Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum & Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Ming-Tsan Lu

Second Advisor

Dr. Bobbette Morgan

Third Advisor

Dr. Irma Jones


International student enrollment in U.S. higher education institutions is steadily increasing. In 2018/2019, more than one million international students were pursuing their higher education in the U.S.

This study aims to discover and learn more about the academic and cultural perceptions, as well as on-campus experiences of the international students in relation to their campus life, academics, and student services at a Hispanic Serving Institution of higher education in South Texas.

Quantitative and qualitative analysis to describe the philosophical assumptions and inquiry method. The quantitative research was designed as an online survey, which included several areas of student interest in higher education: U.S. international student demographics, student experiences, students’ services experiences, campus life, and academics. The survey included 50 questions and was distributed to 737 international undergraduates, and graduate students enrolled in the Spring 2019 semester. The final response rate out the total international student population of 737 was 36.91%.

In addition, a qualitative research study with in-depth interviews was conducted with eight international students who were selected as purposive sampling as actively involved with on-campus cultural student events and programs. The sample for the structured interviews was arbitrary representation of the four major geographical regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, and America. The qualitative section of the study was used to analyze the student’s interview transcripts to better understand the educational meanings of time of their experiences as international students by using the method of currere by William Frederick Pinar. This method was used to study the relationships between their academic knowledge and their life history in the form of self-understanding and social reconstruction (Pinar, 2004, p. 45).

The study results will be shared with other campus administrators better to understand their needs and their significant areas of support.

This study has several implications for international educators. It will better understand this specific student population's perspectives who continue to choose the United States as a leading destination to study abroad. Both instruments can also be replicated at other universities interested in understanding more about their experiences and challenges while pursuing their higher education studies in the U.S.


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