No Longer out of Reach: Blended Competency-Based College Models for Accelerating Higher Education for Refugee Students


  • Meagan Hoff Texas State University
  • Khaleel Shreet Southern New Hampshire University



refugees, higher education, competency-based education, academic support


Higher education offers a pathway to gain or recuperate professional credentials, particularly after experiencing forced displacement. Yet only 1% of refugees pursue postsecondary studies due, in part, to numerous obstacles on that path to college. The purpose of this study was to understand how a competency-based college program facilitates access to college for students from refugee backgrounds. This paper details the findings from a qualitative case study with refugee-background students enrolled in a college program that combines a competency-based model with in-person support. Using the ecological model of college readiness, we found that refugee students benefited from a combination of the project-based program format coupled with in-person support.


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Author Biographies

Meagan Hoff, Texas State University

Meagan A. Hoff, Texas State University

Doctoral Student in Development Education

Khaleel Shreet, Southern New Hampshire University

Khaleel Shreet, Southern New Hampshire University

Doctoral Student in Educational Leadership; Senior Coach and Director of NH Program at Duet


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How to Cite

Hoff, M., & Shreet, K. (2020). No Longer out of Reach: Blended Competency-Based College Models for Accelerating Higher Education for Refugee Students. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 12(Winter), 61–80.



Winter 2020 Special Edition: Thriving in the Face of Adversity (Refugees)