Combating the Sophomore Slump and Declining Retention Rates: An Experiential Academic Program for Second Year International Students

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Richard Rodman


Trinity University is a private, four-year higher education institution located in San Antonio, Texas. In order to diversify its student body, Trinity developed an international student recruitment program five years ago. Trinity’s international student population increases on an annual basis. The International Programs Office oversees the majority of international student programming, yet, larger numbers strain existing programs and services. Current enrollment numbers limit these services and programs primarily to first year and fourth year students. The highest attrition on this campus occurs between the first and second year. In an attempt to increase retention rates among the sophomore student population, Trinity developed programs specifically targeted to the second year student population. This capstone strives to adapt aspects of Trinity’s second year student programming to the international student population majoring in Political Science and International Studies. The programming designed for second year Trinity students tends to focus on social aspect of university life. This capstone proposes a yearlong academic program that blends coursework from general education and seminar classes, with off-campus learning components, which include a six-week internship, and site-visits to Washington D.C. and the U.S./Mexico border. The experientially based curricular design encourages international students to explore comprehensively their own culture on a deeper level and to distinguish how their perspective and presence influence the campus community.


International and Comparative Education

This document is currently not available here.