Academic Performance of Arab Muslim Students Thesis

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A cross-sectional survey is a type of observational study that allows participants to answer without interference from the researcher (Donahue & Benuto, 2013).

By giving the students a form, there is limited to no interference by the researcher concerning the participants' answers. This is at the core of observational studies. "Observational studies can provide evidence relevant to the understanding of the effectiveness of an adolescent health intervention. This generally occurs not through automatic use of complex statistics, but instead through a careful analysis and understanding of potential alternative explanations" (Donahue & Benuto, 2013, p. 305). The main purpose of observational studies is to give a deeper understanding through collection of data (mainly qualitative). Students of Arab descent selected from grades 8 and 9 will be able to deliver, through their responses, the kind of information needed to confirm or deny the research undertaken within the theoretical framework and the literature review.

The nature of the study will provide answers to sought after questions of whether certain factors like motivation can be affected by input characteristics like race, gender, or in the case of students of Arab descent, culture and ethnicity. Various factors may play a role in a student's academic performance. By observing certain outcomes taken from the form filled by student participants, the study hopes to provide the kind of information that can lead to a sound conclusion that supports the hypothesis and effectively addresses the problem statement. These are the aims of the study.

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Significance of the Study

TOPIC: Thesis on Academic Performance of Arab Muslim Students Assignment

The significance of the study revolves around discovery of the effects of various aspects of being a student of Arab descent or a Middle Eastern student and its role in academic performance. Many students moving to the United States from Middle Eastern or Arab origins face discrimination due to perceived differences or reinforcement of negative stereotypes. Although not all students within this group have a difficult time academically, many do suffer from problems of identity formation, academic accomplishment, and feeling a part of the community. This study will provide the perspective of the student of Arab descent through participation from students grades 8 and 9. Their answers will help illuminate what kinds of obstacles such students face in school.

Many immigrant students in the United States face discrimination. A 2016 study examined the correlation between discrimination and academic performance and confirmed the experiences of discrimination play a negative role in academic achievement.

Discrimination experience and Affirmation/Belonging were significant predictors of scholastic competence, while Affirmation/Belonging was the sole significant predictor in Global Self-Worth. High levels of ethnic identity in the area of Affirmation/Belonging seemed to play a protective role in global self-concept in the face of discrimination (Tabbah, Chung, & Miranda, 2016, p. 319).

Advising can be a difficult task to succeed in as it relates to assisting immigrant students. If advisors do not cultivate the necessary cultural awareness and sensitivity needed to help students in this group, their efforts may be in vain. While all students experience some level of difficulty throughout their academic career, students of Arab and Middle Eastern origins face intense discrimination that studies have shown may have a detrimental effect on their academic and school choices.

Muslim and Arab students in an observational study showed less disparity in "the level of perceived discrimination in relationship to the percentage of same-ethnic and/or same-faith campus friendship groups. Post hoc comparisons revealed that Arab and Muslim students exhibited significantly higher mean scores on a perceived discrimination scale than other ethnic groups" (Shammas, 2015, p. 1). The result indicates there is a greater sense of discrimination Muslim and Arab students feel than estimated. Especially with the ongoing turbulent political climate of various countries including the United States, it is critical to successfully assess the mental state of Muslim and Arab students. This observational study will provide information and evidence both from existing literature and through assessing Muslim/Arab students that may further clarify the situation in the United States as it relates to Muslim/Arab students.

Other researchers may use information like in this study to continue to explore the existing situation of Muslim/Arab students in the United States and throughout the western world. As more refugees continue to exist and live in western countries, they face continued discrimination that may have a negative impact on their lives, especially as students. These topics need to be addressed in such a way that highlights the perceptions, perceived barriers, and correlations made by Muslim/Arab students in relation to their academic performance. Future studies may choose to understand how staff can improve their professional relations with Muslim/Arab students.

The first step is generating awareness. The second is creating a hypothesis and exploring such hypothesis through research. The third step is conducting a study. The final step is reflection and providing the results of the study for future use for other researchers.

Research Questions

Academic advisory has emerged as one of the most useful support services in the educational programs at higher education levels. It is not a subsidiary function any more. It is a mandatory program. It requires informed, cognizant organization and planning. To determine how Middle Eastern adolescent students, experience from advising services, this study endeavors to investigate the research questions below;
  • Q1. What is the effect of the school advisory programs on the Middle Eastern student?
  • Q2. How do the advising interactions of individual adolescent students affect their academic performances?
  • Q3. How does the institution-based advising environment affect the performance of Middle Eastern adolescent students?
  • Q4. What outcomes do we get from the school advising programs on Middle Eastern students; compared to non-Middle Eastern adolescent student populations, and what is the difference?
Definition of Key Terms
  • Academic advising: This is a learning opportunity conducted outside the classroom environment for students attending higher education. Academic advising was treated as going beyond course registration process. The academic advising program was treated as a development process that aids students to link their career life with educational aims (APA, 2010).
  • Adolescent: Young students of age-specific group preparing for high school after graduating from elementary school. Puberty in adolescent comes with a myriad of physical, social, intellectual and emotional challenges (Barlow (2015).
  • Junior High School: Young adults that have completed the elementary school course. They are usually placed in grades 7 to 9. They are just about to enter secondary school (Allen, 2014).
  • Advisee-advisor Program: A group of pre-arranged students numbering 15 to 20 that can interact to discuss social or academic issues in peer group interaction. The advisory programs can range from a daily, weekly to bi-monthly meets. Each child closely bonds with one adult advisor. Certified teachers and other professional staffs normally lead an advisory base group. Such terms as teacher-based guidance, advisement and teacher advisory are commonly used (Vianden & Barlow, 2015).
  • Academic Dismissal: A failure of a student to perform in a satisfactory manner and is unable to meet the standards specified for satisfactory academic performance. Such actions lead to placement on academic dismissal. Poor advising and bad choices from students can lead to academic dismissal in college.
  • Arab Descent: or otherwise called Arab identity is defined separate from religious identity, predating Islam. Arabs are in general, Sufi, Shia, or Sunni Muslims with 7-10% of the Arab population being Arab Christians.
  • I-E-O Model: The core of the model has a basis of three components with five basic postulates. The three main components are inputs, environments, and outcomes. The theory was developed and published in 1984 by Alexander Astin. The model correlates academic performance with student involvement.
  • Immigrant- a person coming to reside permanently in a foreign nation. Many people in the United States are immigrants.
Theoretical Framework

Inputs-Environment-Outcomes (I-E-O) model (Astin, 1991) guides in this examination of the effects of advisory programs on learning through the development of students. I-E-O model explains that learning outcomes emanate from inputs by students, the environment around college, and the interaction between the two, i.e. student inputs and the environment around college. According to the I-E-O framework, advising is an environment because it is a service offered by an institution. Astin (1991) made a distinction between and within institutions characteristics. The between-institutions present the picture of an institution wholly. Within-intuitional environment characteristics describe sub-environments that only affect a segment of students. He went on to describe two types of between institutional environment measures. One of the types describes structural aspects such as the size of an institution, selectivity and control. The other environment measure type portrays an institution in a more sophisticated and personal way (p. 86). This includes the types of advisory services offered or a sense of community. Extant academic efforts demonstrated that the two types of institutional environment characteristics relate to learning outcomes of the students.

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