Friday, December 14, 2012

Oregon university triples Pacific Islander student population in three years

Tucked into a local newspaper article about Western Oregon University's overall success at increasing student body diversity, I found this impressive figure: the school has tripled its Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander student population in the last three years.

Between 2008 and 2011, the number of students who identified themselves as Hispanic increased from 393 to 652.  Western's black and Pacific Islander populations have nearly doubled and tripled in size, respectively.

The graph below shows that we're not talking about an increase from 1 Pacific Islander to 3. The Pacific Islander student population is almost as high as the Asian population, and not far from the African American enrollment figures.

Since 2008, Western Oregon University in Monmouth has gained minority groups to the tune of 24 percent of current domestic students.

The article doesn't provide any information to explain what (if any) Pacific Islander-specific programs have contributed to this increase, but it's implied that the overall diversity efforts must have played a role.  If we come across any information on what this school has been doing right for Pacific Islanders, we will let you know.


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