Understanding the process of educational assimilation for refugee and non-refugee immigrant students: a pilot study of a community college
Lee, Jie-Eun Grace
The purpose of this study is to understand how the process of educational assimilation differs between refugee and non-refugee immigrant students. More specifically, the study examines how well the segmented assimilation theory, which is the most-widely used theoretical framework in studying immigrant adaptation, can explain the difference in educational expectations between refugee and non-refugee immigrant students. The themes and patterns that emerged from the experiences shared by students offer a starting point for a larger study in the future. Student interviews revealed that life-historical contexts were especially key to understanding educational assimilation for refugee students, because their past traumatic events such as war, loss of a family member, poverty, and life at refugee camps in their country of origin had a profound impact on their and their families¡¯ original decisions to come to the United States. In sum, this research serves as a pilot study for the purpose of testing the appropriateness and adequacy of the conceptual framework and interview protocol, which were mainly developed from the theory of segmented assimilation. The interview protocol was refined by deleting questions, adding new questions, and rephrasing questions.