Sundeen, Todd

Committee Member

Correa-Torres, Silvia

Committee Member

Robinson, Jason

Committee Member

Milian, Madeline


College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; School of Special Education


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



158 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


Despite the vital role that educational engagement has on student learning and academic achievement, there is limited research on how secondary educators perceive the concept concerning African immigrant students with disabilities. There is a significant increase of African immigrant students with disabilities in United States (U.S.) public schools. Little is known regarding how secondary educators perceive their roles and facilitate educational engagement for these students. Inadequate information about immigrant students with disabilities, further makes it difficult to support this student population in U.S. public schools. This phenomenological qualitative study investigated how secondary educators perceived their roles in facilitating educational engagement for African immigrant students with disabilities. The 16 participants for this study were purposively drawn from public middle and high school in Mid-Southeastern state school districts of the United States. These secondary educators were ESL coordinators, exceptional children (EC) facilitators, and special education (SPED) teachers. Data collection for this study was through multiple source; questionnaires, interviews, participant reflections, and researcher journals. The interview was semi-structured and guided by open-ended questions. A six-step thematic process was used to analyze and transcribed the data collected. The theoretical perspectives for this study theory were culturally responsive pedagogy and the constructivism theory. iv Findings for this study revealed secondary educators perceived that barriers of cultural factors, curriculum structure and educational model impacted their role of facilitating educational engagement for African immigrant students with disabilities. As a result, the participant perceived that increased support in the learning environment could lead to successful educational engagement for African immigrant students with disabilities. Participant are of the opinion that support systems such as inclusion support, relationship building, and specially designed instructions could aid educational engagement for African immigrant students with disabilities.

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