Perceptions of International Faculty in the United States

By Phoebe Constantinou, Srijana Bajracharya and Susan Baldwin.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The foreign-born population in the United States has grown from 4.7% in the 1970s to 10.4% by 2000. This dramatic change brought along different languages, perspectives, values, academic expectations, and challenges. It also created demands for a more international and globally savvy post-secondary education. Preparing culturally sensitive professionals has become a primary focus of educational institutions at all levels. Higher-education institutions are expected to address such societal trends in their curriculum, particularly when preparing future educators. Many colleges and universities in the United States have adopted an approach of recruiting, hiring, and retaining a diverse faculty to function as “cross-cultural agents.” The purpose of this study was to examine how students and faculty members perceive presence in higher education. Using a mixed methodology, a convenience sample of 474 college students and 54 faculty members completed surveys that aimed to capture the views of each respective group. As a survey follow-up, a group of seven students and six volunteer faculty members were selected, based on preset criteria, for a face-to-face in-depth interview. The results indicated that, despite language difficulties, international faculty members are, for the most part, perceived as effective educators promoting cultural awareness and helping college students hone their interpersonal skills.

Keywords: Diversity, International Faculty, Higher Education, Cultural Awareness, Interpersonal Skills

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.253-272. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.515MB).

Dr. Phoebe Constantinou

Associate Professor, Health Promotion & Physical Education, Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, USA

Phoebe Constantinou is an associate professor at Ithaca College in the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education. Her expertises are in Physical Education Pedagogy. Her interests include gender issues and multicultural education. She has published in refereed journals such as The Physical Educator, Journal of Physical Education Recreation and Dance, Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators.

Dr. Srijana Bajracharya

Professor, Health Promotion & Physical Education, Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, USA

Dr. Srijana Bajracharya is a Professor and Graduate Program Chair at the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education in Ithaca College, New York. Her academic interests include community needs assessment, program evaluation, human sexuality, and minority health. She has been actively involved with various local health education programs. She has presented papers at national and international professional meetings and has published research articles in several peer reviewed health related journals including Human Services in the Rural Environment, Journal of School Health, American Journal of Health Education, Journal of American College Health, the International Electronic Journal of Health Education, and International Quarterly of Community Health Education.

Dr. Susan Baldwin

Assistant professor and Internship Program Coordinator, Department of Health and Wellness, State University of New York College at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA

Sue Baldwin is an assistant professor and the Internship Program Coordinator at the Department of Health and Wellness at the State University of New York College at Buffalo. Her areas of expertise include the Coordinated Approach to School Health, teaching techniques and teacher preparation, community needs assessment, program planning, program evaluation and disease prevention. She has presented over 80 papers at national and international professional meetings. Sue is one of eleven Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) School Health Index needs assessment tool trainers.