Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Cheryl Keen

Abstract

Since 2006, international student enrollment in U.S. higher education institutions has increased significantly, which has precipitated an increase in the institutions' multiculturalism. A mechanism to facilitate the integration of students of different cultures within a multicultural institution would be valuable to fostering positive educational experiences for all students. The purpose of this phenomenological study was the inclusion of multiculturalism within U.S. higher education institutions. Banks' multiculturalism theory provided the study's conceptual framework. Six international students were interviewed, and their responses were analyzed to answer 2 research questions concerning the lived experiences of international students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions and the inclusion of multiculturalism in the institution's curriculum, programs, policies, and practices and regarding their institutions' efforts to assist them in adjusting to and integrating. Data were analyzed to identify the emerging themes. According to the study's findings, multiculturalism was included in most of the participants' higher education institutions; however, the students felt their expectations had not been met, and that the institutions could have done more to assist them with cultural and social integration and navigation through the institutions' educational systems. The findings of this study create an opportunity for social change by informing U.S. higher education institutions on the ways to enhance programs, service, and curriculum to best meet the needs of enrolled international students.