This study explored lived experiences of Somali immigrant students as they studied at a community college in Minnesota. Although, many Somalis are pursuing educational opportunities in MN community colleges. Little research is available on their community college experiences. The aim of this study was to extend the limited research on Somali immigrant students by providing valuable information regarding their community college experiences. A qualitative study design with a phenomenological approach was employed to examine the lived experiences of six students who participated in semi-structured focus group and individual interviews. Findings of the study show that Somali students face many challenges in the community college setting. Challenges such as language barriers, financial constraints, family and work obligations, struggle with online learning and culture shock/acculturation. Based on the findings, it is clear that more should be done to ease such obstacles for immigrant students in MN community colleges.

Date Dissertation Completed


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education


Education Studies

Dissertation Advisor

Barbara D. Holmes

Dissertation Committee Members

Barbara D. Holmes, DeJuanna M. Parker, Kent Willis


Winona, Minnesota



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