Perceptions of international students in a community college-based coordinated studies program Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9880vt505

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  • This study presented an in-depth exploration of international student perceptions of a coordinated studies program (CSP) at Seattle Central Community College. In conducting this research project, a phenomenological research methodology was used. Qualitative data were collected through participant observations, focus group, document review and individual in-depth interviews with nine students. The data were analyzed systematically and categorized into the following four themes: (1) program integration. (2) program content, (3) program structure, and (4) program faculty. Data within each theme were then grouped under subcategories and themes were presented with examples of student's statements to illustrate each theme. International students found that the coordinated studies program provided a unique and positive educational experience. Of great importance, students found that the experience was beneficial in addressing both social and academic areas in their lives. For most of the international students in the study, the sense of supportiveness and relationship development opportunities were the most important features of the experience. International students were able to build relationships with both American students and other international students through prolonged cross-cultural interaction in and out of class. The international students valued the cross cultural learning and the introduction to American culture the CSP context provided. The interdisciplinary nature of the CSP was, in general, viewed positively, though, for many students it was a big stretch since these types of learning strategies may not have been experienced in the past. Of the various activities in the CSP, international students regarded the small group work as the most rewarding of the in-class activities, and also enjoyed the out-of-class group projects and social activities.
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