Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Document Type

Dissertation (799 registration)

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Andrew Burklund


barriers, international, foreign-born, practical nursing, students, immigrant


Thousands of international students leave their countries of origin each year to pursue higher education in the United States. These students left their homelands to pursue higher education, which helped change the trajectory of their lives and the lives of their families. Although some of these students have high hopes and aspirations of completing their programs of studies, the literature review showed that they experienced barriers, such as English language, financial, culture shock, and unfamiliar teaching and learning pedagogies. This qualitative phenomenological research study aimed to identify self-reported barriers that impacted the completion rate of international/foreign-born students pursuing the Practical Nursing Diploma Program at a community college in the Midwestern United States. Purposeful sampling was utilized, and the sample size was eight participants. This research found that the participants experienced barriers such as English language, time management, and financial: The participants reported that these barriers significantly impacted their lives. The results also showed some commonalities with previously completed research studies such as Moon et al. (2020) and Rivas et al. (2019). These researchers reported in their research studies that English language difficulties were a significant problem for international students in higher education institutions in the United States. All participants reported that they experienced barriers that had impacted their academic and personal lives. The findings from this study may benefit college administrators, faculty, and other stakeholders, who may utilize the findings to help implement practices that may help improve the academic outcomes of international/foreign-born students in the United States.



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