This study aimed to explore the relatively undocumented experiences and perceptions of mattering and marginality among Middle Eastern students attending a large American university, it also sought to inform higher education administration about the unique characteristics of this rapidly noticeable student population and it attempted to narrow the knowledge gap in existing literature regarding this underserved population of Middle Eastern students.
In-depth looks at the relationship between the United States and the Middle East revealed an ugly past. Even before 9/11, Middle Easterners faced persecution in North America. But today, persecution, discrimination, and stereotyping have reached dangerous levels that make it harder for Middle Eastern students in U.S. colleges and universities today. After exploring Schlossberg's (1989) mattering and marginality in an Anonymous University located in the Pacific Northwest, three themes were found that contribute to Middle Eastern students feeling marginalized at U.S. colleges and universities: a) Lack of recognition as a cultural group, b) a lack of representation within student services, and c) classic signs of discrimination: serious misconceptions.
These three themes lead to recommendations that seek to accommodate Middle Eastern students more. Colleges and universities need to come to a better understanding of what Middle Eastern students are going through, and accommodate accordingly.