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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/552

Title: Caribbean students’ adjustment to a culture at a small, liberal arts college
Authors: Campbell, D. Bruce Jr.
Keywords: Education;Students, Foreign;West Indians--Education (Higher)
Issue Date: 29-Sep-2005
Abstract: With more and more International students attending higher education institutions in the United States increasing every year, colleges and universities are looking at new ways to address the needs of an ever-changing student population. This study looked closely at Caribbean students, one of the international groups that make up a significant percentage of international students. The investigation focused on the student’s point of view that gave them a voice and allowed them to share their experiences and views on issues around their college adjustment. Moreover, the study examined the university’s commitment to being culturally responsive in an era where diversity and acceptance are on the agenda of every institution. The methodology of this study consisted of in-depth interviews (six Caribbean participants, ten non-Caribbean participants [faculty, administrators, non-Caribbean students, and college employees]), an informal survey sheets, and a focus group with Caribbean participants. Through the data collection and descriptive analysis, the entire college community (student body, administrators, faculty, employees) contributed to the conversation of adjustment, culturally responsiveness, and change. The results of the study provided insights and a better awareness of Caribbean students’ college experiences as told by the students themselves. There were three main results as a result of this study. One, adjustment for college students occurs before they step foot on campus. Two, Thompson College has a successful Minority Scholars Program to ease students into all aspects of the college adjustment. Finally, the research revealed that students’ level of commitment to the institution was a determining factor in their assimilation process to the college. There were three conclusions that can be drawn from this study. One, students college adjustment has been an ongoing process from before they step foot on campus until now. Many different aspects of their college experiences’ have affected their college adjustment. Two, colleges and universities need to be culturally responsive when it comes to serving the entire student body academically and socially. Thompson College is separating the student body through individual programs and possibly hindering cultural awareness on campus, which affects every student’s adjustment. Finally, the students’ commitment and level of involvement to the institution and the social network they create for themselves plays a significant role as to whether their adjustment is pleasant or frustrating. Participating students’ different levels of adjustment can be attributed to what activities and individuals they surrounded themselves with. These conclusions were students’ experiences and may provide new understanding for those in higher education and may help influence policy, curriculum, and relations on campuses to address educational goals for all students. In-depth understanding of campus student cultures is necessary to be responsive to all cultures, as well as to create campus environments that promote student learning and positive adjustment.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/552
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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