June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1645.1 - 26.1645.7
Use of “First Semester Education” to identify and tackle the transitional challenges faced by Indian Graduate Students in the Construction department Over the past several decades there has been a major influx of international graduate studentsinto the United States from many countries, especially from India. Though possessing anundergraduate degree from India, many Indian students enter a US construction graduateprogram with little to no exposure to the expectations and culture of the US higher educationsystem. For these students, the transition to the education system in the United States has to beusually be made within a three week period after arrival into the US. This short period of timecan present some challenges for Indian students to acclimate to a new national culture and a neweducation system, in addition to gaining an understanding of the differences in constructionlexicon, techniques, regulatory environment, and teaching methods between India and the US.This paper focuses on identifying and analyzing the transition challenges faced by Indiangraduate students in a large US construction graduate degree program. The study surveyed andinterviewed thirty-four (34) Indian graduate students in the department. It was identified thatlanguage barriers, different construction terms, not knowing the proper culture norms forinteracting with the faculty, and feeling of inferiority or “second class citizenship” were themajor transition difficulties. In addition to an analysis of challenges, this paper also presentssolutions and recommendations for “first semester education” construction-specific actions thatwill help US construction graduate degree programs increase the probability of success of theirIndian graduate students in graduating and help them become a better construction professionalin the US or whichever country the choose to realize their careers.
Gajjar, D., & Sullivan, K. T., & Kashiwagi, J. S., & Mischung, J. J. (2015, June), Use of “First Semester Education” to Identify and Tackle the Transitional Challenges Faced by Indian Graduate Students in the Construction Department Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24975
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