Term of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Grigory Dmitriyev

Committee Member 1

Robert Lake

Committee Member 2

Julie Maudlin

Committee Member 3

Susan Sanders

Committee Member 3 Email



This study is an inquiry into the challenges faced by African born international nursing students at a university in southeast Georgia. The barriers to success that must be overcome by international students in the U.S.A. are well documented, and previous studies have shown that the barriers are even greater for students from Africa than for other international students, due to the vast differences between their cultural backgrounds and American culture. When the international students are also Black, as are the participants in this study, they may also face racial discrimination and prejudice in addition to the numerous other barriers to their success. This study seeks to understand and construct meaning from the lived experiences of African-born international students at a majority White university in Southeast Georgia. By giving voice to the participants and presenting the results in their own words, this study provides insight into the barriers to success that they face, and includes their feedback about potential strategies to increase their chances for success. This inquiry is centered on understanding the reasons that many African-born international nursing students struggle to be successful in the nursing program under study in southeast Georgia, and the barriers that impact their ability to be successful once they are admitted. It also explores the effects of their own past cultural experience on their ability to adapt to the curriculum and be successful in the nursing program, and how the cultural influence of the study setting affects the transitional process of the study participants.