Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Bangladeshi and Mexican immigrants who leave early from postsecondary education in the United Kingdom and the United States

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  • The purpose of this cross-cultural study is to improve the understanding of the educational experiences of immigrant students who leave postsecondary education prior to completion of a program in two traditionally immigrant-magnet countries. This research focuses on Bangladeshi immigrants in the United Kingdom and Mexican immigrants in the United States, who are among the least successful students in higher education. These two groups have been shown to participate in higher education at lower numbers than other immigrant groups: lower than whites in each country and lower than their native-born counterparts. These students also have elevated early leaving rates from postsecondary education and higher unemployment than other immigrant groups in4he two countries. The analyses of the interviews of Bangladeshi and Mexican immigrants who left early from postsecondary education showed that there were similarities and differences in their experiences in postsecondary education. Common experiences included family (psychological) support of college attendance and the positive experiences at the postsecondary educational institutions where students and faculty were friendly and supportive. The interviews of Mexican and Bangladeshi immigrants indicated that the two groups participated in postsecondary education for different reasons. The Bangladeshis enrolled to improve their English fluency for immediate job opportunities or as part of a designated college track assigned to them in secondary school, whereas the Mexicans attended college with career goals in mind. Institutional support, such as registration procedures and counseling availability, was satisfactory to the Bangladeshis, compared to the Mexican immigrants who perceived institutional support to be inadequate. The Bangladeshi immigrants left postsecondary education early due to family economic needs while the Mexican immigrants left for a variety of reasons including economic needs, cultural pressure, and inadequate counseling at the college. The overarching themes of the importance of family and institutional support for immigrants were common to both the Bangladeshi the Mexican groups. The research suggests that institutions address methods to include families in the educational experience and increase institutional support in the areas of registration, financial assistance, and academic and career counseling.
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