Factors that Affect the Decision of Refugee and Immigrant Students to Pursue Higher Education in Tennessee: The case of Egyptian, Somali, Kurdish and Mexican Students

Mengistu H Weldegebriel, Tennessee State University

Abstract

Refugee and immigrant students face challenges in pursuing higher education. This study examined factors that affect the decision of refugees and immigrant students to pursue higher education in Tennessee. The factors included cultural capital these students acquire from their parents and families; cultural difference they have with the mainstream American culture; the level of their parental education; and their financial conditions. A survey instrument was used to collect data from 160 refugee and immigrant students from four metropolitan Nashville schools. Various statistical tests were used to test the 11 null hypotheses formulated. These tests included Bivariate Correlation, Independent T-Test, One-Way ANOVA, Two-Way-ANOVA, Regression Analysis, and Step-wise Regression. A statistically significant positive correlation was found between the decision of refugee and immigrant students to pursue higher education and their cultural capital and the level of their parental education. A statistically significant negative correlation was found between the decision of the refugee and immigrant students to pursue higher education and their cultural difference. No statistically significant difference was found between the decision of the refugee and immigrant students to pursue higher education and their country of origin, with regard to comparable cultural capital, cultural difference, and level of parental education. The combination and interaction of the four variables—cultural capital, cultural difference, parental education, and financial condition—were found to have a statistically significant effect on the decision of the students to pursue higher education.^

Subject Area

Education, Sociology of|Education, Multilingual|Education, Administration|Education, Adult and Continuing|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Mengistu H Weldegebriel, "Factors that Affect the Decision of Refugee and Immigrant Students to Pursue Higher Education in Tennessee: The case of Egyptian, Somali, Kurdish and Mexican Students" (2011). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3454434.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3454434

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