Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - NLU Access

Degree Name

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy

Academic Discipline

Community Psychology

First Advisor

Bradley Olson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Tiffeny Jimenez, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Alton C. Dubois, Ph.D.


This retrospective research uses two qualitative studies to understand the assets and barriers of Sub-Saharan African immigrant children who arrive in the US. Many arrive in the United States with an educational gap that is difficult to overcome. The first study interviewed 12 former Sub-Saharan African immigrant students utilizing phenomenological lived story narratives. Comparisons were made between the home country, refugee camp, and the US educational experiences. In this study, the empirical research recognized that US schools made an effort to support newly arrived immigrants by providing ESL, IEP, 504, Bilingual, and Afterschool programs. Many of these programs fell short in integrating Sub-Saharan African immigrant children, given their significant educational gaps. The second study collected interview data from 12 formal or current teachers working with Sub-Saharan African immigrant children. This study helped obtain perspectives of the teachers’ phenomenological experiences, gathering information about their supports and challenges. Study 2 also helped understand the supports and challenges the students received, and what factors might lead to better integrative future solutions, ones that embrace a culturally responsive pedagogy, which can support newcomer Sub-Saharan African immigrant students.

Available for download on Monday, June 17, 2024