Date of Graduation

Spring 5-17-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Organization and Leadership (O&L)


School of Education


Southeast Asian Americans have among the lowest higher educational attainment rates among the Asians. However, aggregated data and the model minority myth often conceal this reality, leaving many Southeast Asian Americans without the proper support systems. The model minority myth, the importance of the historical context of Southeast Asian migration, and the impacts of being refugees, are all addressed as they form the basis of many Southeast Asian Americans experiences in higher education. A narrative approach is utilized to analyze the interviews of ten Southeast Asian American (Cambodian, Hmong, Mien, Khmu, and Vietnamese) college graduates, with Asian Critical Race Theory (AsianCrit) as the overarching framework for the study. Four major themes emerged; challenges faced in their undergraduate career, cultural and social capital, and asianization. Disaggregation of data, transition programs, school organizations, curriculum and pedagogy, are advocated for – recommendations which can be applicable to other refugees and populations who may be struggling for educational attainment.