Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA Communication

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program

Communication, MA

First Advisor

Desrene Vernon-Brebnor

Second Advisor

Kimberly Pichot

Abstract

This research is an informative analysis of international students’ feedback on the Andrews University (AU) crisis communication during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Participants were 21 years or older, on student visas, living on-campus or in student communities and had attended AU for at least 2 years. The theory informing this study is situational crisis communication theory (SCCT). The SCCT argues that the severity of the crisis defines which communicational crisis strategy will be more effective in minimizing attributions and adverse press while both maintaining and enhancing the organization's credibility. The findings of this study indicated that 84 percent of the sample were either moderately or extremely satisfied with the AU crisis communication, which was essentially based on email communication. However, 16 percent of the participants found those emails ineffective. The study was significant to the researcher because, as a direct victim of the pandemic, he witnessed how the AU administration handled it. Participants provided insights based on their individual experiences. From a customer retention standpoint, higher education institutions will profit from the findings of this report. It will be a valuable tool for developing a new customer service chart in the likelihood that any higher educational institution, such as Andrews University, is expected to deal with a similar crisis in the future. However, further research should be undertaken to evaluate grade trends among foreign students who have no prior online learning experience but are now taking classes remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subject Area

COVID-19 (Disease); Pandemic; Communication; Andrews University--Foreign Students

Included in

Communication Commons

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