Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Stephen Laws


Public school districts across the United States (U.S.) have struggled with the hemorrhaging of teachers for many years and have become creative in staffing classrooms, which includes hiring overseas teachers. This qualitative phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of Jamaican exchange visitor program (EVP) teachers practicing in northeastern North Carolina K-12 public and charter schools. An amalgamation of Milton Gordon’s (1964) assimilation and John Berry’s (1977) acculturation theories guided the research. Semi-structured interviews were used to capture and examine the Jamaican EVP teachers' stories of success, challenges, and resilience. The study capitalizes on the power of Jamaican EVP teachers’ stories to amplify and document their multicultural experiences. Findings from the stories revealed six dominant themes in narratives and hold significant insights into how sponsors (teacher recruitment agencies), school district leaders, and local school leaders could improve the experiences of immigrant EVP teachers. Implications for practice include implementing practices beyond relocation assistance, assisting participants in finding housing, reliable transportation, and financial aid, all essential factors that could help ease transitions. Other implications for practice include providing immigrant teachers with high-quality personalized predeparture professional development and mentorship sessions through online learning platforms orienting them to the American culture and teaching in multicultural society classrooms. Further study recommendations include conducting studies to compare the phenomenon of assimilation and acculturation of Jamaican EVP teachers with EVP teachers from other nations and geographical settings within the U.S.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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