Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Christopher B. Newman, PhD, Chair; Zachary Gabriel Green, PhD, Member; Cheryl A. Getz, EdD, Member; Dina C. Maramba, PhD, Member


Higher Education, Career Decision-Making


Using a critical race theory (CRT) framework and a narrative and phenomenological methodology, this study explored the career decision-making of professionals of Philippine descent along the higher education career pipeline in the United States. The stories of these professionals create a counter-narrative to the stereotypes of Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs) in higher education. The career pipeline in higher education has remained relatively homogeneous, especially at executive levels of administration. Statistics show that APIs make up less than 1% of all college presidents, of that 1%, less than a handful identify as Filipinx.

This statistic alone does not completely tell the whole story of Filipinx individuals in higher education because the data reported on faculty, staff, and administrators is aggregated, which means more than 48 ethnic identities are included in the API racial categories. Research on aggregated populations may mask the diverse experiences that exist between various ethnic subgroups. This study disaggregated the API racial groups to look specifically at a sample of Filipinx professionals and their experiences along the higher education career pipeline. As higher education becomes increasingly diverse at the student level, there is a greater need for there to be representation at all levels of the higher education career pipeline.

This research is the first of its kind to account for and explore career decision-making experiences of Filipinx higher education professionals. This qualitative study looked at career decision-making through a life course perspective using semi-structured interviews of 20 Filipinx higher education professionals at various career life stages. The participants are professionals in higher education who have worked at least five years in colleges and universities. The collected stories of these professionals shed light on the importance of disaggregating research data to share stories that have yet to be told, explore how Filipinx individuals choose a career in higher education, and identify factors that support career advancement thus diversifying the higher education career pipeline up to the college presidency.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies