Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in American Studies (MAST)


Interdisciplinary Studies

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Hill

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan LeBaron

Third Advisor

Dr. Amanda Richey


In recent years, the social and political persecution of the Maya population throughout Central America has led to an influx of Maya women and children migrating to the United States. The increased population of immigrant children presents new challenges for the United States, especially in public education. Maya people are rarely distinguished from the Latinx population, subsequently causing their linguistic and cultural needs to go unmet and unacknowledged. This project focuses on the education of Guatemalan-Maya students in a North Georgia public school system, framed through interviews with educators. The educators selected for this study worked almost exclusively with elementary, middle, and high-school age Guatemalan-Maya students. The perspectives of the teachers are presented in combination with the historical, social, and economic positionality of immigration in the New South. The purpose of this project is to understand how the public school system shapes the attitudes and perceptions of public educators towards the education of their students, and how this system ultimately effects identity, acculturation, and academic achievement.