Abstract This is a mixed-method, qualitative study of 36 Somali students to uncover key factors affecting their academic success in a two-year community college in the Twin Cities of Minnesota/St. Paul. The Twin Cities metropolitan area has become a preferred location in the US for Somali diaspora to settle because of the rich social, economic, and educational opportunities offered. A purposive sample of 18 current and 18 drop-outs male and female students were selected from a population of 234 Somali students who attended one of the largest and well-known community and technical colleges in the Twin Cities area. All 234 students participated in a screening questionnaire consisting of questions about socio-cultural conditions. Thirty-six students in the purposive sample were selected based on their responses to the screening questionnaire, were asked to participate in a semi-structured focus group interview and an individual interview. Three major themes emerged from the data related to cultural identity and sense of place, language use, and motivation. Somali students who were most successful academically had acculturated additively keeping their "Somaliness" while at the same time actively adopting American cultural values, skills, and practices. In addition, the most successful students valued persistent, committed educational progress whether their goals were modest or ambitious. Most who succeeded also had the most substantial and consistent family support, university financial, social integration, and years of English language exposure.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2015. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisors: . Deanne Magnusson, Gerald Fry. 1 computer file (PDF); xii, 173 pages.
A Case Study of the Academic Success of Somali Refugee Students in a Two-Year Community College..
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