who are hmong?: the minority among the minorities

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Transcript who are hmong?: the minority among the minorities

The Minority Among Minorities:
Success Factors Surrounding
Hmong College Students
Dr. Donna Talbot, Peter K.X. Xiong, and Jason Atherton
 Dr. Donna Talbot
 Peter K.X. Xiong
 Jason Atherton
Presentation Outcomes
 An understanding who Hmong college students are and how
they differ from other Asian American ethnicities.
 An understanding of current barriers that Hmong college
students face.
 An understanding of strategies that affect Hmong college
student success.
 An understanding of the implication of this study and further
studies on Hmong American college students.
How We Got Started
 EDLD 6890: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Higher
Education at Western Michigan University.
 Underrepresented and underserved population: Lack of
Hmong research in higher education.
 Xiong, S., & Lee, S. E. (2011). Hmong students in higher
education and academic support programs article sparked
interest and foundation.
Who Are Hmong Americans?
 Considered to be the aboriginals of China and settled
around 3000 B.C.
 Emigrated south to the regions of Southeast Asia
(Vietnam, Laos, Burma, and Thailand).
 Allies to the U.S. during the Vietnam War: Aided the CIA in
Secret War in Laos
 Three waves of immigration to U.S.
 First: 1975-1984
 Second: 1985-1999
 Third:2003-present
Who Are Hmong Americans? (cont.)
 US Census data:
 1990 - 94,439
 2000 - 186,310
 2010 - 260,073
 CA, MN, and WI consisted of 87% of total Hmong
American students enrolled in school in 2010 (Xiong,
 Enrollment patterns in higher education: Public-95% vs
Cultural Challenges
 Hmong American students receive little to no help with their
academics (Pfeifer, 2005; Xiong and Lee, 2011).
 Hmong parents are often non-English speakers; this fact
poses a language barrier (Pfeifer, 2005).
 Hmong American students may often experience a sense of
cultural dissonance in their social identities (Cheryan & Tsai,
The Model Minority Stereotype
 Homogenizes the Asian American population, masking the
diversity within Asian American communities due to social class,
religion, language, ethnicity, migratory status, length of
residence, and education.
 General image of what Americans perceive of Asian Americans as
a group.
 The Model Minority creates a false impression that Hmong
Americans students are the stereotype high academic achieving
students who are well off.
Current Status of Hmong in Education
 Hmong Americans with a H.S. diploma or equivalent 27.2%
compared to U.S. population 49.7% (Pfeifer, 2005).
 Hmong Americans with an associate or bachelor’s degree 11.7% and
1.5% with graduate degrees, compared to U.S. population 21.9%
and 8.9% (Yang & Pfeifer, 2004).
 Similar to other Southeast Asian populations, 18.5% Hmong
families live in poverty (Lee, 2007).
 Hmong college students have reported being underprepared for
college (Xiong & Lee, 2011).
Research Questions
 What challenges do Hmong college students face in
obtaining a Higher Education degree?
 How welcome do Hmong college students feel on their
 What do Hmong college students report as helping them to
be successful?
Demographics of Study
 Criteria for being included in the study:
 (1) of Hmong descent;
 (2) attending a public 4-year institution;
 (3) located in Minnesota, Wisconsin or California;
 (4) between ages 18-23 years old
 Total number of student respondents= 178
 Total number of students in clean data= 127
 Number of males=37 (29%); number of females= 90 (71%)
Demographics of Study (cont.)
States in which students attended higher education
Demographics continued…
 Year in school:
 Freshman (17.6%)
 Sophomores (20.8%)
 Juniors (28.8%)
 Seniors (32.8%)
 39% indicated they were affiliated with any
religious/spiritual student organization
 29% said they were the first in family to pursue a
college degree
Demographics continued…
 Generation Identity:
 First Generation: 8.7%
 1.5 Generation: 17.3%
 Second Generation: 73.2%
 Third Generation: 0.8%
 80% of student participants were born in the U.S.
Parent’s level of education
Junior High
High School
Do not know
College choice and experiences
 Why did you decide to attend college?
 47.6% indicated it was a personal goal
 13.7% indicated pressure from parents/family
 16.1% said career goals
 Hours worked per week:
 30.6% worked 11-20 hours
 32.3% did not work
GPA and Study Habits…
GPA and Study Habits…
Description of campus experiences
 Over 62% of participants felt safe on campus
 Over 61% of students felt neutral about or agreed
that they felt welcome in the residence halls
 41.8% of students report using an academic support
Challenges in Higher Education
 More than 50% of participants reported the
following as challenges:
 Lack of money
 Study habits/skills
 Time management
 Lack of time to study
 Motivation
 Lack of direction for career goals
 Responsibilities at home
My college campus is well represented by
Asian American…
 …students (over 50% agreed or strongly agreed)
 …staff/administrators (44% disagreed or
strongly disagreed; 29.6% were neutral)
 …faculty (34.8% disagreed or strongly
disagreed; 36.5% were neutral)
Qualitative Results
Themes from data:
 What challenges do you face:
 Financial hardships
 Family obligation
 Lack of preparation
 Disconnect from Hmong community
 Lack of Hmong role models
Qualitative Results (cont.)
 What are some ways you receive support:
 Family (parents and siblings)
 Hmong friends/community
 Inspiration from parents and elders history of
 Academic success programs
 Religion/Spirtual
 What are you seeing as the experiences of
Hmong college students on your campus?
 What type of success programs or initiatives do
you have that directly involve Hmong college
Our recommendations based on findings
 Need to have a student organization to identify with (Hmong,
Southeast Asian, or Asian)
 Hmong education and cultural awareness (Hmong excluded in
American history)
 Institutions and community outreach to educate Hmong parents
regarding college due to language barrier (admissions, financial
aid, etc.)
 Financial barriers need to be addressed with scholarships and
Limitations of the study
 Did not include 2-year institutions and 4-year private institutions
 Focused only on traditional aged students (18-24 years)
 Focused on only three states: CA, MN, & WI
 Uneven distribution among the three states
 Mostly female participates
 Used student organizations as a way to contact students
 Only five articles can be found with a focus on Hmong college
students from 1996 to 2010 (Xiong & Lam, 2013)
Future Research
 Explore 2-year institutions and 4-year private institutions
 Out-of-state vs. In-state
 Focus on other states (e.g. North Carolina)
 Include both involved and uninvolved students
 Identify transfer students
 Graduate students
 Qualitative studies
Thank you
 Questions, Comments, Feedback
 Dr. Donna Talbot ([email protected])
 Peter K.X. Xiong ([email protected])
 *Email Peter for more information or copy of the PowerPoint
 Jason Atherton ([email protected])
Chou, R. S., & Feagin, J. R. (2008). The myth of the model minority: Asian
Americans facing racism. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.
Cheryan, S., & Tsai, J. L. (2007). Ethnic identity. In F.T. L. Leong, A. G. Inman,
A. Ebreo, L. H.
Her, V. K., & Buley-Meissner, M. L. (2006). Why would we want these
students here?: Barriers to building to campus community partnerships.
Hmong Studies Journal, 7, 1-43.
Huffcutt, M. (2010). American Hmong Youth and College Readiness:
Integrating Culture and Educational Success (Master's thesis). Retrieved
from www2.uwstout.edu/content/lib/thesis/2010/2010huffcuttm.pdf
Pascarella, E., & Terenzini, P. (1998). Studying college students in the 21st
century: Meeting new challenges. Review of Higher Education, 21(2), 151165.
Xiong, S., & Lee, S. E. (2011). Hmong students in higher education and
academic support programs. Hmong Studies Journal, 12, 1-20.
Yang, K. (2001). Becoming American: The Hmong American experience.
Ethnic Studies
Yang, L. Kinoshita, & M. Fu (Eds.), Handbook of Asian American Psychology,
2nd ed., pp.125-139. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE publication.
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