Community-University Partnerships in Practice: Development of Welcoming Learning Environments for New Immigrants

Jung Won Hur, Suhyun Suh


This case study examined how community–university partnerships have helped develop welcoming learning environments for new immigrants, particularly the increasing number of South Korean students and families in eastern Alabama. The creation of South Korean–owned automobile manufacturing plants in the southeastern United States has brought numerous South Korean families to this region, which has historically had a very small immigrant population. To help educators in these areas understand the culture of new immigrant students, we developed partnerships with local auto suppliers and have provided educators with an international cultural immersion experience in South Korea for the past 7 years. This study investigated the experience of 38 teachers and school administrators participating in the program 2014–2017. Findings revealed that the program helped participants develop empathy for immigrant students, critically reflect on their pedagogical practice, and find effective ways to support immigrant students. 


Cultural immersion program; Korean immigrants, study abroad; transformative learning; South Korea

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