A case study of English Language Learners who have successfully completed a healthcare education program
The purpose of this study was to determine if English Language Learners (ELLs), who had successfully completed a healthcare education program, identified support services as having an impact on their academic success, and to identify what support services were critical to their successful completion of the healthcare education program. The researcher was interested in learning how higher education institutions, that offer healthcare education programs, could better support ELLs to be successful in their chosen program.
A qualitative case study methodology was used for this study. Five ELLs who successfully completed a healthcare education program at a small, private, health sciences college in the Midwest were interviewed. The case study methodology provided the opportunity for participants to share their perceptions and wisdom from first-hand accounts of their knowledge and engagement in the subject matter.
All five participants indicated support services did have an impact on their success as an ELL in a healthcare education program. Six support services were identified as critical to their successful completion of a healthcare education program as an ELL. The first five services: (a) additional time for learning, (b) tutoring, (c) build confidence, (d) assign mentor, and (e) additional time for practice were each unanimously identified by all five participants as critical to their success as an ELL in a healthcare education program. The sixth service, integrate ELLs and English as First Language (EFL) students in the same classroom, was viewed as a positive experience and would support the learning experience of the ELLs by three of the five total participants in this study. Two of the participants did not feel this would be supportive of learning by the ELL.