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Overlooked and Invisible: Student Success among First-Generation, Foreign-Born Caribbean Black Immigrants

Dayne Hutchinson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This qualitative research study was designed to explore the lived experiences of successful first-generation, foreign-born Caribbean Black immigrants who were enrolled in predominantly white public higher education institutions in Florida, to better understand the challenges and the factors that contributed to their student success. This study examined personal and institutional factors that both impeded and helped with student success during college. This study employed Tinto’s Theory of Student Integration as the guiding framework. Participants in this study graduated within the last three (3) years and self-identified as academically successful. Data were collected using oral interview techniques. The results of the study were: (a) participants had an overall positive experience in college; (b) participants emphasized education attainment as a means for upward mobility and viewed America as the land of opportunity, (c) family support and push served as the driving factor for academic success with significant emphasis on the role of mothers, (d) foreign-born Black immigrants center their identities around national and ethnic makers, (e) student involvement, access to campus resources, positive faculty relationship and significant peer to peer relationships were important factors of academic success, (f) stress of migration on family, financial struggles and limited social/cultural capital served as personal barriers and (g) financial aid served as a minor institutional barrier. This study will be helpful to student affairs professionals, faculty, and staff in higher education settings to better understanding the foreign-born Black Caribbean immigrant population.

Subject Area

Black studies|Higher Education Administration|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Hutchinson, Dayne, "Overlooked and Invisible: Student Success among First-Generation, Foreign-Born Caribbean Black Immigrants" (2018). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI10792995.