Program Evaluation of Athletic Department Student Support Services for International Student-Athletes (ISA) at Virginia Tech

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Virginia Tech

The program evaluation of athletic department student support services for international student-athletes (ISA) at Virginia Tech provides insight into current support practices and provides recommendations for program improvement. ISA are likely to experience adjustment issues during their time in college, especially in first year enrollment. The transition from their home countries to Virginia Tech requires emotional, social, academic and athletic support. A survey instrument was distributed to ISA at Virginia Tech, recording 11 respondents from seven sports teams with eight different nationalities. Survey findings were presented to three athletic administrators who have been interacting with student-athletes for a number of years. Athletic administrators provided personal insight and emphasized the importance of identifying international athletes' needs. During the 2019/2020 season, ISA represented 7% of athletics at Virginia Tech and provided significant cultural diversity to the university. The program evaluation recognizes ISA ideas and thoughts presented through the survey instrument with emphasis on strengthening and individualizing student support for the ISA population. An evaluation of student support services provided by the athletic department is presented. Support services such as study hall, sport psychology, mentoring and alumni associations are presented throughout this study. Program improvement is recommended by implementing a mentorship program for ISA, creating an outlet outside of athletics and better identifying each ISA need. A copy of the program evaluation was provided to athletic administrators at Virginia Tech.