Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jaekel, Kathryn S.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


This dissertation explored what contributed to Southeast Asian students’ persistence in an urban community college in the Midwest. A qualitative case study was used to reveal how Southeast Asian students perceived personal and educational experiences and how those experiences created an impact on their persistence. This project addressed the lack of research on Southeast Asians and their challenges attaining academic success in higher education. This study is critical, as there is a lack of research on Southeast Asian students’ experiences within higher education institutions, particularly within community college settings. The majority of research has focused on Asian American or international students, with minimal knowledge about any particular subgroup. This project uses the Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a theoretical lens. Because of the “model minority” myth, Asian Americans perceived that they do not need support that negatively affects Southeast Asian students since they are overlooked. They are left alone to persist on their own. Through a qualitative study, ten participants completed semi-structured interviews and artifacts were collected and analyzed. Participants indicated that pressure not to fail, family sacrifices and support, lack of campus engagement, and lack of student support affected their persistence.


98 pages




Northern Illinois University

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