Date of Award

Spring 6-11-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education, Doctoral Program


The present research explores the experiences of Syrian refugee students in American schools. This qualitative research project is based in interviews of five Syrian students from refugee backgrounds aged between 11-18 years old who had come to the United States after the civil war raged in Syria in 2011. This qualitative research examines the educational barriers and supports, from the Syrian refugee students’ perspectives, by understanding their educational and social experiences. Based on the findings, these five Syrian refugee students had both positive and negative experiences in the United States schools. Major themes were found in the data that are central to the students’ educational and social experiences. These themes presented as (a) social and academic experiences in Syria, Jordan, and Egypt and then, (b) learning a new language, and then, (c) current experiences in U.S., with attention to the building of relationships. Recommendations on how educators can support their quest for belonging and inclusion are discussed. Recommendations on how Syrian refugee can be supported in the U.S. schools are discussed. Key words: Syrian refugees, refugee educational and social experiences, sense of belonging.

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