Helping International Students Thrive at Texas Tech
International student retention is becoming a topic of increasing interest in higher education. Across the U.S., universities seek to expand enrollment of international students and realize retention is an area of service that cannot be ignored. Texas Tech University offers a variety of retentive services for international students through its Office of International Affairs (OIA).
The TTU Office of International Affairs has taken a proactive approach to retentive services by establishing a dedicated unit to focus on retention issues and to provide a unique, internationalized slate of student life programming and services for international students. At many universities, international services are lumped into a single unit of employees whose primary focus is immigration compliance. This approach leaves much to be desired in terms of retentive programming and services.
By dedicating human and monetary resources to focus specifically on international student retention, TTU Office of International Affairs is leading the way in modeling an effective approach to retain international students. Specific services offered to international students at Texas Tech include airport pick-up, orientation programs, international student organizations, major cross-cultural events, unique U.S. cultural education events, bike check-out program, graduation reception, and others.
In addition to these services, this unit dedicated to international student life and retention can also work on collaborative projects across campus. A current collaborative project with Undergraduate Education is opening up two sections of the Raider Ready Course specifically for incoming international freshmen. The goal is to track these students’ success while attending TTU and compare it to that of international students who did not attend an extended college preparedness course. Other collaborations include events and services for international student athletes and projects with Lubbock community organizations. One of our most prized collaborations is with our international student leaders. The International Student Advisory Board was recently formed for TTU and the OIA to gather valuable feedback from the students themselves and to assess the current programs and services.
Written by: Tracy Tindle
Edited by: Jane Bell
Posted date: 07/17/2014