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Title:Navigating College Life: College Transition Experiences and Persistence of Minority Immigrant Students
Author(s):Kim, Eun Young
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Samuel Kern Alexander
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Abstract:Fifty-two ethnic minority immigrant students drawn from the 2006 entering freshman class at a predominantly White, public, doctoral granting, residential institution in the Midwestern U.S. participated in the study. These students and their families regarded postsecondary education in the U.S. as their best opportunity for upward social mobility and economic advancement. The study indicated that in most cases students considered the cost of college education, geographic location, and college quality as the determining factors in university selection. During the first year of college, the students had to (a) overcome linguistic minority status, (b) negotiate parental expectations and familial relationships, (c) prioritize academic and social life, (d) break ethnic stereotypes and discrimination, and (e) acquire financial resources. Minority immigrant students' relations with parents, siblings, and peers, and in particular, campus social networks and ethnic subcultures played a critical role in their ability to navigate the academic and social worlds of college. The analysis revealed that despite a great deal of individual variations in their ethnic group identifications, minority immigrant students tend to build campus social networks with the same ethnic group and exhibit a strong bond with an ethnic subculture on campus. Through these networks, students were able to relate to others like themselves, build ethnic bonds and cultivate their ethnic identity, and mutually exchange help to acquire the patterns of behavior that enhance academic adjustment. A critical mass of their own ethnic group was necessary for students to form ethnic social networks. The university environment did not seem to play a positive role in enhancing greater ethnic integration. By providing a better understanding of the challenges immigrant student face during their first year of college, this study presents alternative ways of conceptualizing their college experiences and offers insights into the ways in which higher education institutions can aid these students and enhance their persistence in college.
Issue Date:2008
Description:328 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3337820
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008

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