The relationship of noncognitive variables to the degree of academic achievement of foreign students at the University of Houston



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The purpose of this study was to determine the degree to which selected noncognitive variables affect foreign student academic success. Should a statistically significant relationship between any noncognitive variables and the predictability of foreign student academic success be revealed, this study could serve as a positive guideline for University of Houston Central Campus (UHCC) program leaders in the selection and admission of students. There are limitations which need to be recognized in accepting the results of the study: 1. The subjects included were those that remained in the program; the study does not address directly success versus failure. It is the degree of success measured by GPA that is the dependent variable. 2. In the classification of foreign students used for this studv one important consideration was ignored- the visa status of the subject. 3. One criterion for inclusion in the sample was continuous attendance at UHCC for three consecutive semesters. This attendance criterion ignored the intervening summer session which could be used for one of several types of activities which influence success. 4. No control for number of hours taken each semester was included. For the purposes of this study eight demographic variables were selected for investigation: (1) age, (2) sex, (3) academic classification, (4) geographic area of residence, (5) source of financial support, (6) marital status, (7) residence of immediate family, and (8) field of study. The total sample for this study was 299 foreign students who met UHCC's 1975 basic entrance requirements as detailed in UHCC's publication. Information for International Students. The noncognitive demographic data were collected from student personnel cards, student data sheets, student registration forms and microfiche cards containing the students' grades and dates of attendance. The noncognitive data was then coded as dichotomies in preparation for use in the SPSS computer programs. In general it was concluded that noncognitive variables were related to the degree of academic success of the foreign students studied. The following recommendations deal with the administration of foreign students: 1. Noncognitive information should be gathered and used in making decisions on the admission of foreign students. The goal should be ever increasing standardization of instrument and information. 2. Evaluation of foreign student academic performance should be made and studied annually. 3. All staff dealing with foreign student admission should be given intensive inservice training dealing with noncognitive factors that affect foreign students. 4. On the basis of the differences found among different types of foreign students (geographic location, academic classification, age, etc.) provisions should be made to accommodate expected differences. 5. Specialists in noncognitive information management need to be developed. These persons would be the scholars and practitioners who move this field of study toward the decision-making matrix of foreign student affairs.



Foreign students, United States