An Examination of Successful Caribbean Students in Higher Education




Thomas, Christina Antonia Lee Morgan

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In this thesis, I examined the experiences of successful Caribbean immigrant students and graduates in the collegiate setting at universities in the United States. I conducted in-depth interviews in order to elicit students’ perceptions about what factors influence their college aspirations and academic achievement. The findings suggest that a combination of both internal (i.e. personal motivations and ambitions) and external (i.e. family, peers, mentors, organizations, and advisors) influences motivate Caribbean immigrant students and graduates to achieve and be resilient in the face of obstacles (i.e. racism, prejudice, and discrimination) they may encounter during their pursuit of higher education. My research suggests that retaining Caribbean culture, maintaining ethnic affiliation, and identifying oneself as Caribbean are significant to the success of these Caribbean immigrants. Caribbean immigrant students and graduates engage in dualist cultures----American and Caribbean cultures. Caribbean culture and ideologies are viewed by them as more substantial in comparison with American belief systems. The findings implicate that more ethnic and racial diversity is needed among students and faculty in the American collegiate settings for minority students.



immigrants, college students, academic achievement, motivation, Caribbean, higher education


Thomas, C. A. L. M. (2011). An examination of successful Caribbean students in higher education (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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