The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

James Robinson

Second Advisor

Michael Schwartz

Third Advisor

Judith Dorn

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Somali Americans, Females, Parents, Formal Education, Perception


Minnesota, known as the land of ten thousand lakes, is home to a mixture of immigrants. Among the immigrants who call Minnesota home are Somalis. There have been many studies on various topics about the Somali community both nationally and at the state level; however, no study regarding this topic has been explored based on the researcher’s knowledge. The purpose of this specific study was to find out the perceptions of Somali American parents toward formal education for females and to identify the reasons of their beliefs. The findings are based on data collected through two semi-constructed interviews with ten Somali American participants who have resided in the U.S for a minimum of twenty years, equally representing both genders. The analysis of the interviews led to discovering nine major themes related to Somali American parents’ perception of formal education for females: Somali American parents view formal education for females and males equally, parents like that their female children receive a formal education and are proud that they are, they have positive beliefs about formal education for females, they believe there are no direct negative impacts associated with formal education for females unless used incorrectly or seen as a problem by others, concerns about boys/males freely intermingling with their female children, Somali American parents believe that females do better than males at receiving a formal education, family responsibilities can be an obstacle for females, parents value formal education for females, and support their female children receive a formal education.

Previous Versions

Dec 16 2019



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