Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Franklin A. Tuitt, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Samuel D. Museus, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Judy Kiyama

Fourth Advisor

Nicholas Cutforth

Fifth Advisor

Debora Ortega


Asian critical theory, Community colleges, Deviant minority myth, Model minority myth, Racialization, Southeast Asian American


Southeast Asian American (SEAA) (e.g., Cambodian, Hmong, Lao, and Vietnamese) students' educational realities are often masked by assumptions that all Asian Americans are model minorities. However, SEAA students have also been racialized as deviant minorities to explain disparities faced by the community. Relatively minimal scholarship has explored how race and racism shape their experiences. In this study, AsianCrit provides a framework for exploring the racial realities of SEAA students in community college. Qualitative research methods were employed to explore in-depth the ways they experience race and racialization. Specifically, this study is a phenomenological exploration of their lived racialized experiences and its impact on their educational experiences. Ten SEAA community college students participated in the study, providing detailed accounts of the challenges they faced as racialized beings. Findings indicate that participants experienced significant difficulties related to experiences of racial and ethnic isolation, which are exacerbated by Asianization, racially-ascribed deviance, institutional invisibility, and community college stigma. These experiences have significant psychological impacts for students. Despite these challenges, SEAA students showcased strength, resilience, and agency, and benefitted from critical sources of support that enable them to enact resistance to deficit ideologies. Implications for policy, practice, and research are also discussed.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Varaxy Yi Borromeo


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

312 p.


Higher education