First Term Support for International Graduate Students Attending Small Colleges and Universities


  • Mary Jo Shane California Lutheran University, USA
  • Loredana Carson California Lutheran University, USA
  • Gloria Macri California Lutheran University, USA



foundations course, graduate students, international students, student success


The recruitment and retention of international students in academic institutions in the United States has become more complicated and more competitive than ever before given the current political climate and governmental policies. This article discusses some of the specific challenges international students face and what a small- to medium-sized private university has put in place to attract these students and to better prepare them for graduate level management courses starting their first term. This example introduces an 11-week foundations course along with additional resources designed to provide knowledge, instruction, and practice in skills and behaviors crucial for academic success within the United States.

Author Biographies

Mary Jo Shane, California Lutheran University, USA

MARY JO SHANE, PhD, has worked in the field of human and organization development and effectiveness since 1991 with both profit-generating organizations, as well as nonprofit foundations. Her areas of specialization as a consultant include diversity, culture, and change management. At California Lutheran University, she is an Assistant Professor and the Director of International Student Success for the School of Management where her responsibilities include the planning and implementation of programs, events and special projects for international students.

Loredana Carson, California Lutheran University, USA

LOREDANA CARSON, EdD, has a BA in linguistics from UCLA, a TESOL Certificate from UCSB, and a Master’s in Public Policy and Public Administration from California Lutheran University. She received her EdD degree in 2020. Her research interests include international student cultural and academic engagement as well as language and education policy. She currently serves as a lecturer for the School of Management at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California

Gloria Macri, California Lutheran University, USA

GLORIA MACRI, PhD, received her doctorate in Communication Studies from Dublin City University and has an undergraduate degree and master’s in sociology. For over 10 years, she has taught many courses ranging from core, introductory courses to courses that apply theories and complex concepts such as culture, race, and ethnicity to explore communities and various social issues and processes in a wide range of social contexts. For the past 2 years she has taught the incoming international graduate students in the School of Management at California Lutheran University. Her research interests include education, non-profit organizations, cultural identity formation and cross-cultural communication, and online communities.


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How to Cite

Shane, M. J., Carson, L., & Macri, D. G. (2020). First Term Support for International Graduate Students Attending Small Colleges and Universities. Journal of International Students, 10(2), 527–538.



Research Articles