Possible Selves and Goal Orientations of East-African Undergraduate Students in the United States

  • Joash M. Wambua
  • Cecil Robinson


Over three million people have emigrated from Africa to the United States (US) since 1965. Although African immigrants represent a large portion of immigrants, there is little research because they are often grouped with African-Americans in US Census data. This chapter reviews existing research, and highlights historical and sociocultural differences between the two groups that are linked to increased academic achievement and employment opportunities for African immigrants. Building on these differences, this chapter discusses potential reasons for these different outcomes, by reporting the results of an empirical study that examined the academic motivation and racial-ethnic identity of East African immigrants studying in the US. Findings indicated a motivation and a racial-ethnic identity supportive of academic success, but also demonstrated that as East African students acculturate into a US culture, potential risks arise. The policy implications for higher education administrators, advisors and faculty to support the academic success of East African immigrants and directions for future research are discussed.


Academic Achievement Ethnic Identity Goal Orientation Academic Success Individualistic Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Miles College1652 Heritage PlaceBirminghamUSA
  2. 2.University of Alabama308 Carmichael HallTuscaloosaUSA

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