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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Phenomenological Inquiry into the Experiences of Kenyan International Students in US Graduate Schools in the Twin Cities, Minnesota
by Okari, Jeremiah Moruri, Ed.D., Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, 2016, 252; 10125252
Abstract (Summary)

This hermeneutic phenomenological study sought to investigate the nature of graduate experience of Kenyan international students in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota. International students seek high education in the United States for various reasons including; access to quality education, research infrastructure, employment, prestige, and exposure. A review of literature showed that Kenyan students while appreciative of the opportunity to study in the US face challenges not limited to; cultural conflicts, discrimination, emotional stress, and financial difficulties. A purposeful sample was employed to collected data from 21 participants using interviews and focus groups.

From the data analysis five themes emerged, namely; (a) Positive educational experience reinforced by enabling environment, (b) Graduate experience enhanced by favorable opportunities, (c) Hardships and struggles impede graduate experience, (d) Strong social relationships foster academic performance, and (e) Nurturing resiliency and discipline for educational success. The findings suggested that despite the many challenges, availability of strong supportive relationships and abundance of university resources significantly influence the transformative graduate experience for Kenyan students in the United States. Moreover, the findings raised awareness and demonstrated the need for stakeholders such as: educators, faculty members, counselors, recruiters, and university administrators to address the unique needs of Kenyan students, and other subgroups of international students, in the U.S. higher education system.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hines, Susan
Commitee: McClure, John, Teklemariam, Amanuel, Wolfe, Rustin
School: Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Department: Leadership
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 77/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African Studies, Educational leadership, Education
Keywords: African students in us, Graduate experience, International students, Kenyan graduate students, U.s higher education, U.s. graduate schools
Publication Number: 10125252
ISBN: 978-1-339-83345-3
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