ASSIST 2005 – Academic Success: Summer International Students Transition Program

TitleASSIST 2005 – Academic Success: Summer International Students Transition Program
Faculty/College/UnitApplied Science
Duration1 Year
Project Summary

It is proposed that a unique support program be developed at UBC to ensure the success of at-risk international students as they commence their first-year undergraduate studies. ASSIST 2005 - Academic Success: Summer International Students Transition Program - will contain two modules. Module 1 will include a series of workshops, guest lectures, and group projects that will focus on learner readiness, acquisition of collaborative teaming skills, introduction of students to critical enquiry, adjustment to campus life, and raising awareness of academic expectations in a Canadian university. They will provide a supportive learning experience that will ·assist" with students' transition to UBC by developing transferable skills that will compensate and balance for their existing cultural and language barriers. In the future, a similar module can be developed for domestic students.

Module 2 will include content-based language tutorials developed according to the principles of integrating academic content into language teaching. These tutorials will aim to improve academic language use that is critical for international students in academic settings. This project has three major goals:

  1. to develop and deliver this year's modules;
  2. to develop support materials that will allow faculties to replicate this event in subsequent years;
  3. to develop the UBC community that can continue to build programs and services to aid these at-risk students.

For 2005, the target student group is defined as international students who are new to UBC and are entering from a high school outside of North America. The program has the potential to help decrease the attrition rate for international students, which is currently about twice the attrition rate for domestic students (19.7% vs. 10.0%).

ASSIST 2005 will be offered to 120 students from 6 faculties: Agricultural Sciences, Applied Science, Arts, Commerce, Forestry and Science. We have been in consultation with these faculties, the International Student Initiative, and the VP Students Office, and wide-spread support has been received. A steering committee for ASSIST 2005 has been established, including Roxanna Quinde (AGSC), Ruth Kwok (APSC), Qiu Oredugba (ARTS), Darren Klinck (COMM), Chiara Longhi (FRST), Susan Peters (SCIE), Don Wehrung and Damarra Klaassen (lSI), Michelle Suderman (lnt'I Stud Ser) and Janet Teasdale (VP Office, Students). In 2005, the program will be developed, administered, and housed under the Faculty of Applied Science. In the future, this program will be moved under the umbrella of central university administration. The Vice-President, Students office will be involved in both the development and implementation of ASSIST 2005 to (1) ensure effective use of current resources and strong coordination between current support programs such as the broader international student orientation program and transition programs and (2) provide expertise regarding international student learning and transition. After the program, ASSIST 2005 students will continue to use the existing support services that will ensure their academic success, such as one-on-one advising, student success workshops and resources (exam prep, note-taking, university writing, time management, etc.), on-line resources for student success, and the international peer program. ASSIST 2005 does not duplicate service in any way but augments the service for a specific population on international students.

Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2005/2006
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorBruce Dunwoody
Year 1: Funded Amount95,472
Year 1: Team Members

Bruce Dunwoody, Associate Dean, Engineering Student Services, Faculty of Applied Science
Tatiana Teslenko, Faculty of Applied Science
Ruth Kwok, Faculty of Applied Science
Jim Sibley, Faculty of Applied Science