Pehea ka no'ono'o ? : transitional experiences of Hawaiian language immersion school graduates moving into higher education

Finneran-Swatek, Karen Louise
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2012]
Institutions of higher education are seeing an increasingly diverse population of students on campuses. One source of this increase is students who are entering the academy from a wider variety of educational environments. In order to support and serve more diverse students in higher education, educators and student affairs practitioners need insight into the perceptions, experiences, and needs of these students. This study examines the transitional experiences of Hawaiian language immersion school graduates who move into higher education in a non-Hawaiian studies major. The research questions that guided this inquiry are: 1) What do students educated in the Papahana Kaiapuni 'Ōlelo Hawaiʻi experience when they enter the college environment with a non-Hawaiian language major? 2) What are their perceptions of this experience? Are these perceptions different from what they expected? If so, how are they different? And 3) What strategies do they use during the transition experience? This qualitative, phenomenological multiple case study used transition theory to frame and guide the inquiry. Data collection consisted of a focus group, individual interviews, video recordings and field notes. Five participants from two different Papahana Kaiapuni 'Ōlelo Hawaiʻi schools provided the data. The participants transitioned into four different campuses in a public higher education system in the state of Hawaiʻi. First-year adjustments and challenges experienced by these students included cultural challenges, language issues, and variations in support strategies. Three themes emerged from the data: community, dealing with differences in size between environments; and changes in support. These findings have implications for theory and practice. Implications for theoretical models of transition include an awareness of the circular pattern of indigenous peoples. Practitioners and educators can draw a broader understanding of students entering colleges from indigenous settings to help these students succeed in the academy.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Native Hawaiians
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