UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Major: Marketing Communications Minor: Business Administration
Anticipated Graduation Date: May, 2014
Research Supervisor & Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Bonko, Marketing Communications Department, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Research Location: University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Summer 2013
Research Topic: What Motivates Hmong Students To Obtain a College Degree
How does education play a role in the community of a minority group? Yellow-skinned, dark eyes, and jet black hair, this description is like any other Asian person, but in particular, this research is focused on the Hmong people. Hmong people have no written history to trace back the level of education their people had. If you were to ask a Hmong elder now, he or she would tell you about the stories that were never written down, the manual labor of gardening they did to provide a living, and how marriage started at a very young age. This elder would either be speaking in full Hmong, with a translator, or in broken English to you. The Secret War that associated with the Vietnam War played a major role as to why there are many Hmong people in America now. All the Hmong people could grasp on to when they lost their country was that America had to be their new hope, their new beginning. It has been about thirty-eight years since the Hmong people had immigrated to America. Today, many have lost their native language or have accustomed to different languages. This research will focus on what Hmong students had learned to value while living in a new country, a country where freedom gives you access to learn more about the importance of education. Many Hmong students, who are currently in college, have valid reasons behind why they went to college. Each student had his or her own purpose, but many tied back to being Hmong. Focus groups from Hmong college students, and personal interviews from Hmong professionals were conducted in order to collect the information needed, along with additional research. The research results will show how the importance of education has motivated Hmong students to obtain their college degrees through the factors that they had faced prior and during their academic careers.