A Comparative Study of Ethnic Minority-Serving Higher Education Institutions in the United States and China

Weiyan XIONG, W. James JACOB (Thesis Supervisor)

Research output: Other contributionThesis/Dissertation


American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) in the United States and Ethnic Minorities (EMs) in China are both underrepresented groups in their higher education (HE) systems regarding access and attainment. Also, their cultures and languages confront challenges in contemporary societies dominated by the mainstream cultures and languages, as well as the trend of globalization. Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) in the United States and Ethnic Minority-Serving Institutions (EMSIs) in China increasingly play a significant role in changing the disadvantageous situations of AIAN and Chinese Ethnic Minority (CEM) students in both HE systems. Also, they are critical in AIAN tribal nation building and CEM policy implementation, as well as in the preservation of indigenous and ethnic minority languages, cultures, and identities. TCUs and EMSIs face some common challenges such as financial constraints and student readiness for HE and preparation for the job market, as well as unique challenges caused by the specific political and HE contexts in the United States and China. This dissertation is based on a qualitative comparative study of ethnic minority-serving higher education institutions (HEIs)—TCUs and EMSIs. To answer the central research question—how TCUs and EMSIs address challenges in serving AIANs and CEMs—the author conducted a series of in-depth, semi-structured oral interviews with 29 TCU and EMSI administrators and content area experts (CAEs) of AIAN and EM HE in the United States and China.
Original languageEnglish
TypePhD Thesis
PublisherUniversity of Pittsburgh
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


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