This research study sought to investigate and explain the perceptions and experiences of Ghanaian international students in the American higher education system. Four subjects enrolled at different higher education institutions in the USA participated in the study. The participants were selected based on the following four criteria: (a) they were Ghanaian international students; (b) they were 18 years of age or older; (c) they had successfully completed two years or more of post-secondary education in the USA; (d) and they were proficient in the English language. Three research questions guided the study: What are the perceptions of Ghanaian international students regarding their experiences in a higher educational institution in the USA? What factors influence these perceptions? What are the specific ways that Ghanaian international students negotiate the challenges of the American higher education system? A qualitative methodology and case study research design was utilized to collect data. Critical race theory, phenomenological theory, postcolonial identity theory, and intersectionality theory provided the theoretical framework for the study. Data collected from the 13 in-depth semi-structured interviews, researcher’s observations, and a researcher’s reflective journal, were coded using both open and axial codes. Thematic analysis was done vertically for each participant and across all participants’ responses. These codes were then categorized into themes and subthemes. Five themes emerged from the data analysis and these included: acculturation challenges, economic concerns, weak institutional support system, visa issues, and geography. Key influences included nationality, ethnicity, family background, religion, socioeconomic status, personality, and prior foreign travel experiences. Social networking and creating personal support systems appeared to be the most common coping strategies employed by participants. The limitations of this study included the small number of participants and the institutional type, among other factors. The implications and recommendations regarding future research are included.
|Commitee:||Pincham, Linda, Wadlington, Carolyn|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African Studies, Educational leadership, Higher education|
|Keywords:||American higher education, Ghana, International students, acculturation challenges, institutional support|
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