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ERIC Number: ED545558
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 113
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2675-7617-0
The Development of an International Student Advisor: A Grounded Theory Study
Sparaco, Kathleen Keenan
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Drexel University
This qualitative study explored the professional experience of international student advisors. The statement of problem for this research was that the professional role of international student advisors has not been clearly defined or understood within U.S. higher education. The research questions asked (1) what encompassed the lived experience of international student advisors, (2) what emergent concerns might be important in the experiences of international student advisors, and (3) in what way have the personal constructs of professionalism and professional identity for international student advisors been developed? This studied utilized a grounded theory methodology, a systematic but flexible inductive approach to analyzing data to create theory specific to the studied phenomenon. Theory, in this study, was defined as a way of understanding or making sense of the world in order to have the practical insight needed to guide action. The research tool of interviews was used with international student advisors across the United States in a variety of institutions profiles. The findings were organized into three major thematic categories: "the student first"; "not being invited to the table"; and "they don't get what we do." The first theme, "the student first," reflected the connection of the participants to the student population they served. All the participants had had a transformative international experience prior to entering the field which was the catalyst in seeking a career grounded in commitment to international students. "Not being invited to the table" emerged as a way to understand the common experience of disenfranchisement across interviews. The final theme, "they don't get what we do" suggested that the overly regulatory, paper-focused, administrative side of working with international students is what many participants felt kept the advisor invisible and undervalued on campus. The findings indicated the participants demonstrated a clear commitment to the student population they served, but it is oftentimes when the advisor is off campus and interacting with other international student advisors that he or she experiences a true sense of community. The recommendations suggest international student advisors invest the time and money to participate in professional organizations. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A