Date of Award

Spring 3-14-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Manuel Gonzalez, PhD

Committee Member

Jason Burns, PhD

Committee Member

Tanya Merriman, EdD


persistence, international students, non-traditional, internationalization, higher education, Carnegie classification, transition theory


The purpose of this study was to investigate the involvement and integration factors that contribute to the persistence of international students. Persistence and retention are central to improving higher education, and individual student persistence as well as the rates at which students persist have direct ramifications on the university retention rate. With an increased focus on campus diversity as well as a global focus on the internationalization of higher education, it is evident that gaining a firmer grasp on the experiences of international students is necessary in order for institutions to effectively achieve their mission. This study aims to better understand the inputs and experiences that help to shape outcomes for international students. In this study the effects of age, major, specifically STEM or non-STEM majors, and institutional Carnegie classifications were analyzed to determine what if any effect these variables had on international student persistence. The results revealed that each variable had an effect, but to varying degrees. This information can aid students, faculty, and administrators in better supporting international students as they pursue their academic goals. Finally, implications for future research and future practice for higher education institutions are discussed.