Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

soko starobin


Higher education is becoming increasingly globalized and internationalized, and the number of international students studying in U.S. institutions of higher education is continuously growing. International students contribute to their own success, campus diversity, campus internationalization, and the U.S. economy. However, it is not merely enough to bring international students--it is critical to serve them, retain them, and graduate them. Programs and services that stimulate international student engagement in educationally purposeful activities are crucial. Student engagement in effective educational practices is associated with high levels of learning and personal development. While student engagement has been studied extensively for American students, this is not the case for international students. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between student engagement and student satisfaction and the academic success of international and American students using 2008 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) data. Specifically, it investigated how institutional type (classification and control) and critical mass (percentage of international students and academic major) affect student engagement (represented by five NSSE benchmarks) and how student engagement affects student satisfaction and academic success. In addition, this study compared student engagement of international and American students.

This study is significant for research by informing the audience about the extent to which international students are satisfied with their experiences, how they interact with peers and faculty, and how they participate in educational activities. It contributes to policy by informing institutions how funds should be allocated toward particular effective educational practices and to practice by informing administrators, faculty, and staff about what international students do while they are in college thus informing them how to intervene in order to improve their experience while studying in the U.S. In addition, this study informs professional organizations and graduate leadership programs in higher education regarding specialized opportunities that could be offered for international educators' professional development. Findings could be also used by international students and parents to inform them of effective education practices that could improve their student engagement, satisfaction, and consequently, their academic success.


Copyright Owner

Nadia Korobova



Date Available


File Format


File Size

204 pages