Date of Award

Spring 1-23-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Joseph Stetar, Ph.D

Committee Member

Robert Kelchen, Ph.D

Committee Member

Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, Ph.D


Sub-Saharan African Immigrants, Perceived Discrimination, Cultural, Coping Strategies, Academic, Social, Immigrants, phenomenology, Educational systems


Sub-Saharan African immigrant students constitute an important cohort on United States college campuses. In order for U.S. colleges and universities to better accommodate the significant number of Sub-Saharan African immigrant students, it is critical to identify factors that influence these students’ cultural and academic processes and provide professionals with guidelines for creating culturally appropriate services and programs for them. The purpose of this research is to undertake a single case study to study and understand the experiences of Sub-Saharan African immigrant students who are currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at an American 4-year public institution of higher education. Although Sub-Saharan African immigrants are said to have attained the highest level of education in the U.S., there has been limited research on their academic and cultural experiences and challenges in the U.S. and the pressure to succeed on American universities and colleges. This topic will be explored qualitatively while utilizing interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA). IPA is an appropriate method of inquiry to understand the academic and cultural experiences of Sub-Saharan African immigrants because it will allow the participants the opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings and experiences as they want it to be known.