Thursday, September 12, 2013

Asian American Students and Graduate School - Is this Just the Natural Progression?

Today I want to share some information on the AAPI (Asian American/Pacific Islander) community in the United States and college rates. I also hope to help demystify some of the "model minority" stereotypes in education. Some of us really just can't relate!

If you are like me, you have an Asian American parent (yes, I have one), and you were not raised to expect higher education. You may have been told not to attend college due to the cost. Maybe you knew of one or two  Tiger Moms (1) from school, but could not identify because your parents raised you in a different environment. You spoke English at home with the occasional Asian language phrase here and there, may only have taken an orchestra class for fun in school, and do not know what the heck Kumon is.

Why It Actually Still Matters to Support Asian American Students
The Multicultural Doctorate aims to provide resources and support to the full diverse range of individuals who did not not have role models in higher education growing up - including Asians/Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Here's why:

According to the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE), a review of American Community Survey Data from 2006-2008 showed that among those who identify as Asian American, the following have not attended college:
65.8% of Cambodian Americans, 65.5% of Laotian Americans, 63.2% Hmong Americans, and 51.1% of Vietnamese Americans. Looking also at larger demographics and a major holder of "model minority" stereotype status, 34.5% of Chinese Americans have not attended college.  Among Pacific Islander Americans, 57.9% of Tongans, 56.8% of Samoans, and 53% of Guamanians have not attended college. (2)

In a study published in the Social Science Quarterly in 2010, studies found that there are distinct differences between Asian immigrant and Asian American parents. Asian immigrant parents are actually more likely to have higher educational expectations for their children. Asian American born parents were less likely to expect their children to excel in education, even less so than the expectations of White American born parents. (3)

Still Much to Be Done
As you can see there is still much to be done in terms of encouraging students of color in higher education.  This blog's primary goal is to help bring diverse students into the world of graduate school and perhaps to become future faculty members of colleges and universities, where statistics are still low among professor demographics.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the Fall of 2009, college and university faculty/staff in the United States were 7% Black, 6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 4% Hispanic, and 1% American Indian/Alaska Native. (4)  

Faculty positions for the most part require a graduate school degree, and more frequently require doctorate degrees. With a vision of seeing higher institutions adequately and equitably serve diverse populations, The Multicultual Doctorate blog serves to provide graduate school information resources to students of color, and to encourage students to find ways to network with organizations, professors, and other students.

1. Controversial in parenting circles, Amy Chua wrote this book called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. It's a very interesting read on extremely strict Chinese American parenting!

2.CARE, The Relevance of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in the College Completion Agenda 

3. Raleigh, Elizabeth and Kao, Grace. (2010) "Do Immigrant Minority Parents Have More Consistent College Aspirations for Their Children?" Social Science Quarterly 91:4.

4. National Center for Education Statistics, Employees in Degree-Granting Institutions, by Race/Ethnicity and Primary Occupation: Fall 2009

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