Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Sherwood Thompson

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Abstract

This study examined the effects of exposure to international students on American student and faculty perceptions at a regional Appalachian University. A revised and improved version of Jaleh Shabahang's (1993) International Education Opinionnaire was used to survey American students and faculty regarding their perceptions of the educational and cultural impact of international students. The revised instrument also measured American student and faculty perceptions of five ethnic groups of international students. Three independent samples t-tests were administered to compare the views between two American groups: students or faculty in international-related academic departments (IRs) and non-international-related academic departments (NIRs). The first test examined the average difference in perceived educational impact of international students. The second test examined the difference in perceived cultural impact of international students. The third test examined the relative standing of five ethnic groups of international students between White, Non-Hispanic and Non-White participants.

Data analysis revealed that there were no significant differences between American students or faculty from IRs and NIRs on the first and second tests. The data analysis also revealed no significant differences between White, Non-Hispanic and Non-White American students or faculty regarding their attitudes toward the five ethnic groups of international students. American students and faculty from both kinds of academic departments at the Appalachian University mostly agreed or strongly agreed on the positive educational and cultural contributions of international students. In terms of perceptions, the third independent samples t-test showed that Middle Eastern and Hispanic students ranked the lowest.

Keywords: educational impact, cultural impact, ethnicity, diversity, international students, American students, American faculty, and learning.

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