in the United States? Yes No Not sure I believe my English is adequate I have relevant academic background. I have relevant work experience. I am interested in this academic area. I know I will be academically successful in this major. is academic field. I feel welcomed and accepted in this department. My family wanted me to study in this major. I will have more job opportunities with a degree in this major. Section III: Background information 10. You r age: _______ 11. Your native country /area : _________ 12. Your native language: ________ 13. Which graduate level are you currently studying at? vel 14. Your undergraduate major: _________ 15. Your current graduate major: ________ 16. How long have you stayed in the United States? 2 years 3 years 4 years 5 years Next

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133 You have completed the questionnaire. T hank you for your time and assistance. Done

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134 APPENDIX B FOCUS GROUP INTERVIE W PROTOCOL Informed Consent Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Purpose of this study: The proposed study investigates int educational experience in American higher education, learning and study strategies used in the making processes. What you will be asked to do in the study: You will be asked to prov ide your demographic status (excluding your name) prior to the interviews. You will be in a group of interviewees, and allow an interviewer to complete and audio record a one time focus group interview. The interviewers will ask general questions about you r educational experience, learning and study strategies, and reasons for choosing your current academic major. Time required: Approximately one hour. Risks and Benefits and Compensation: A lunch will be provided before the interviews. We appreciate your vo luntary participation. There are no anticipated risks, or other direct benefits to you as a participant in this survey. Confidentiality: Your interview will be audio recorded and later transcribed by the interviewer completing the interviews. Your answers will be completely CONFIDENTIAL and your identity will be ANONYMOUS Your name will not appear on the transcript, nor be used in included. Voluntary participation: Y our participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Jia Ren, Department of Educational Administration & Policy, College of Education, University of Florida. Address: P.O. Box 117049, Gainesville, FL 32611. Phone: (352) 392 2391. Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the s tudy: UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 2250. Phone: (352) 392 0433. I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure. Participant: ________________________________________ ___ Date: _________________ Principal Investigat o r: __________________________________ Date: _________________

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135 Focus Group Interview Protocol Section I: Demographic information Age: Gender: Original c ountry /area : Native language: Current majo r: Academic level: Length of time in the U.S. (year): Length of time learning English (year):_____ Section II: Questions Educational Experience: 1. What were the academic challenges that you faced in the first year studying in a graduate program in t he United States? How did you adjust? What are the challenges now? 2. What are the differences between your home country and the U.S. based on your educational experience? Did the differences affect your learning in the United States? Academic Motivation: 3. Pl ease describe the reasons why you decided to choose your current major? 4. If you stayed in your home country, would you have chosen your current major? Why or why not? Learning and Study Strategies: 5. What were the learning and study strategies you used in yo ur home country and in the U.S.? Were the strategies used in your home country different from those in the U.S.? 6. Do you read, think, write, and talk about things related to academics in your native language or in English? If you use your native language, i n what proportion? How does using your native language help or prevent your academic success? Please briefly explain. 7. How do you manage your study time and leisure time in your home country and in the United States? Is there any reason why you manage your time in this way in the United States? THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND ASSISTANCE.

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136 APPENDIX C REPRINT PERMISSION David, Natalie (ELS To: jiaren@ufl.edu Date: Feb 28 2007 Subject: RE : Obtain Permission Dear Dr Ren We hereby grant you permission to reproduce the material detailed below in your thesis at no charge subject to the following conditions: 1. If any part of the material to be used (for example, figures) has appeared in our pu blication with credit or acknowledgement to another source, permission must also be sought from that source. If such permission is not obtained then that material may not be included in your publication/copies. 2. Suitable acknowledgment to the source must be made, either as a footnote or in a reference list at the end of your publication, as follows: 3. Your thesis may be submitted to your institution in either print or electronic form 4. Reproduction of this material is confined to the purpose for which permission is hereby given. 5. This permission is granted for non exclusive world English rights only. For other languag es please reapply separately for each one required. Permission excludes use in an electronic form. Should you have a specific electronic project in mind please reapply for permission. 6. This includes permission for UMI to supply single copies, on demand, of the complete thesis. Should your thesis be published commercially, please reapply for permission. Yours sincerely, Natalie David Senior Righ ts Assistant Your future requests will be handled more quickly if you complete the online form at www.elsevier.com/permissions

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137 This Email was sent from the Elsevier Corporate Web Site and is related to Obtain Permission form: ---------------------------------------------------------------Request From: Jia Ren University of Florida PO Box 117049 32611 Gainesville, Florida United States Contact Details: Telephone: Fax: Email Address: jiaren@u fl.edu To use the following material: ISSN/ISBN: Title: Contemporary Educational Psychology Author(s): Allan Wigfield & Jacquelynne Eccles Volume: 25 Issue: NA Year: 2000 Pages: 68 81 Article title: Expectancy Value Theory of Achievement Motivat ion How much of the requested material is to be used: Fig. 1 Are you the author: No Author at institute: No How/where will the requested material be used: In a thesis or dissertation

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138 LIST OF REFERENCES Abadzi, J. (1984). Evaluation of foreign stude nts admission procedures used at the University of Alabama. In Hale, G., Stansfield, C., & Duran, R. (Eds.), Summaries of studies involving the test of English as a Foreign Language (pp. 1963 1982) Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service. Abel, C. F. (2002). Academic success and the international student: Research and recommendations. New Directions for Higher Education, 117 13 20. Ali, M. S. (1991). A study to identify and analyze the perceived nature and causes of the English language based problem s and the coping strategies of the Indonesian and Malaysian students studying in an American university. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Indiana University. f our international students learning to write the U.S. way. Written Communication, 16, 491 525. Astin, A. W. (1993). What matters in college? Four critical years revisited San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Ayres, J. B., & Quattlebaum, R. F. (1992). TOEFL perfo program in engineering. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 52(4), 973 975. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Bandura, A. (1997 ). Self efficacy: The exercise of control New York: W. H. Freeman. Becher, T., Henkel, M., & Kogan, M. (1994). Graduate Education in Britain London: Jessica Kingsley. Beets, S. D., & Lobingier, P. G. (2001). Pedagogical techniques: Student perform ance and preferences. Journal of Education for Business, 76(4) 231 231. Beishline, M. J., & Holmes, C. B. (1997). Student preferences for various teaching styles. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 24(2), 95 99. Biglan, A. (1973a). The characteristics of subject matter in different academic areas. Journal Applied Psychology, 57(3) 195 203. Biglan, A. (1973b). Relationships between subject matter characteristics and the structure and output of university departments. Journal Applied Psychology, 57(3), 204 213.

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139 Bilal, D. M. (1990). Problems of foreign students in using United States libraries and the difficulties of translating an international education to Lebanon. In J. I. Tallman & J. B. Ojiambo (Eds.), Translating an international education to a national environment (pp. 23 36). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press. Borg, W. R., & Gall, M. D. (1989). Educational Research: An introduction (5 th Ed.) New York: Longman. Bowen, H. S., & Rudenstine, N. L. (1992). In pursuit of the Ph.D. Princeton, N.J.: Pri nceton University Press. Boyer, S., & Sedlacek, W. (1988). Noncognitive predictors of academic success for international students: A longitudinal study. Journal of College Student Development, 29 218 223. Brooks, G., & Adams, M. (2002). Spoken English p roficiency and academic performance: Is there a relationship and if so, how do we teach? Conference of Celebrating Teaching at Macquarie 1 6. Burgess, T., & Greis, N. (1984). English language proficiency and academic achievement among students of English as a second language at the college level. In Hale, G., Stansfield, C., & Duran, R. (Eds.), Summaries of studies involving the test of English as a Foreign Language (pp. 1963 1982) Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service. Chao, R. T. (1996). Chinese Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 27, 403 423. Chapdelaine, R. F., & Alexitch, L. R. (2004). Social skill difficulty: Model of culture shock for international grad uate students. Journal of College Student Development, 45(2) 167 184. Charles, H., & Stewart, M. (1991). Academic advising of international students. Journal of Multicultural Counseling & Development 19 (4), 173 181. Chellaraj, G., Maskus, K. E., & Mat too, A. (2005). The contribution of skilled immigration and international graduate students to U.S. innovation. Retrieved January 26, 2007, from http://www wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2005/05/15/000090341_2005051 5125129/Rendered/PDF/wps3588.pdf Chen, C. P. (1999). Common stressors among international college students: Research and counseling impl ications. Journal of College Counseling, 2, 49 65. Coffman, D. L., & Gilligan, T. D. (2003). Social support, stress, and self efficacy: effects on students' satisfaction. Journal of College Student Retention, 4(1) 53 66. Collinson, J. & Hockey, J. (1997 ). The social science training model doctorate: Student choice? Journal of Further and Higher Education, 21, 373 381.

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141 Galotti, K. M. (1999). Maki life decision: College students choosing an academic major. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91 379 386. Ganz, M. N., & Ganz, B. C. (1988). An assessment of some factors which affect grades in the community college. College Student Jo urnal, 22(2), 171 175. Gareis, E. (1995). Intercultural friendship: A qualitative study. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Garmoran, A. (1987). The stratification of high school learning opportunities. Sociology of Education, 60 135 155. Golde, C. M. (1998). Beginning graduate school: Explaining first year doctoral attrition. In M.S. Anderson (Ed.), The experience of being in graduate school: An exploration. New Directions for Higher Education, 101 (pp. 55 64). San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Gordon H., & Wyant, L. J. (1994). Cognitive style of selected international and domestic graduate students at Marshall University. Retrieved on February 10, 2008, from http://eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/15/ce/ab.pd f Gulgoz, S. (2001). Stresses and strategies for international students. In S. Walfish & A. K. Hess (Eds.), Succeeding in graduate school: The career gui de for psychology students (pp. 159 170). NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. to the career salience and educational and career plans of college women. Journal o f Vocational Behavior, 35 164 180. Hagedorn, L. S., Chi, W., Cepeda, R. M., & McLain, M. (2007). An investigation of critical mass: The role of Latino representation in the success of urban community college students. Research in Higher Education, 48(1) 73 91. Hativa, N., & Marincovich, M. (1995). Disciplinary differences in teaching and learning: Implications for practice. New Directions in Teaching and Learning (Number 64). San Francisco: Jossey Bass. House, J. D. (2000). Relationships between self b eliefs, academic background, and achievement of undergraduate students in health sciences majors. International Journal of Instructional Media, 27(4) 427 438. Jacobs, S. C. (1995). Changing patterns of sex segregated occupations through the life course. European Sociological Review, 11(2) 157 171.

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142 Johnson Newman, D., and Exum, H. (1998). Facilitating healthy ego development in African American female college students attending predominantly white universities. NASPA Journal, 36(1), 70 80. Kanter, R. M. (1993). Men and women of the corporation New York: Basic Books. Kim, S. (2005). Teaching international students. The Teaching Professor, 19(4), 5 Kim, D., Markham, F. S., & Cangelosi, J. D. (2002). Why students pursue the business degree: A comparis on of business majors across universities. Journal of Education for Business, 78 28 32. Kittleson, M. (1997). Determining effective follow up of e mail surveys. American Journal of Health Behavior, 21(3) 193 196. Kuh, G. D., & Hu, S. (2001). The effect of student faculty interaction in the 1990s. The Review of Higher Education, 24(3), 309 332. Kuncel, N. R., Hezlett, S. A., & Ones, D. S. (2001). A comprehensive meta analysis of the predictive validity of the Graduate Record Examinations: Implications f or graduate student selection and performance. Psychological Bulletin, 127(1) 162 181. Lackland, A. C., & De Lisi, R. (2001). traditional and nontraditional. Journal of College Student Development, 42(1 ) 39 48. Ladd, P. D., & Ruby, R., Jr. (1999). Learning style and adjustment issues of international students. Journal of Education for Business, 74(6), 363 367. Laden, B. V., & Hagedorn, L. S. (2000). Job satisfaction among faculty of color in academe: Individual survivors or institutional transformers? In L.S. Hagedorn (Ed.), What contributes to job satisfaction among faculty and staff (pp. 57 66). San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. Leppel, K., Williams, M. L., & Waldauer, C. (2001). The impact of parenta l occupation and socioeconomic status on choice of college major. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 22(4) 373 394. Leund, C. M., & Berry, J. W. (2001). The psychological adaptation of international and migrant students in Canada. (ERIC Document No. ED 457795) Light, R. L., Xu, M., & Mossop, J. (1987). English proficiency and academic performance of international students. TESOL Quarterly, 21(2) 251 261. Liu, M. (1995). Ethnicity and information seeking. In J. B. Whitlatch (Ed.), Library users and reference service (pp. 123 134). New York: Haworth Press.

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143 Maddux, J. E., & Meier, L. J. (1995). Self efficacy and depression. In J. E. Maddux (Ed.), Self efficacy, adaptation, and adjustment: Theory, research, and application (pp. 143 172). New York: Ple num Press. major. Journal of Education for Business, 80(5) 275 282. Malone, B. G., Nelson, J. S., & Nelson, C. V. (2001). Admitting at risk students into princi pal preparation programs: Predicting success. American Secondary Education, 29(4) 2 17. Marin, N. (1996). Intercultural challenges for foreign students into the stressful journey of graduate school. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Com munication Association, San Diego, CA. McKeachie. W.J. (1994). Teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers (9th Ed.) Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath. Morgan, D. L. (1996). Focus groups. Annual Review of Sociology, 22 129 152. Morgan, D. L. (2002). Focus group interviewing. In J. F. G ubrium, & J. A. Holstein (Eds.), Handbook of interview research: Context and method (pp. 141 159). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. Mori, S. (2000). Addressing the mental health concerns of inter national students. Journal of Counseling and Development, 78, 137 144. Naidoo, P. (1990). An analysis of the social and academic adjustment of graduate international students in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. Dissertation Abstracts In ternational, 51 3636A. Neal, M. E. (1998). The predictive validity of the GRE and TOEFL exams with GGPA as the criterion of graduate success for international graduate students in Science and Engineering. Retrieved on February 10, 2008, from http://eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/16/fa/18.pd f Nelson, C. V., Nelson, J. S., & Malone, B. G. (2004). Predicting succe ss of international graduate students in an American university. College and University Journal, 80(1) 19 27. Nevarez, C. (2001). Mexican Americans and their Latinos in postsecondary education: Institutional influences. Retrieved on March 20, 2007, from www.eric.ed.gov Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Bailey, P., & Daley, C. E. (2000). Cognitive, affective, personality, and demographic predictors of foreign language achievement, The Journal of Educational Research, 94(1) 3 15.

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147 Turner, S. E., & Bowen, W. G. (1999). Choice of major: The changing (unchanging) gender gap. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 52 289 313. Wan, T., Chapman, D. W., & Biggs, D. A. (1992) Academic stress of international students attending U. S. universities. Research in Higher Education, 33(5) 607 623. Ward, C., Bochner, S., & Furnham, A. (2001). The psychology of culture shock (2 nd Ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Taylor and Francis Inc. Weid man, J. C., Twale, D. J., & Stein, E. L. (Eds.). (2001). Socialization of graduate and professional students in higher education: A prestigious passage? ASHE ERIC Higher Education Report, 28(3) San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Weinstein, C., & Mayer, R. (1986 ). The teaching of learning strategies. In M. Wittrock (Ed.) Handbook of Research on Teaching (pp. 315 327). New York: MacMillan. Whitt, E. J., Edison, M., Pascarella, E. T., Nora, A., & Terenzini, P. T. (1999). Interactions with peers and objective and self reported cognitive outcomes across 3 years of college. Journal of College Student Development, 40(1) 61 78. Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J. S. (2000). Expectancy value theory of achievement motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25 68 81. Wit Handbook of Research on Teaching (pp. 297 314). New York: MacMillan. Wood, M., & Kia P. (2000). International student affairs. New Directions for Higher Education, 111, 55 64. Wray, H. (1981). Abroad in the U.S.: Foreign students on American campuses. Educational Record, 62(3), 68 71. perceived academic difficulty. Research in Higher Education, 32(5) 557 570. Yan, Y. (1995). The TOEFL paradigm and its current uses: A further study of predictability of academic success for international graduate students at Mississippi State University Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Mississippi State Unive rsity. Yule, G., & Hoffman, P. (1990). Predicting success of ITAs in a U.S. university. TESOL Quarterly, 24(2), 227 243. Zea, M. C., Jarama, L. S., & Bianchi, F. T. (1995). Social support and psychosocial competence: Explaining the adaptation to college of ethnically diverse students. American Journal of Community Psychology, 23 509 531.

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148 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jia Ren was born in Shanghai (China) in 1978 and was raised in that city. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English language and literature in 2000, and a Master of Education degree in educational administration in 2003 from East China Normal University in Shanghai, China. She taught courses and conducted research while at East China Normal University and also authored and co authored journal articles and book chapters. Jia Ren lived in Shanghai until 2003 at which time she left for the United States to pursue her doctoral degree. She studied at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida for one year as a Presidential Fellow. She m arried Lian Qi in December 2003, and then transferred to the University of Florida in 2004 where Lian was working on his doctoral degree. Jia Ren was an Alumni Fellow, research assistant, and instructor during her study at the University of Florida. Jia Re n received a Doctoral of Philosophy degree in Higher Education Administration in 2008 from the University of Florida. Jia and Lian have become Gator fans. They have a son, Benjamin, and a daughter, Hanna.