Date of Award

Fall 2020

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, PhD


School of Educational Studies

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dina C. Maramba

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Thomas Luschei

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Eligio Martinez

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© Copyright Elizabeth D. Kuo 2020 All rights reserved


High school dropouts continue to happen in the U.S. without a clear solution. Southeast Asian American (SEAA) is a population with significantly disproportionate high school dropout rates and one of the lowest enrollment rates in higher education. This study seeks to challenge the notion that “all” Asians are high-achieving by analyzing the reasons why a surprising number do not do well, i.e., drop out of school. A better understanding of the perspectives of Southeast Asian American students on the factors and influences that lead to their decision or cause to drop out of high school is the focus of this research. This qualitative phenomenological study utilizes the theories of social capital and cultural capital to explain how the lack of resources influence high school dropout. Purposeful sampling, specifically snowball sampling was used to recruit participants. In total, this study included nine participants. All interviews were conducted over the phone. Data analysis included two cycles of coding, in vivo coding and pattern coding. The current narrative analysis resulted in two themes, family and school system and six sub themes that influence high school dropout. Findings indicated that participants experienced one or more factors that influenced their cause of dropout. Moreover, the cause of dropout was influenced by the lack of certain social capital and cultural capital resources and that the participants experienced two types of dropout, pushed out and pulled out.