College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

Faculty Mentor

Nova Robinson, PhD

Faculty Editor

Saheed Adejumobi, PhD

Student Editor

McCalee Cain; Grace Nikunen


While there is global research on the topic of adult refugee education, there is limited research on the accessibility of education for adult refugees in King County, Washington. My research offers an analysis of educational accessibility in King County for refugees from the African nation of Somalia, which is the provenance of the largest refugee population in the area. I conducted interviews with representatives from local organizations, namely Refugee Women’s Alliance, Refugees Northwest, Seattle Public Libraries, and Literacy Source in order to gain a better understanding of the strengths and challenges faced by these organizations and the refugees they serve, particularly regarding educational services. I argue that adult refugee education must be culturally aware and trauma informed for refugees to achieve a more expansive level of success. Additionally, a diversity of programs is necessary to meet all educational needs. In order to ensure that these types of programs are available in King County, governments at the city, county, and state levels must allocate more funding to refugee resettlement. The ultimate goal of this research is to advocate for refugee success and independence through education, with an emphasis on fortifying coping mechanisms and producing new knowledge to meet new challenges.