Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Chukwuemeka Eleweke


Adjusting socially and emotionally to a new cultural environment can be challenging for immigrants. Yet, the academic and behavioral performance of immigrant children can be enhanced when acculturative strategies are implemented in schools to address their unique cultural differences and needs. However, a scarcity of information exists pertaining to educational strategies to support acculturation of Haitian students, particularly those with disabilities. A qualitative case study was conducted to explore strategies that support acculturation of Haitian students with disabilities and the link between the use of acculturation strategies and student achievement from the perspectives of 3 regular education educators, 2 special education educators, 2 transition specialists, a school counselor, and a school psychologist at a high school in the northeastern United States. The bidimensional theory of acculturation provided the conceptual framework for this study. Qualitative data were collected by conducting semi-structured interviews with 9 secondary school educators. Purposeful sampling was used in this study as part of the qualitative approach. Data from interviews were coded and themes were developed consistent with the conceptual framework. Results were that most participants felt positively about cultural maintenance but expressed concern with their ability to meet the acculturative needs of Haitian students with disabilities. In addition, most participants were unable to identify specific acculturation strategies that they used to support Haitian students with disabilities beyond language acquisition resources. The findings of this study may be instrumental in the creation of school-based systems of support for educators and students to increase the social integration and academic achievement of immigrant children with and without disabilities.