First-Generation Filipino American Perceptions of Pursuing the American Dream Through Higher Education (Doctoral Dissertation by Chantal L. Carrancho -Director of Advising Transfer & Career Services Advising and High School Programs)
Abstract: The American Dream, coined by writer and historian James Truslow Adams (as cited in Nakate, 2018), is the idea of opportunities for fulfilling dreams through hard work. Most people in the United States believe higher education is key for their families to contribute to society (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2017). To attain the American Dream, many first-generation Filipino American students and graduates have encountered barriers and accumulated excessive student loan debt. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenology theory study was to explore first-generation Filipino American graduates’ challenges and barriers of pursuing higher education through the idea of the American Dream. The target population of this study was first-generation Filipino Americans who had graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the last 5 years, took out student loans to complete their degrees, and were born with U.S. citizenship or received U.S. citizenship before the age of five. The research method was qualitative, the design was phenomenology, and data were collected through individual interviews using purposive sampling. This study was guided by the following theories: servant leadership theory, transformational leadership theory, and supporting theories which included socioeconomic status, social identity theory, Asian American racial development theory, Pilipino American identity development theory, and the model minority myth. The researcher analyzed and interpreted the data from interview transcripts using Colaizzi’s (1978) seven-step process. The researcher provided a detailed explanation of the context of the values and beliefs of first-generation Filipino American students and graduates around educational beliefs, the American Dream, and challenges in higher education. Data from this study show it is important to create opportunities for improvement to expand college readiness to first-generation students in high school curriculum. The programs offered should provide more resources to first-generation students on college preparation, impact of financial aid, and career exploration, so first-generation students can feel like they are more prepared to enter college and succeed, creating a legacy for their families. Recommendations for future research include (a) further study of high school students, (b) further study of second-generation Filipino American students, (c) longitudinal studies, (d) expansion to other minority groups, (e) generational definitions of socioeconomic status, and (f) redefining the Model Minority Myth (MMM).
Dr. Chantal Carrancho is the Director of Advising Transfer & Career Services and Advising and High School Programs at Highline College.
She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in American Ethnic Studies,a master’s of education from Argosy University, and a doctorate degree from the City University of Seattle (2020).
Nguyen, B., Nguyen, M., Teranishi, R., and Hune, S., Mike Hoa Nguyen. (2015). The Hidden Academic Opportunity Gaps Among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: What Disaggregated Data Reveals in Washington State.
Preface: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are a remarkably diverse community, comprising 48 different ethnic subgroups that speak over 300 different languages and represent a range of different immigration histories. The AAPI population is also rapidly growing and was the fastest growing racial group in 2012. Among the key civil rights issues AAPI scholars and advocates have pressed for are improvements to data practices in order to represent the heterogeneity in the AAPI community. As AAPI students continue to experience a range of educational outcomes, data practices that aggregate AAPIs into one category continue to be a significant barrier for understanding and responding to their unique and diverse needs.
Alcantar, C., Kim, V., Hafoka, ’, & Teranishi, R. (2020). Space and place at Asian American and Pacific Islander–serving community colleges: The geography of campus student support for Asian American and Pacific Islander students. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. https://doi.org/10.1037/dhe0000281
Abstract: This study examines the perceived changes in the geography of student support for racial/ethnic minoritized students after pursuing federal Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) designation and grants. Specifically, this qualitative multiple-case study examines the decision-making related to, and perceived changes in, space and place aimed at supporting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students at three AAPI–serving community colleges. The three themes related to changes in the geography of student support for AAPI students as a result of the MSI grant that emerged from the study were: (a) from symbolic to physical space; (b) supporting AAPIs helped support other minoritized student populations; (c) the last theme demonstrates that, as a result of creating these spaces, students were more integrated into the campus community. A common thread across each of these themes is the saliency of race in the design, creation, and resulting impact of creating space in the geography of student support for AAPI students at each of the campuses. The study concludes with implications regarding the role of postsecondary institutions in (re)creating physical and symbolic spaces. Institutional agents must be mindful of the targeted groups that exist within their campus when considering these implications to create a welcoming campus environment.
Uehara, D., Chugen, J., & Staley Raatior, V. (2018). Perceptions of Pacific Islander students in higher education. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 11(2), 182–191. https://doi.org/10.1037/dhe0000057
Abstract: A comprehensive inquiry about the experiences of Pacific-Islander students in higher education is sorely wanting. This study uncovered cultural predilections of Pacific-Islander students from the American-affiliated Pacific region related to their experiences in a Western setting. The University of Hawaii at Hilo (UH Hilo) serves as the backdrop to this exploration. As with any other institutes of higher education, UH Hilo is concerned about attracting, retaining, and graduating their students. With a considerably high Pacific-Islander student population attending UH Hilo, we are in a prime position to explore and examine factors that contribute to or hinder retention and graduation. More importantly, we have an opportunity to give voice to a population that is rarely identified in the higher education literature and continually obscured in the discourse of attainment. More than 90 Pacific-Islander students were recruited to participate in a series of focus groups and interviews. Seven overlapping themes emerged related to culture, identity, language, and barriers to retention and graduation. Findings confirmed some of the previous literature on the dichotomy of American versus traditional culture in general settings and identified other cultural variables that pose challenges to postsecondary education completion. Our findings provide the groundwork for further examination of post-secondary institutions’ capacity to respond to and include Pacific-Islander ways of being as a foundation for participation and support.
Alcantar, C. M., Nguyen, B. M. D., & Maramba, D. C. (2019). Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions: The Importance of External Coalition‐Building for Supporting Internal Collaboration. New Directions for Student Services, 2019(167), 101–110. https://doi.org/10.1002/ss.20324
Abstract: This chapter highlights opportunities for Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions to develop and utilize external partnerships to inform the development of internal collaboration between academic and student affairs to better serve targeted student populations.