ERIC Number: ED459676
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Nov
Immigrants in U.S. Colleges: What Contributes to Their Academic Success?
Crisostomo, Mirtha; Dee, Jay R.
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which sociodemographic, language acquisition, college experience, and placement test variables can predict the academic success of immigrant students at a large public university system in the United States. Immigrants were defined as "foreign-born" people, regardless of citizenship or legal residence status, and the focus was on immigrants whose native language was not English. The dependent variable was the students' college grade point average (GPA). Analyses were based on 1,854 immigrant students whose native language was not English and who had completed at least 24 credit hours. With the exception of gender during the second semester, sociodemographic variables showed no statistically significant relationship with academic success. Findings indicate that immigrants who lived in the United States for 10 years or longer tended to have lower GPAs than students who emigrated more recently. This suggests that emigrating to the United States may have interrupted the native language acquisition of these students, which in turn can inhibit second language acquisition and constrain academic achievement. Academic major was an indicator of academic achievement for this population, with students who were undecided on a major having lower GPAs. Total credits completed did have a positive association with academic success. Placement tests measuring academic English proficiency added little value in predicting academic success for these students. Some implications for college admissions for immigrants are discussed. (Contains 6 tables and 56 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (26th, Richmond, VA, November 15-18, 2001).