Date of Award

Winter 12-13-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Edward Kim, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Therese Kanai, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Heather Miller, Ph.D.


The migrant student population in the United States continues to rise. This increase in numbers places this unique group of students in thousands of classrooms across the country. Their mobility rates can significantly increase the number of classrooms affected and the number of teachers who must understand their plight. This single qualitative case study explored migrant students’ academic experience, for the purpose of establishing best practices for the educational system to best support them. Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and multicultural education as the theoretical framework, the researcher analyzed the perceptions of effective practices from twelve college-educated professionals who were once migrant students as well as six of their former teachers. Four major themes surfaced after semistructured interviews with all participants: working to understand the migrant student lifestyle is necessary; individualized and supplemental instruction works to close learning gaps; experiences that motivate gains and celebrate milestones are essential to success; and utilizing all resources available, including parental involvement, is key to success. Implications of these findings for future study are discussed.