Environmental Factors for Motivation of First-Generation Hmong American College Students in Academic Attainment

Hang & Walsh / Education Quarterly Reviews / August 2021

This qualitative thematic analysis study examined the motivations of first-generation college graduate Hmong American students in their educational attainment. Currently, Hmong American students are facing cultural and institutional barriers which continue to impact access to and achievement in college. Although there is an educational disparity, for some within the Hmong American student community, there is resilience to overcome and graduate from institutions of higher education which is important to understand. Culturally Engaging Campus Environment Model underpinned the one-on-one in-depth interviews of purposively sampled first-generation college graduate Hmong American students who attended the University of California, Merced. The findings from the study highlighted ways family supports, role models, breaking culturally normed gender roles, Hmong Student Associations (HSAs), and intentional holistic campus supports are important motivational environmental factors in Hmong American students’ higher education journey.