Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

Frank Tuitt, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

William Cross, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michele Hanna

Fourth Advisor

Frédérique Chevillot


Caribbean students, College athletics, Higher education, International student athletes, International students, Jamaican


International student athletes populating American colleges and universities have gained visibility and prestige due to their athletic and academic capabilities. International student athletes emerge from a variety of backgrounds. These backgrounds vary in terms of geographic origin, cultural orientation, and social custom. The students themselves also differ in the amount of change they, as individuals, experience during the migration process from their home countries to the United States. There have been many studies related to the traditional student athlete experience. However, recent literature fails to examine the experiences of international student athletes, and in particular, Jamaican student athletes, in terms of the unique social and institutional challenges they face. The study's primary purpose was to begin the discussion on this topic in regards to the target population, with a specific focus on the impact of acculturation. Specifically, this study explored the experiences and challenges of former Jamaican student athletes (N = 11) studying in U.S. postsecondary educational institutions and the extent to which those experiences limited or enhanced their academic or athletic success. This research was studied under the lens of a neo-racism framework, methodology of hermeneutic phenomenological study that used open-ended interview questions, as well as use of the modified 7-step van Kaam method in analyzing and interpreting the results. The findings suggested acculturation issues were not the core problem for participants; rather, it was the factor of racial discrimination that exerted the greatest negative impact on the Jamaican student athletes--discrimination experienced in the attitudes and beliefs of the host country.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Michelle Antoinette Rankine


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

175 p.


Higher education, Sports management, Caribbean studies