Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Dr. Alla Korzh


The purpose of this capstone project is to design a program that tends to sociocultural challenges of SUNY Plattsburgh international students and Plattsburgh area community members to improve campus and community relations in order to, ultimately, improve the retention of international students. U.S. higher education institutions depend on the recruitment and retention of international students due to lack of funding at the state and federal levels of government. However, amidst turbulent political times, international student numbers are decreasing in the United States at a startling rate. Through observations of the 2017-2018 academic year and interviewing SUNY Plattsburgh international students and Plattsburgh area community members, cross-cultural understanding and connection were revealed as their most pressing needs. Pragmatic approaches that utilize radical empathy and civic engagement to address these needs are the cornerstones of this service-learning program design.

Key words: international students, retention, community, empowerment, stereotypes, racism, cross-cultural understanding, radical empathy


Civic and Community Engagement | Education | Higher Education | International and Intercultural Communication | Peace and Conflict Studies | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Service Learning | Social Psychology and Interaction