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Administrative and Social Impacts of SEVIS Implementation on International Services Offices: A Delphi Study of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area Open Access

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This study was designed to determine the major administrative and social impacts of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System's (SEVIS) implementation on the International Services Offices (ISOs) at the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. The study population consisted of 26 International Student Advisors (ISAs); each had at least seven years of international-student-advising experience.The study utilized a two-round Modified Delphi technique as a primary tool of collecting data and developing a consensus among 20 panelists. In Round One, on a 5-point Likert Scale, ISAs ranked 72 statements describing impacts of SEVIS's implementation. The statistical description of the first round responses were added to each impact statement in the Round Two questionnaire. In Round Two, the panelists were directed to consider a statistical description of group responses in Round One and were given the opportunity to re-rate statements where their opinions were outside the range of panel responses. In this study, the participants achieved a consensus when at least 50% of the panel responses on each item were within one inter-quartile range of the median. The data collected for this study did not support the findings of other recent studies and initial reports from the field, which indicated that the implementation of SEVIS shifted ISO functions away from personal interactions with international students and attention to their cultural adjustment and toward data monitoring and government reporting. An increased overall workload and increased levels of stress and anxiety were among negative social impacts of SEVIS. On the positive side, SEVIS resulted in increased participation of the ISOs in the process of institutional decision-making on their respective campuses. The majority of the panelists were not aware of the benefits that SEVIS has produced for international students, the public, and the national security. The results of this study suggested that many ISOs took advantage of SEVIS policies to advance their key roles and attain new levels of power and authority within university systems.

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