A Qualitative Study of African Immigrant Professors in Two Historically Black Institutions in a Southeastern State

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Title: A Qualitative Study of African Immigrant Professors in Two Historically Black Institutions in a Southeastern State
Author: Ochukpue, Winnie Edith Ngozi
Advisors: Dr. Robert Serow, Committee Chair
Abstract: Various theories have been advanced to account for immigrants to the United States. Most of these immigrants have faced the same types of challenges and obstacles in their acculturation, but the majority of immigrants have historically succeeded in assimilating and the U.S. has emerged as a truly multicultural nation as a result. While the problems facing immigrants have been well documented, studies have shown that immigrants from African nations face additional problems as well. This study is a qualitative inquiry into the perceived experiences of African immigrant professors on the faculties of two public owned HBCUs. The influx of Sub-Saharan African immigrants taking faculty positions at HBCUs necessitates a qualitative study of their experiences on these campuses. It explores these immigrants' motives to emigrate to America, their choice of academic careers and institutions, the influence of their ethnic and linguistic differences on their experiences and how they cope. This study illuminates what is currently a lacuna in our understanding of a group of African immigrants who have achieved high levels of educational attainment. Also, it delves into a topical domain that has thus far been neglected. This study reveals that the participants' primary motive for immigration was the attraction to the more open opportunities of advanced scholarship in America. Other motives include quests for political and economic stability. It describes academic career experiences of African immigrant professors that were continually responding to institutional pressures to prove themselves. Despite their shared racial characteristics with African Americans, African immigrant professors have not assimilated or melted into the cultural pot of HBCU campuses. This study also suggests that African immigrant academia are doubly disadvantaged. They have experienced discriminatory treatment, accent barrier, mistrust, alienation, career glass ceiling, exclusion, stress, and negative estimation of competence on these campuses. Overall, the participants have successes despite the difficult circumstances. The participants demonstrate a positive dual frame of reference (Ogbu, 1991) and are pleased to emigrate to America.
Date: 2005-03-01
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Educational Research and Policy Analysis
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/5252

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