Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects


Nancy Sanders

Date of Award

Spring 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Political Science


In today’s global economy, attracting and retaining international talents is not only the goal of business, but also the goal of institutions of higher learning. In a competitive world, keeping the best of the best must be a priority for all stakeholders. The Office of International Student Retention Services (OISRS) at Kennesaw State University is interested in evaluating the satisfaction of the international student population with regard to its services and programs. The purpose of this study is to evaluate international students’ opinions of the OISRS and to expose possible areas for service improvement.

Historically, the OISRS has focused on the F-1 and J-1 student. It appears that there are many other international students that may be experiencing culture shock, with no knowledge of the resources available to them. Institutions recruit international students to come to their schools, and then they have the responsibility of assisting them in not only obtaining a valuable education, but also in adapting to new surroundings and experiences. International student services staff must provide programs and services that meet the needs of the international student population on campus.

An online survey was sent to 1913 identified international students. The survey instrument collected demographic information, information regarding their experiences with the OISRS, and information regarding their experiences on the Kennesaw State University campus. Findings indicate that in many arenas the OISRS is accomplishing its mission. In other arenas, the students are not aware of many of the services and programs available to them. The results suggest that the OISRS could be a more visible service provider and impact a large number of students.

The study has provided the OISRS with valuable feedback and student information. Utilizing the reporting tools created for this project will enable the OISRS to maximize their resources by focusing on programs and services that are viable and re-evaluating those that are not as successful. Continued evaluation can only foster more positive outcomes and increased program participation.