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Title: International engineering students’ resistance to isolating university experiences: An opportunity for greater inclusion in engineering education
In recent years, large numbers of international students are attending engineering schools in the US; however, more could be done by the schools to support the unique challenges these students face. This study analyzes five semi-structured interviews with international electrical and computer engineering students at Purdue University to identify the unique challenges they face due to their international status, how they persist despite the challenges, and what engineering schools can do to better support them and all students given these findings. Using a framework of student resistance, the theoretical thematic analysis found that international engineering students can struggle with language barriers and social isolation, and that these challenges are often made invisible in the environment of the school. These students most commonly persist by adapting or conforming to the domestic environment, either individually or collectively; they exhibit very few instances of resistance by our chosen definition. To better support international students, we recommend that engineering schools implement more active learning, collaborative learning, and multicultural and group communication education. These initiatives would also improve the experiences and education of all students, including underrepresented students. This article contributes to discussions about the definition and usage of student resistance as a framework for education research.  more » « less
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2022 CoNECD
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Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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