To Impartially Track all Foreign Student In Order to Understand the Poor Retention Rate of these Students at UH Hilo
- Whereas the non-resident foreign LDT retention rate is only 8%, which is particularly significant since this group represents almost 29% of the LDT population
- Whereas foreign students only constitute 7% of the new student population each year, but account for 16% of the total attrition rate at UH Hilo
- Whereas there are contradictory data and data inconsistencies in defining the foreign population in data searches (Incomplete data searches have been done only by interested parties.)
- Whereas in the 2013 WASC report, we have stated that we are unable to definitively identify the foreign students (because they enter by different means: the SAT, the TOEFL, by transfer or by political agreement)
- Whereas UH Hilo admissions admits students as degree seeking whose TOEFL is 500 or less (per Julie Mowrer and Mahealani Jones)
- Whereas UH Hilo standards of TOEFL admissions fall significantly under that of most universities and go against academically accepted linguistic standards of measurement for student success
- Whereas there exists a very real phenomenon called Language Breakdown or Language Crash when the student’s whole scaffolding of language collapses because his or her language level cannot handle abstract reasoning, complex comparison, specialized vocabulary or hypothetical reasoning
- Whereas the abandonment of studies frequently accompanies the painful experience of Language Breakdown
Therefore, in order to improve the very poor retention level of our foreign students, and respond to WASC’s criticism about our foreign student retention, the Faculty Congress requests the Administration to develop a tracking system for all students whose first language is not English in order to create a clear definition and measurement of our foreign students.
**UH Hilo Faculty Congress Vote: Yes – 13, No – 3, Abstain - 0
Motion sent to Chancellor and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs November 25, 2014.