The social needs of international university students: a mixed methods study of perceived needs and effectiveness of services




Smart, Cely C.


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The study sought to determine the degree of importance of social needs of international students and the effectiveness in terms of the fulfillment of the services designed to meet their social needs as reported by the students and the members of the International Task Force at a university in South Texas. The study was quantitative with a qualitative component that was used to obtain the perspectives of international students and the International Task Force related to the levels of importance and fulfillment in the quantitative component.
Quantitative data analysis demonstrated that both groups rated the importance of needs higher than the degree to which they were fulfilled. The students rated the majority of the social needs items at a higher level of importance and fulfillment than did the International Task Force. There was not a statistically significant difference between the two groups on importance, but there was a statistically significant difference on the levels of fulfillment. Data analysis of the international student focus group and the International Task Force focus groups yielded two themes: navigational barriers of informal structure of social needs in academia and navigational barriers of formal structure of social needs in academia.


Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF EDUCATION in Educational Leadership


international education, international students



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