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ERIC Number: ED540516
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 104
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-6777-4
Experiences of International Doctoral Students in Social Science and Humanities Programs with Their Dissertation Chairs at a Research I University
Lee, Krystal O.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Florida
Academic advising has been identified as one of the most important predictors of graduate student success since faculty members have responsibilities for graduate student learning and development inside and outside the classroom (Bair, Haworth & Sandfort, 2004). As such, the relationship between a student and their adviser is important to graduate students' progress towards degrees and other academic goals (Acker, Hill & Black, 1994), particularly for international students (Ku, Lahman, Yeh & Cheng, 2008). With this in mind, the purpose of this study was to describe international students' experience with academic advisors and to explore the role their advisors play in their degree completion. Eight international doctoral students from social science and humanities degree programs were interviewed and their contributions analyzed using thematic analysis. Findings indicate that advisors can positively impact international doctoral students' experience by supporting them academically and personally, providing funding opportunities, and setting clear expectations for their students. In addition, advisors should also help these students to understand the norms, expectations and values of graduate education in American institutions. Finally, departments should consider policy changes to ensure the availability of faculty advisors who share students' research interests. Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are ways in which institutions can support international doctoral students as they navigate through their degree programs. (1) Provide additional scholarship, fellowship and assistantship opportunities for international doctoral students to fund their degree programs; (2) Implement new policies that allow international students to pay lower, in-state tuition rates if they have to remain in their programs for longer periods than expected; (3) Provide orientation programs for new international students that highlight departmental policies, funding options and expectations; (4) Allow faculty members from other departments to serve as dissertation chairpersons; and (5) Provide professional development workshops for faculty who advise international students. The results of this study provided insights to university administrators, deans and advisors about international doctoral students' perceptions of their advising relationships. Given that there is little research conducted on this relationship, these findings inform the development of academic advising relationships between advisors and international doctoral students and help advisors to understand how they can best support these students. In addition, the findings of this study raises departments' awareness related to the needs of international doctoral students and provide policy recommendations that could improve these students' experience. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A