Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Katie Gilbertson


This capstone master’s thesis explains the comprehensive 100-hour training program for a team of new student advisors at Massachusetts International Academy. The training was designed and delivered in May-August 2014 for the 2014-2015 academic year. The school, in a partnership with the University of Massachusetts, provides English as a second language (ESL) instruction exclusively to the increasing numbers of Chinese students seeking undergraduate and graduates degrees in the United States. The school is in eastern Massachusetts and was developed by the China Education and Research Network. The academy is a residential ESL pathways program that prepares students for undergraduate and graduate study by offering English classes, a structured residential environment and a supportive advising program.

Student advisors are a core foundation of the Chinese student experience at the academy. They provide academic advising, develop cultural programming, and maintain a safe living environment for students. A talented and well-trained student advising team is critical for positive student outcomes and the future success of the school. This paper explains how student advisors were hired and trained using a new training curriculum in August 2014. The paper then evaluates the delivery of the two-week training program and discusses best practices for training a team of six new student advisors.

Keywords: Chinese international students, ESL, staff training, training design, student advisor, RAs, training evaluation, pathways program, Massachusetts International Academy, UMass, China Education and Research Network.


Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership | Higher Education | International and Comparative Education