The relationship between selected status factors and certain educational difficulties of a sample of male Arab students in five selected universities
The purpose of this study was: (1) to determine the extent of difficulty a sample of degree seeking, male, Arab students attending five Washington D.C. area universities experience in each of three educational areas, namely, English language proficiency, academic performance, and academic resources; (2) to determine the relationship between the difficulties reported for each of the three areas and the following five personal characteristics: age, marital status, length of stay in the U.S., academic classification, and major area; and (3) to draw implications from the findings regarding the need for institutional services and programs intended to serve the needs of this special population. Study subjects were 400 degree-seeking, male, Arab students. They were selected on a convenience basis to complete two research instruments, the Personal Data Inventory (PDI) and Educational Difficulty Checklist (EDC), developed by the researcher. Data collection was undertaken in the fall semester of the 1988-89 academic year. Fifteen hypotheses were postulated each of which pertained to the relationship between one of the three areas of educational difficulty (dependent variable) and one of five personal characteristics (independent variable). Hypothesis testing was done through the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) program using the analysis of variance (ANOVA). Five of fifteen hypotheses were confirmed. The accepted hypotheses provided evidence that there is a significant relationship between difficulty in English language and the students' current age, length of stay in the U.S., and marital status. Also, academic performance difficulty was significantly related to the students' length of stay in the U.S, and marital status. Specifically, older students (over 28 years), married students, and students with shortest stay in the U.S. (24 months or under) reported more English language difficulty. In addition to the language difficulty, married students, and students with the shortest length of stay experienced greater academic performance difficulty. The single most troublesome difficulty reported by the study subjects among the twenty-two items on the EDC considered is "Opportunity for practical training". It was reported by over half of the study sample (52%) as a matter causing them some or much difficulty.