Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Learning, Leadership and Change

First Advisor

Robert Calvert

First Committee Member

Delores McNair

Second Committee Member

Ka L. Ramirez


The educational trends in the attainment of Hmong American students in higher education have grown significantly over the past 40+ years. However, modern academia is still somewhat new to most United States Hmong refugees since their resettlement in 1975 after the Vietnam War. Hmong students are children of refugee immigrants who came to the United States with no formal schooling, limited English proficiency, and a low-socioeconomic background. Hmong parents believe that having an education will enable their children to seek employment, perform well in society, and gain financial stability. The purpose of this study was to analyze challenges that contribute to Hmong male students with the aim to understand how factors such as education, cultural influences, and life challenges impact the low educational attainment of Hmong male students in college. The research examined (a) How do traditional cultural factors and contributing life challenges affect Hmong male students’ education? and (b) What educational challenges are perceived by Hmong male students as they navigate higher education?

The qualitative phenomenological research captured the narrative experiences of Hmong male students in the pursuit of higher education. This study also provides insights and recommendations for colleges and universities to develop strategies to increase retention and academic success for Hmong male students’ educational attainment.