Date of Award

Summer 7-20-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Peter Appelbaum

Second Advisor

Dr. Peggy Hickman

Third Advisor

Dr. Seungho Moon


Although Korean-Americans are ubiquitous in contemporary American society, it was only after the enactment of the Immigration Nationality Act of 1965, when a sizable number of Koreans found their way to the U.S. During the two decades of the 1970s and 1980s, about a half-million Koreans immigrated to the U.S.

Almost five decades since their arrival, 2nd-generation Korean-American offspring are now parents raising their own school-aged children - 3rd-generation Korean-Americans. 2nd-generation Korean-Americans who have grown up in the U.S. are largely assimilated to mainstream U.S. society, and therefore their views and practices on various education-related issues are expected to deviate from those of their 1st-generation Korean immigrant parents.

Using in-depth interviews and survey questionnaires, the current mixed-methods study documents two generations of Korean-Americans’ views and practices regarding academic achievement, educational attainment, college education, field of study, career choices, and ethnic identity. Further, an attempt was made to decipher cross-generational metamorphoses of their educational philosophies and practices.

Findings from the current research may contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of assimilation patterns of Korean-Americans, particularly those who are living in a place where their presence is less clustered, such as the metro-Philadelphia region.