Native Hawaiian College Access: Consequences of a Conquest

By Randal Stepp.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The University of Hawaii Community College system, enrolling the largest number of Native Hawaiians in the United States, reports that while 17% of their 25,593 students identified as Hawaiian, 65.4% dropped out within a three-year timeframe and, of those that remain, only 15.2% earned a degree (University of Hawaii, 2003). These discouraging figures clearly indicate the importance of dedicated research on this group of students (Hagedorn, et al. 2006). Native Hawaiians are full-fledged American citizens, participate in the military, and have maintained a significant role in the history of this country. However, US Census data has reported that Native Hawaiians are more likely to live in poverty, lack health insurance, face cultural and linguistic barriers to health and social services, and have higher infant mortality rates than Caucasians (White House Initiative, 2003). In 2003, the White House acknowledged the need to improve the lives of Native Hawaiians by signing an order “to increase opportunities and improve the quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through greater participation in federal programs where they may be undeserved (e.g. health human services, education, housing, labor, transportation, and economic and community development)” (White House Initative, 2003, p. 1).

Keywords: College Access, Native American Education

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.91-106. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 258.873KB).

Randal Stepp

Graduate Student, Education Department, Claremont Graduate University, La Verne, California, USA

I have been an English as a Second Language teacher for about 15 years. I have taught in three Asian countries as well as in California. Currently, I am a student in the Ph.D., in Education Department at Claremont Graduate University. I plan on doing my dissertation on culture-based education, but I am also interested in issues involving barriers to higher education and language acquisition issues. I presented at the World University Forum in Hong Kong in January 2011.

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