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Connections and Satisfaction LevelsAmong International IDCE Graduate Students Cassie N. DeFillipo, Hari P. Dhakal, Thanh T...
Table of Contents IntroductionMethodology Data Analysis Results Discussion Conclusions and Recommendations References
IntroductionResearch Question Are international IDCE graduate students withprior connections in Worcester more satisfiedt...
Justification• Housing                                 • Academic                Personal       Academic               Ins...
Research Approach              Justification          Group Discussion               QuestionsSurvey Questions         Int...
Historical Context of the Study                                40%                           International                ...
Methodology Data Collection   Mixed Methods        Quantitative           Survey (1): International students        Q...
Sampling Strategy Sampling Frame    IDCE International Graduate Students    IDCE Domestic Graduate Students Convenienc...
Research Location Location      Conducted on Clark Campus   Instrumentation     Google Spreadsheet Survey      Interv...
Selection Approach Participants   Participants were current IDCE Graduate Students          International          Dom...
Data Analysis Quantitative Data     24 surveys     Google spreadsheet (MS Excel 2007 file ).      We imported the Exce...
Data Analysis, Continued… Qualitative Data      3 interviews; 1 focus group.     Atlas.ti version 6.0      We imported...
Results   Demographic Characteristics                                                 Regions of Origin           Freque...
Results, Continued…                                                                What is your main source of income?Freq...
Results, Continued... Quantitative Results                                                       Connections made at Clar...
Results, Continued… Code Frequencies for Qualitative Analysis              Code         Prevalence         Frequency   So...
Discussion Prior connections did not appear to play a major factor inlevels of satisfaction. Students differentiate soci...
Discussion, Continued… Regardless of prior connections, participants experienceddifficulties upon arrival in Worcester. ...
Salient Themes No relationship was identified between priorconnections and levels of satisfaction upon arrival inWorceste...
Salient Themes, Continued… No relationship was identified between priorconnections and levels of satisfaction upon arriva...
Salient Themes, Continued… Students differentiate social and academicsatisfaction.    Respondents did not see it as the ...
Salient Themes, Continued… Technology plays a role in allowing individuals tomake connections prior to arrival in Worcest...
Salient Themes, Continued… Regardless    of prior connections, participantsexperienced difficulties upon arrival in Worce...
Salient Themes, Continued… Post-arrival connections did appear to make adifference in levels of satisfaction.     “We di...
Conclusions Original Research Question   Are international IDCE graduate students with   prior connections in Worcester m...
Conclusions, Continued...1. Support for international graduate students from local   groups upon arrival in Worcester emer...
Recommendations1.The IDCE department could create and link  incoming students to a web-based, social  networking forum sim...
Recommendations, Continued…2. IDCE and/or Clark University could provide more  structured, uniform support to incoming  in...
Recommendations, Continued…3.IDCE could help foster a system of service  exchange among students (and professors).
Suggestions For Future Research1. Conducting similar research in other graduate   departments at Clark.2. Conducting simil...
Special Thanks   Dr. Marianne Sarkis IDCE graduate students (Focus Group &Interviews) TA Gunther Fedorek
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Connections and Satisfaction Levels Among International IDCE Graduate Students at Clark University

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The research project was conducted by graduate students at Clark University by a team of graduate students in fundamental of research methods in international development and social change by Dr. Marianne Sarkis in the Spring 2011. This research project was approved by IRB at Clark University. All the authors have equal credit on this project.

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Connections and Satisfaction Levels Among International IDCE Graduate Students at Clark University

  1. 1. Connections and Satisfaction LevelsAmong International IDCE Graduate Students Cassie N. DeFillipo, Hari P. Dhakal, Thanh Thuy T. Do Anh T. Huynh, Jenkins Divo Macedo Yonatan Melamed, Jeffrey R. Schuhrke Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods Spring 2011 Section II, Group A 5 May 2011
  2. 2. Table of Contents IntroductionMethodology Data Analysis Results Discussion Conclusions and Recommendations References
  3. 3. IntroductionResearch Question Are international IDCE graduate students withprior connections in Worcester more satisfiedthan those without prior connections?
  4. 4. Justification• Housing • Academic Personal Academic Institutional Cultural • Institutional• Language efficiency
  5. 5. Research Approach Justification Group Discussion QuestionsSurvey Questions Interview Questions Analysis Results Recommendations
  6. 6. Historical Context of the Study 40% International Students Diverse Obstacles Students coming from 30 different countries IDCE
  7. 7. Methodology Data Collection Mixed Methods  Quantitative  Survey (1): International students  Qualitative  Focus Group (1): Domestic and International students  Semi-Structured Interviews (3): International students Methods Justification  Required for Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods Course  Enabled us to collect background information as well as personal narratives to answer the question of our study.
  8. 8. Sampling Strategy Sampling Frame  IDCE International Graduate Students  IDCE Domestic Graduate Students Convenience Sampling  We selected participants for interviews and focus group based on the convenience of the researchers. Targeted Sampling  Surveys were randomly answered via Google spreadsheet
  9. 9. Research Location Location  Conducted on Clark Campus Instrumentation Google Spreadsheet Survey  Interview Transcriptions  Focus Group Transcription
  10. 10. Selection Approach Participants  Participants were current IDCE Graduate Students  International  Domestic  Announcement for the survey was sent and responded to through IDCE Google Community Group Consent  Participants were consented through an IRB-approved consent form.
  11. 11. Data Analysis Quantitative Data 24 surveys Google spreadsheet (MS Excel 2007 file ).  We imported the Excel file into PASW Statistics Version 18 to analyze the surveys We coded labels and applied values to data into PASW  All cases were included in the data set  We ran frequency distribution analysis on significant variables
  12. 12. Data Analysis, Continued… Qualitative Data  3 interviews; 1 focus group. Atlas.ti version 6.0  We imported transcripts and interview notes from MS Word 2007 into Atlas.ti version 6.0  We used inductive methodology to identify the themes that would be used for coding.  We associated themes with quotes.  We allowed the data to generate the theory (Grounded Theory).
  13. 13. Results  Demographic Characteristics Regions of Origin  Frequency Distribution Analysis Valid Cumulative Frequency Percent Percent Percent Gender Valid Southeast 12 54.5 54.5 54.5 Frequenc Valid Cumulative Asia y Percent Percent Percent Southern 4 18.2 18.2 72.7Valid Male 7 31.8 31.8 31.8 Asia Female 15 68.2 68.2 100.0 Europe 1 4.5 4.5 77.3 Total 22 100.0 100.0 Africa 2 9.1 9.1 86.4 Latin 1 4.5 4.5 90.9 America Missing 2 9.1 9.1 100.0 Total 22 100.0 100.0
  14. 14. Results, Continued… What is your main source of income?Frequency Distribution Analysis Valid Cumulative Employment and Finance Frequency Percent Percent Percent Valid Private 10 45.5 45.5 45.5 Valid Cumulative Scholarships Frequency Percent Percent Percent Government 2 9.1 9.1 54.5Valid No 16 72.7 72.7 72.7 Scholarships Yes 6 27.3 27.3 100.0 Employment 1 4.5 4.5 59.1 Total 22 100.0 100.0 Loans 4 18.2 18.2 77.3 Parents/Family 3 13.6 13.6 90.9 Organizations 2 9.1 9.1 100.0 Scholarship Total 22 100.0 100.0 - Parents/Family - Organization’s - Governments -Employment Scholarships Scholarships Scholarship - Private - Loans
  15. 15. Results, Continued... Quantitative Results Connections made at Clark and Connections prior to Worcester with Worcester community upon arrival. Valid Cumulative Valid Cumulative Frequency Percent Percent Percent Frequency Percent Percent PercentValid International 5 22.7 22.7 22.7 Valid No 11 50.0 50.0 50.0 Organizations Yes 10 45.5 45.5 95.5 Friends 2 9.1 9.1 31.8 Not 1 4.5 4.5 100.0 Family 1 4.5 4.5 36.4 Applicable None 13 59.1 59.1 95.5 Total 22 100.0 100.0 Not Applicable 1 4.5 4.5 100.0 Total 22 100.0 100.0
  16. 16. Results, Continued… Code Frequencies for Qualitative Analysis Code Prevalence Frequency Social 39 19.7% Connections 36 18.2% Academics 26 13.1% Expectations 25 12.6% Transportation 22 11.1% Security 15 7.6% Finances 14 7.1% Housing 12 6.1% Languages 9 4.5% Total 198 100%
  17. 17. Discussion Prior connections did not appear to play a major factor inlevels of satisfaction. Students differentiate social and academic satisfaction. Technology facilitates connections prior to arrival inWorcester.
  18. 18. Discussion, Continued… Regardless of prior connections, participants experienceddifficulties upon arrival in Worcester. Post-arrival connections did appear to make a difference inlevels of satisfaction.
  19. 19. Salient Themes No relationship was identified between priorconnections and levels of satisfaction upon arrival inWorcester.  Often prior connections did not resolve all issues (for example housing and integration into the community).  Many students were able to find the same level of connection by utilizing technology.
  20. 20. Salient Themes, Continued… No relationship was identified between priorconnections and levels of satisfaction upon arrival inWorcester.  “In [native country] you have a support system. But not here…you have friends and family. And if your things just get stolen, they can help. Here there is not… well, you have IDCE and campus police. But it just feels different.” –International Student  “I just remember throughout the semester feeling this, like, really lonely, like really, you know, my roommates are undergrads, and like, coming home there’s no one to really talk to, no one to give you a hug, like, you have a hard day, you just need a hug sometimes.” – Domestic student
  21. 21. Salient Themes, Continued… Students differentiate social and academicsatisfaction.  Respondents did not see it as the responsibility of the department to foster social relationships for them. Therefore, while their academic satisfaction influenced their overall satisfaction with the department, their social integration is detached from departmental satisfaction. “If it was just the program, I would probably say that I am happy… it would definitely be better if I had some people there, if I had either family members or really close friends. Or if I was a member of some organizations.” –International student
  22. 22. Salient Themes, Continued… Technology plays a role in allowing individuals tomake connections prior to arrival in Worcester.  “I did a Google search on the universities that offer programs in international development…”  “Facebook…all of the first years who are here now could become a member of the group. And people had postings, and this is actually how I found my apartment.”  “I found[Chinese scholar and student association at Clark University] online and got some e-mails and call responses to my questions about studying and living at Clark. That helped a lot.”
  23. 23. Salient Themes, Continued… Regardless of prior connections, participantsexperienced difficulties upon arrival in Worcester.  Having connections prior to arrival in Worcester does not guarantee that transition will take place smoothly.“[The airport shuttle] took me to Blackstone [hall]. And I actuallycouldn’t get in! There was someone outside and I had to borrow theirphone and call the campus police to see if they could bring me my key.It was a woman there, who was working, and she said it was not herresponsibility to come to me (sounding angry). And it was veryunwelcoming.” – International student
  24. 24. Salient Themes, Continued… Post-arrival connections did appear to make adifference in levels of satisfaction. “We did contact our IFP fellows who were studying at Clark and ask[ed] for help…They found low-priced apartments that were quite near the school… It was a big help that we need to have in the first time in the US.” –International student (edited for grammar).  “They have a Chinese group and… or a Taiwanese group, and when someone new comes, they guide them and help them and… just make sure they’re not lost. Maybe if they had that as a formal process. They International Office can actually do that-should do that!” –International student
  25. 25. Conclusions Original Research Question Are international IDCE graduate students with prior connections in Worcester more satisfied than those without prior connections?
  26. 26. Conclusions, Continued...1. Support for international graduate students from local groups upon arrival in Worcester emerged as a significant theme towards satisfaction and local integration.2. International graduate students at IDCE use internet technology such as Facebook, Google and Idealist to make prior connections.3. IDCE graduate students distinguished between social life and academic satisfaction. They expect the department to take responsibility for their academic, but not social, satisfaction.
  27. 27. Recommendations1.The IDCE department could create and link incoming students to a web-based, social networking forum similar to Craigslist.
  28. 28. Recommendations, Continued…2. IDCE and/or Clark University could provide more structured, uniform support to incoming international graduate students and promote a sense of community.
  29. 29. Recommendations, Continued…3.IDCE could help foster a system of service exchange among students (and professors).
  30. 30. Suggestions For Future Research1. Conducting similar research in other graduate departments at Clark.2. Conducting similar research with international undergraduate students at Clark.3. Studying whether (and how) social satisfaction affects academic performance.
  31. 31. Special Thanks Dr. Marianne Sarkis IDCE graduate students (Focus Group &Interviews) TA Gunther Fedorek

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