Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Gloria Billingsley


The language and communication skills of foreign students have long been a concern in

U.S. universities. The majority of U.S. universities require foreign students for whom English is not their native language to take English language proficiency tests such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as part of admission requirements. Some universities have included interventions to increase the success of Chinese students against their struggle to understand English course content. One such program is the Gateway to Successful Tomorrow Bilingual Degree Program (GST). The gap to be addressed on this study was that the effectiveness of GST has not been formally evaluated among foreign students particularly overseas Chinese students studying at U.S. universities. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the GST among overseas Chinese students studying at U.S. universities as measured through students' grade point averages (GPA) and TOEFL scores. The theoretical framework that guided this study was the Vygotsky's sociocultural theory. The quantitative study used a causal comparative design to gather quantitative data from student achievement records and TOEFL scores. Pearson's correlation analysis and analysis of variance were conducted to predict if underlying relationships exist among variables. Key findings of the analyses showed that GST students had a significantly higher GPA than non-GST student. However, results also indicated that there was no evidence that the GST program significantly improved TOEFL scores. The GST program had an overall positive impact on the international Chinese students' academic performance and with continued research international students stand to gain even more from this program.