Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day

As we often do on Memorial Day, the Pacific Islander Access project would like to say thank you to the men and women who serve America in uniform, and to the families who support them. We would also like to call attention to the high rate of military service among Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, and to the sacrifices of their families, especially those caring for wounded warriors.

Here's more from our post last Memorial Day, telling the story of a patriotic, self-sacrificing segment of this nation:

Military service is one of the many ways that America's growing Pacific Islander population gives back to the country we call our own. According to recent reports, American Samoa holds the solemn distinction of having lost more of its citizens in the post-9/11 conflicts, per capita, than any State or Territory (NBC: Eager to serve in American Samoa, but strong civic duty often extracts the heaviest price). After American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia are next (TIME: A Micronesian Paradise: For Military Recruiters). In addition, according to a study by the Heritage Foundation, Pacific Islanders are more overrepresented in military service than any other major racial group (Table: Who Bears the Burden).

This Memorial Day, the Pacific Islander Access project thanks all who have served.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

News this week: national study finds Pacific Islanders college grads most likely to stay in workforce

This week Inside Higher Ed covered a report on diversity among college graduates issued by the American Council on Education. While it didn't make the headline or lead paragraph, the reporter shared this interesting data on post-graduation participation in the labor force:

Fifty-eight percent of graduates in 2007-8 were between jobs or fluctuating between participation and nonparticipation in the labor market; the racial group with the highest rate of continuous postgraduation participation in the labor force was Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, with 50 percent, while the group with the lowest was Asian Americans, with 27 percent.

Why are Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders so much more likely than other racial groups to maintain continuous participation in the workforce after graduating? Are these figures kept high partly by the fact that Pacific Islanders earn advanced degrees (most of which require departure from the labor force in order to stay in school) at less than half the rate of the general population, and a quarter of the rate of Asian Americans?
Would greater investment in Pacific Islander college graduation have a greater rate of return in the education = jobs equation that's often discussed in policy and business circles?

You can read the article here (link) and visit ACE's website here (link).


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Census data continues to show Pacific Islander underrepresentation in higher education

May is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.  Around this time each year, the U.S. Census publishes a "Facts for Features" brief that includes up to date socioeconomic information on Asians and Pacific Islanders.  Among other things, this year's brief says what over two decades of data also says: Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are underrepresented among college graduates, especially at the advanced degree level.

Here's the data for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and the general population, 25-years-old and older:

Percentage with a 4-year-degree 
  • National Average..... 28.5 percent
  • Asians..................... 50 percent 
  • Pacific Islanders....... 14.5 percent

Percentage with an advanced degree: 
  • National Average..... 10.6 percent
  • Asians..................... 20.7 percent
  • Pacific Islanders....... 4.3 percent

You can read the brief yourself by clicking here: link