Culturally and Linguistically Diverse/Exceptional Learners in Community College: Perceptions of a First Year Experience Program Open Access
Downloadable ContentDownload PDF
The purpose of this qualitative study is to understand and describe how culturally and linguistically diverse students who also may have exceptionalities in a Middle Atlantic community college perceive first year experience programs. This study explores the experiences of first year culturally and linguistically diverse community college students who also may have exceptionalities through a social constructivist lens (Creswell, 2007, 2013) and the theory of culturally relevant pedagogy (Ladson-billings, 1995, 2006, 2014). The methodology for this study was qualitative and the method was qualitative interviews to give voice to CLD/E learners to share from their perspectives of their experience in a formal first year experience program. Sampling was purposive (Lincoln and Guba, 1985; Maxwell, 1996; Seidman, 2006) with a focus on 10-12 CLD/E adult learners, 18+ years of age, male and females, who have completed one –two semesters of the first year experience program in a community college, and one semester of a credit bearing course. The results of the study yielded eight emergent themes. These eight themes can be examined in two groups: the first group of themes referenced learning and developing an understanding of higher education and the second group of themes revealed issues of individual growth and change.