Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Secondary Education and Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick M. Jenlink

Second Advisor

Dr. Bryan S. Bailey

Third Advisor

Dr. Pauline M. Sampson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Tod W. Fish


This qualitative biographical study explored the life experiences of a female Karen youth who moved to the United States as a pre-teenager, entering a medium-sized Texas rural public high school as a freshman. Perceptions of English Learners are that they are ill-prepared for achieving success in rigorous academic subjects taught in United States public schools. Refugees are considered to have more difficulties because of the trauma associated with their pre-immigration violent environments, which often involve little or no organized education in the native country or in refugee camps. The biographical design allowed the Karen student who achieved academic success at a Texas public high school, in which every student must pass state-mandated academic exams in order to graduate, to recount the influences, personality characteristics, and context that she understood to be significant in contributing to her academic success.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



Tell us how this article helped you.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.