Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award

5-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Department

Educational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Dr. Peter Williams

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Dr. Jenifer Wolf Williams

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Dr. Ana Gomez De Torres

Abstract

There was little research-based understanding of how immigrant students manage to flourish and seek postsecondary educational opportunities. Understanding the experiences of Salvadoran immigrants who graduated from high school could enable educators in the United States to meet their needs more effectively. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore through the testimonios of the experiences of Salvadoran immigrants who graduated from a public high school in the United States and were currently pursuing further education or a career. The research design was narrative research, and the data were used to discern how immigrant youth learn to flourish to answer the primary research question: What are the testimonios of Salvadoran immigrants who graduated from a public high school in the United States and are currently pursuing further education or a career? The two subquestions were: (a) What stories do the participants share about their educational experiences? and (b) What are the themes that emerge from the Salvadoran immigrants’ experiences with flourishing in high school and enrolling in higher education? Two El Salvadoran immigrants participated in sharing their testimonios. One was documented and one was undocumented. Findings for Subquestion A involved conveying each participant’s testimonios about their lived experiences with education. Subquestion B addressed the four emergent themes of flourishing in high school and enrolling in higher education. These themes were (a) family ties, (b) importance of school, (c) importance of community, and (d) flourishing. Finally, the primary research question’s findings contained the three overarching themes of experiences with racism, motivation to leave from El Salvador, and the beauty of El Salvador. The overarching themes were critical to gaining an overall picture of each participant’s story and see how their experiences connected together into a collective testimonio. The findings of this research may be used to inform school administrators and educators of approaches and strategies to provide adequate support to help other immigrants to succeed in future careers. Several recommendations for future study are provided.

Keywords: high school, postsecondary education, testimonio, El Salvador, immigrants

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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