I already belong: Immigrant-origin college students’ persistence

Kerrie S. Devries, Wayne Harrison, Jonathan B. Santo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children of immigrant and refugee populations are increasing in the U.S. but are underrepresented at U.S. universities. Collectivistic, immigrant-origin students may be less responsive to current best practice integration approaches, which focus on institutional Academic and Social Integration as necessary for college persistence. Homoginizing U.S.-origin and immigrant-origin students in persistence strategies, particularly institutional Social Integration, may not take into consideration culture-of-origin differences, such as the degree of ongoing family connectedness, that motivate students toward college persistence. Antecedents of college intentions to persist were comparedfor immigrant-origin students (N=87) and U.S.- origin students (N=122) at a midwestem university. Model comparisons revealed group differences in the role of institutional Academic Integration and of institutional Social Integration. No support for family connectedness affecting persistence was demonstrated. Implications for university recruiting and retention strategies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-33
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Higher Education Theory and Practice
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2020


  • Academic integration
  • College persistence
  • Family connectedness
  • Immigrant
  • Social integration
  • Tinto

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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