The relationship between student engagement and academic performance: An exploration of the paradox of international undergraduates
Research in higher education suggests a direct relationship between student engagement and academic performance. International students at research extensive University at Buffalo have a higher mean GPA than the national norm while conspicuously less involvement on campus. This mixed-method study investigated the possible paradox; it is an exploration of international student behavior with an eye to their possible disengagement.
The main research question asked, What is the relationship between engagement and academic performance, as measure by GPA? Approximately 300 international students were given the College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ) and asked their GPA. The CSEQ provided data on students' engagement behaviors and analysis was run to determine which types of engagement impact grades. International student responses were compared to the national norm. Five follow-up interviews were conducted to explore themes the quantitative data revealed.
International students were found to be more engaged in activities that are positively correlated to GPA, including library and computer use, reading unassigned material, hours on academic work, use of the scientific method, and experimentation. Their means are lower on personal and social engagement (including acquainting with peers, asking friends for help, and talking to counselor or staff), which are negatively related to GPA.
0282: Multicultural education
0514: School administration
0745: Higher education