Development of Asian International Students at a Community College in Seattle: Self-Perceptions and Worldviews

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

William Hoffa


Using grounded theory, this paper investigates the factors surrounding the development of Asian international students as they are enrolled in a community college in the United States. The research focuses on the student development of the participants primarily related to their self-perceptions and perceptions of others in relation to their understanding of culture. Nine students from China, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam were interviewed for this study, and their transcribed interviews were divided into two time periods (prior to the United States and in the United States) in order to see the changes in their perceptions and these changes in relation to the student development process.

The research participants’ self-perceptions prior to coming to United States were formed mainly through the expectations of their friends, families, and other external sources which is common across Asian collectivistic societies; the findings for the students’ perceptions after coming to the United States demonstrate that the community college small class system and the diverse population on campus are major factors affecting the changes in their perceptions. The small classes at community college promote close interactions with a varied population which raises the international students’ awareness of the ethnic diversity in the United States. Through this exposure, students recognize not only their culture but also who they are as individuals.

This research is useful for assisting international educators in promoting the learning and growth of Asian international students in a community college setting.


Cognitive Psychology | International and Comparative Education

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