Date of Award

Fall 11-20-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Rong Chen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elaine Walker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard Blissett, Ph.D.


International Students, Student Engagement, American and International Student Engagement, Stem vs. Non-STEM, Collaborative Learning, Effective Teaching Practices


The purpose of this study is to understand the relationship between the status and engagement of international students and whether this relationship varies by STEM and non-STEM fields for undergraduate students at American higher education institutions. 2015 NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) data was utilized for this study. Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) multiple regression with Huber-White clustered standard errors was used to account for the nested nature of the data at the institutional level, and interaction effect tests were used to analyze whether the relationship between international student status and engagement varies across STEM & non-STEM majors.

This study finds that American STEM students were more engaged in collaborative learning activities as compared to international STEM students, while American and international non-STEM students did not differ much in this outcome. The same is true for freshmen and senior students in collaborative learning; American STEM freshmen and seniors were more engaged in collaborative learning activities as compared to international STEM freshmen and seniors, while American freshmen and senior and international freshmen and senior non-STEM students were not so much different in this outcome. Additionally, international non-STEM seniors were more engaged in effective teaching practice activities as compared to American senior non-STEM students.