Asian Americans are often depicted as a highly successful group, attaining advanced levels of education and upward mobility. However, research indicates Southeast Asian Americans are underrepresented in higher education and earn less bachelor degrees than East Asian Americans. To explore the phenomenon of unequal representation between Southeast Asian and East Asian Americans at institutions of higher education and the disparity in the percentage of bachelor's degrees achieved, this study examines the factors that influence college choice and pathways among one of the largest groups of Southeast Asians in America, Vietnamese Americans.
This study surveys 388 Vietnamese American high school seniors in southern California and utilizes descriptive statistics, correlations, and multiple regression analyses to examine choice of college pathways and factors that influence college choice. The findings of this study indicate that Vietnamese American students do have a strong desire to attend a college and their choice of colleges are influenced by perceptions of prestige, cost, financial aid, and family. Students who chose a University of California (UC) or private or out-of-state institution as their first-choice colleges were more likely to be influenced by prestige and family than were students who chose to attend a California State University (CSU), while students choosing a CSU as their first-choice college were making informed decisions with the support of school guidance counselors. Those students who choose to attend a community college with the intention of transferring to a four-year university are influenced by cost, financial aid, and their father or male guardian.
The results of this study indicate that family and counselors play an important role in how Vietnamese American students choose and rate their colleges of choice. Vietnamese American students may be overemphasizing the importance of institutional prestige, due to the influence of their siblings and parents, and forgoing opportunities and pathways that may be more beneficial to them. The finding that high school guidance counselors have an impact on students choosing CSUs indicates that educators can have an influence on how students choose college pathways.
|School:||California State University, Fullerton|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Asian American Studies, Educational leadership, School counseling|
|Keywords:||College choice, College pathways, Guidance counselor, High school students, School counseling, Vietnamese-American|
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