Social stratification and higher education outcomes : the case of Filipinos in Hawaiʻi

Libarios, Ernest Duterte
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2013]
Filipinos are the second largest ethnic group in Hawaiʻi and their population continues to grow at a rapid pace. However, they are among the lower socioeconomic groups in Hawaiʻi and are disproportionately represented in the University of Hawaiʻi system--overrepresented in the community colleges while underrepresented at the flagship campus, the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. This study examined the impact of students' social and academic backgrounds on baccalaureate degree completion using social stratification theory and focusing primarily on Filipinos as a case study. The sample consisted of the 1997 Hawaiʻi Department of Education senior class. The subset of this cohort that entered the Hawaiʻi public higher education system (N = 5206) was monitored over a ten-year period from entry following high school graduation to baccalaureate degree attainment. At the end of this period, 813 students had received undergraduate degrees, including 202 transfer students. The results of the longitudinal quantitative analyses identified several key events along the pathway that highlight differing patterns of retention, persistence, or failure. Entering through the state's community colleges and transferring to a university was found to decrease the chances of persisting to an undergraduate degree, especially for students pursuing particular types of majors, e.g. STEM. Filipino post-secondary students were found to be significantly more likely to enter post-secondary education through the community colleges. Implications include developing strategies to help Filipinos further their higher education attainment. This includes helping Filipinos enroll directly into four-year universities and assisting those who enroll in the community colleges with the transfer process. This study provides a framework to understand underrepresented ethnic groups in higher education and the context to explore important higher education issues including college enrollment, transfer, and undergraduate degree completion.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
ethnic groups
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