Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Charles C. Warfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Brashear

Third Advisor

Dr. Lawrence Schlack

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Owen Middleton


The purpose of this study was to identify perceptions of Saudi students studying at Western Michigan University (WMU), faculty and administrators at WMU, and academic advisors in the Saudi Arabian Educational Mission in Chicago regarding academic problems encountered by Saudi students enrolled at WMU, and to determine any differences in perceptions of Saudi students regarding their academic problems based on age, marital status, academic level, and length of stay in the United States.

Respondents to this study included 47 Saudi students, 22 faculty, 24 administrators, and 8 academic advisors. The data for this study were obtained by means of a questionnaire. The data were analyzed utilizing frequency, percentage, mean, and chi square.

Analysis of the data collected resulted in the following conclusions: (1) Giving oral reports, participating in classroom discussion, writing term papers, pronouncing words in English, and writing essay exams were considered to be some of the more problematic for students. However, using microfiche and microfilm and getting required books were considered to be some of the least problematic. (2) Differences were found in perceptions between students and faculty, administrators, and academic advisors. Generally, students seldom marked that they didn't know; whereas related professionals often marked that they didn't know. Further, students were more likely to indicate that the items were less problematic for them. (3) Age and academic level of students had no effect on their perceptions. (4) Marital status of students had no effect on their perceptions with the exception of completing examinations during the same time span as American students and understanding wording on tests, which were perceived to be more problematic for married students. (5) Length of stay in the United States had no effect on perceptions of students with the exception of writing essay exams, taking and organizing notes, keeping appointments and punctuality with instructors, understanding the American educational system, and having too many credit hours in one semester, which were perceived to be more problematic for students who had spent less time in the United States.

Recommendations were given for easing the academic adjustment and for further studies.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access