Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Bonni Gourneau


Like every student enrolled in a higher education institution, students from refugee backgrounds are not only concerned about how to get into college, but how to connect with the support systems available to them on campus. The purpose of this research was to examine the social support systems available to college students from refugee backgrounds while on campus, the resources these students engaged in to keep them connected to college, and how they tapped into available resources to be successful in achieving their higher educational career and goals. Using qualitative methods, this research used an intrinsic-embedded, single-case design case study. Eight students from refugee backgrounds enrolled in higher education institutions were interviewed. Participants had different countries of origin and must have been in the United States for less than 10 years. Results from the research qualitative interview revealed that students from refugee backgrounds did not take advantage of available services on their campus for various reasons. These reasons included not connecting to the system, lacking a sense of belonging to the institution, pressure from family members, understanding of the system, determination to be successful at all costs, situational barriers, community influence, and connection to the services. The findings led to proposing services available on campus to future students from refugee backgrounds and suggestions to higher education institutions.