secondary education, Haitian, immigrants, success, perceptions


The goal of this ethnographic research was to examine the perceptions of academic success of adolescent Haitian immigrant students who have arrived in the United States within the last five years and attend a public high school in Florida. The Haitian students were asked to explain the tensions they perceive between Haitian societal and educational norms and beliefs and American ones, and explain their perceptions and concerns regarding success. The importance of their perceptions as influences on their behavior was related to Bandura's Social Cognitive Learning Theory. The relevance of certain questions concerning academic success for Haitian students was investigated through group interviews and focus group interviews textual data. The resulting qualitative exploratory study is meant to further our understandings of the Haitian students' perceived and real successes, as well as to further additive bicultural educational practice in public high school settings where Haitian students are found. The literature review and results of this study found that there were many factors, student characteristics and student perceptions that could be used to explain Haitian immigrant adolescent student achievement in Florida public high school course work. Thirteen themes of concern to the students were developed in the data analysis. The Haitian adolescent immigrant students are able to speak purposefully, cogently, powerfully and coherently (English-language skills permitting) on numerous questions surrounding their thoughts and perceptions about their own success, academically or in their future careers. We can see that these students are able to define and discuss issues, make plans and recommendations for their own success, and state what is available/helpful and what is lacking for them in their high school. Suggested uses for the study included making some suggestions for the reorganization and implementation of certain educational resources for these Haitian adolescent students, and also making recommendations for future research, including but not limited to a study examining, implementing and assessing a pilot program which increases the career-counseling and vocational-planning resources available for these older secondary LEP students.


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Graduation Date





Allen, Kay


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Studies

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction








Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)