First Advisor

Joan Strouse

Term of Graduation

Winter 2008

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education


Educational Leadership




Classroom environment, Immigrants, Postsecondary education, Academic theses



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, v, 171 pages)


In recent years, the immigrant population in the U.S. has increased dramatically. This increase has caused educational institutions to try to understand this population and their needs in order to aid in their academic success. While this awareness has surfaced in K-12 education, higher education continues, partly because of a lack of research on these students, to render these students and their needs insignificant. While this paper cannot begin to explore all the questions needed to be answered in terms of this population, it can provide an initial glimpse into one important aspect of education for the immigrant, the university classroom climate. Studies in classroom climate have stemmed from the two theoretical bases of social constructivism and critical theory. That is, learning is inherently social and that the dynamic of the classroom mirrors the dynamics of power and oppression in larger society. Although few studies have been done looking at classroom climate and the immigrant specifically, a number of minority studies show that classroom climate can play a significant role in a student's academic success. From a review of the literature, the specific aspects of classroom climate which pertain to this population are teacher/student interaction, student/student interaction, curriculum/pedagogy and English anxiety. Based on this information, an exploratory research study was conducted to determine how the college classroom climate influences immigrant students' academic experience and perceived success.


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