Academic and Social Support Services for International Students

Current Practices


  • Nara M. Martirosyan Sam Houston State University
  • Rebecca Bustamante Sam Houston State University
  • D. Patrick Saxon Sam Houston State University



academic support, international students, social support


International students make valuable intellectual, cultural, and economic contributions to host-country colleges and universities. Some U.S. institutions enrolling greater numbers of international students offer a variety of specialized services designed to support students’ social adjustment, academic achievement, and language development in ways that potentially lead to greater retention and international student engagement. In this exploratory study, researchers analyzed website content to describe the types of support services offered by the top 20 U.S. universities with the greatest enrollment of international students in 2016. Implications are offered for U.S. higher education leaders interested in offering services to attract, support, and retain international students in an uncertain national political environment.

Author Biographies

Nara M. Martirosyan, Sam Houston State University

NARA M. MARTIROSYAN, EdD, is an Assistant Professor in the Developmental Education Administration Doctoral Program at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. Her research focuses on best practices in developmental education, international students and programs, student satisfaction, and program evaluation in higher education. She has held various teaching and administrator positions in the United States and in Armenia. Email:

Rebecca Bustamante, Sam Houston State University

REBECCA M. BUSTAMANTE, PhD, is a Professor of Educational Leadership and Associate Dean of Research, Inclusion, and Engagement at Sam Houston State University. Her scholarship focuses on culturally responsive leadership practices, organizational culture and equity, faculty support, international education, and the educational success of students representing historically marginalized groups. She has held administrator and faculty positions in the United States and various countries in Latin America. Email:

D. Patrick Saxon, Sam Houston State University

PATRICK SAXON, EdD, is a Professor and Director of the Developmental Education Administration Doctoral Program at Sam Houston State University. He has published extensively and is coauthor of the book Attaining Excellence in Developmental Education. He is a National Association for Developmental Education Executive Board member and a Council for Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations Fellow. Email:


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How to Cite

Martirosyan, N. M., Bustamante, R., & Saxon, D. P. (2019). Academic and Social Support Services for International Students: Current Practices. Journal of International Students, 9(1), 172–191.



Research Articles (English)