Publication Date

Spring 5-16-2016

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Dr. Karla Giuliano Sarr

Abstract

Over the past ten years, the United States has seen a significant increase in the number of international students seeking a high school diploma from private secondary schools (Farrugia, 2014). Coinciding with this increase in international students is an increase in the use of educational consultants who help international students gain access to these schools. Little research has been done on what the relationship entails and the impact these consultants are having on U. S. private secondary schools international enrollment. Using a thematic analysis approach, this study looks at how consultants are involved in the international student admission and enrollment process at private secondary schools in the Eastern United States. The study and its findings are framed by human capital and social reproduction theory, which help us to better understand the relationship between educational consultants and their clients. The findings show that consultants play a significant and active role in admissions and enrollment, but that role depends on their relationship with the school. It was also found that consultants provide services to not only students but to schools. Those services include, but are not limited to, material verification, increasing access to less represented student groups and an overall increase in the number of international students. Moreover, this study addresses the ethical considerations of the relationship between schools and consultants.

Disciplines

International and Comparative Education | Other Education

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